Pediatricians say you should but it’s okay if you don’t. The hospital says, “Breast is best,” but sends you home with formula “just in case.” Your sister-in-law says, “Of course you should!” Your mother says, “I didn’t, and you turned out just fine.” Celebrities are photographed nursing in public, yet breastfeeding mothers are asked to cover up in malls and on airplanes. Breastfeeding is a private act, yet everyone has an opinion about it. How did feeding our babies get so complicated?
Journalist and infant health advocate Kimberly Seals Allers breaks breastfeeding out of the realm of “personal choice” and shows our broader connection to an industrialized food system that begins at birth, the fallout of feminist ideals, and the federal policies that are far from family friendly. The Big Letdown uncovers the multibillion-dollar forces battling to replace mothers’ milk and the failure of the medical establishment to protect infant health. Weaving together research and personal stories with original reporting on medicine, big pharma, and hospitals, Kimberly Seals Allers shows how mothers and babies have been abandoned by all the forces that should be supporting families from the start—and what we can do to help.
Postpartum depression has become a more recognized mental illness over the past decade as a result of education and increased awareness. Traumatic childbirth, however, is still often overlooked, resulting in a scarcity of information for health professionals. This is in spite of up to 34% of new mothers reporting experiencing a traumatic childbirth and prevalence rates rising for high risk mothers, such as those who experience stillbirth or who had very low birth weight infants.
This ground-breaking book brings together an academic, a clinician and a birth trauma activist. Each chapter discusses current research, women’s stories, the common themes in the stories and the implications of these for practice, clinical case studies and a clinician’s insights and recommendations for care. Topics covered include: mothers’ perspectives, fathers’ perspectives, the impact on breastfeeding, the impact on subsequent births, PTSD after childbirth and EMDR treatment for PTSD.
This book is a valuable resource for health professionals who come into contact with new mothers, providing the most current and accurate information on traumatic childbirth. It also presents mothers’ experiences in a manner that is accessible to women, their partners, and families.
Since the rise of artificial formula, we have turned a biological process into a never-ending controversy: A mother breastfeeding her three-year-old son on the cover of Time magazine sets off a firestorm. Facebook takes down photos of women nursing, citing the content as “offensive.” The pope weighs in, urging mothers to nurse their children in church or elsewhere “without thinking twice.”
So how did we get here? What are the consequences of surrendering eons of human evolution for a mode of feeding so alien? Growing up, journalist Jennifer Grayson thought nothing of the fact that she was bottle-fed. But when she became a mother, Grayson considered the impact of missing out on this profound connection. Her book is a worldwide search for answers about the first, most fundamental experience of newborn life.
From biblical times to eighteenth-century France, from modern-day Mongolia to inner-city Los Angeles—Unlatched uncovers astonishing cultural, corporate, political, and technological factors at the heart of our contemporary breastfeeding disconnection