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Subj: breastfeeding responses
Date: Sun, Apr 30, 1995 10:54 PM EDT

April 27, 1995

Dear Colleagues,

I am so appreciative to everyone who responded to my request for information on breastfeeding. The responses were very thoughtful and helpful and I wanted to share them with you.

A few people wrote that they or others they knew had been told that breastfeeding was a) not a feminist issue or b) not an appropriate topic for scholarly research. Another writer described California's recent attempt to pass a law permitting breastfeeding in public. The law was defeated at least in part due to policy makers objections that it would allow breastfeeding "irrespective of whether or not the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered."

Several people suggested La Leche League as a good source of information, although some weren't sure whether La Leche League was a feminist organization. Most communities have La Leche League groups, and a few of the articles below focus on La Leche League from a sociological or anthropological perspective.

The list of references below includes how-to guides and more academic articles. I have not obtained all of the references below and can't be certain they are all correct.

Apple, Rima
1987 Mothers and Medicine: A Social History of Infant Feeding, 1890-1950. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
Blum, Linda
1993 "Mothers, Babies, and Breastfeeding in Late Capitalist America: The Shifting Contexts of Feminist Theory. Feminist Studies 19(2):291-311.
Blum, Linda and Elizabeth Vandewater
1993 "Mother to Mother: A Maternalist Organization in Late Capitalist America" Social Problems 40(3):285-300. (This is about La Leche League.)
Dettwyler, Katherine
1995 "Beauty and the Breast: The Cultural Context of Breastfeeding in the United States." Chapter 7 in Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives, P. Stuart- Macadam and K.A. Dettwyler (eds.), NY: Aldine De Gruyter.
Fernandez, Renate Lellep
1979 "The Decline of Breastfeeding: Interplay of Images and Policies." Pages 67-74 in Breastfeeding and Food Policy in a Hungry World, Dana Raphael (ed.). New York: Academic Press.
Fildes, Valerie
1986 Breasts, Bottles and Babies: A History of Infant Feeding. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Kitzinger, Sheila
The Experience of Breastfeeding. New York: Penguin Books.
Maher, Vanessa (ed.)
1992 The Anthropology of Breast-Feeding: Natural Law or Social Construct. New York: St. Martin's Press.
Merrill, Elizabeth Bryant
1987 "Learning how to Mother: An Ethnographic Investigation of an Urban Breastfeeding Group". Anthropology and Education Quarterly 18(3):222-240. (Also, about La Leche League)
Newton, Niles
1987 Newton on Breastfeeding: Reproductions of Early Classic Works. Seattle: Birth & Life Bookstore, 1987.
Nochlin, Linda
1988 Women, Art and Power: And Other Essays. New York: Harper & Row. (includes an article on representation of breastfeeding and wetnursing)
Palmer, Gabrielle
1988 The Politics of Breastfeeding. London: Pandora.
Renfrew, Mary, Chloe Fisher and Suzanne Arms
1990 Bestfeeding: Getting Breastfeeding Right For You: An Illustrated Guide. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.
Riordan, Jan and Kathleen G. Auerbach
1993 Breastfeeding and Human Lactation. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers
Salmon, Marylynn
1994 "The Cultural Significance of Breastfeeding and Infant Care in Early Modern England and America." Journal of Social History 28(2):247-269.
Spivak, Gayatri
1995 Imaginary Maps: Three Stories by Mahaseweta Devi. New York: Routledge. (A translation of a story on wetnursing, called "Breastgiver" may be in this book.)
Van Esterik, P.
1994 Breastfeeding and Feminism. International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetric, Dec. 1, volume 47 supplement, page S41.
1994 "Lessons from our Lives: Breastfeeding in a Personal Context." Journal of Human Lactation 10(2): 71-74.
1989 Beyond the Breast-Bottle Controversy. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Thanks again for your help. If you have any more ideas, please let me know.

Cindy A. Stearns, Ph.D.
Women's Studies
Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park, CA 94928

More Breastfeeding Articles from Nanny's Place

Breastfeeding and Feminism Resources
Is That OK? (Nipple Twiddling during breastfeeding)
Eating Out (Breastfeeding in public)
Review: Breastfeeding: A Mother's Gift
Russian Study Shows that Early Mother-Child Contact Lessens Risk of Infant Abandonment

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