This book provides a social and cultural framework for understanding strategies for the critical feeding and nutrition of the world’s most vulnerable citizens. Ensuring that infants have access to breastmilk is one of the greatest global healthcare challenges of the twenty-first century, one that cannot be understood in exclusively biomedical terms, but demands an awareness of complex lived experiences. The familiar slogan ‘breast is best’ is skilfully and impressively annotated by this volume with an understanding of the practical and varied experiences of working women and the degree of support (or opposition) that larger communities may provide. How and when infants can be fed is not simply a matter of individual maternal choice, but has large structural implications. The international and interdisciplinary essays in this book amply illustrate the need to transcend a narrow and unfair emphasis on the ‘success’ or ‘failure’ of particular nursing mothers and seek greater societal understanding in order to effect positive societal change. Furthermore, this volume not only has significant public policy implications, but is of great value in the university classroom, illustrating how many of our most basic assumptions about healthcare and maternity need to be rethought in light of a more complex understanding of how human milk ties communities as well as individuals together.
Table of Contents:
Preface; Oxytocin: Pharmacologic Properties, Physiological Effects & Role in Pregnancy; The Immunology of Human Milk; Breastfeeding the Critically Ill Newborn: Barriers & Supportive Practices; Giving Milk, Buying Milk: The Influence of Mothering Ideologies & Social Class in Donor Milk Banking; Perceptions & Negotiations of ‘Failure’ in an Australian Breast Milk Bank; HIV/AIDS & Human Milk Banking: Controversy, Complexity & Culture Around a Global Social Problem; Breastfeeding in High HIV Prevalent, Resource-Limited Settings; Babies, Booze & Breastmilk: Complexities, Controversies & Cultural Considerations Concerning Alcohol & Lactation; Global Issues of Chinese Mothers in Ireland Who Breastfeed; Promoting Breastfeeding Practices among Thai-Employed Mothers; Breastfeeding Experiences among Employed Mothers; Milking the Subject: Lactation & the Birth of Prose Fiction; Index.