The Politics of Breastfeeding: In Whose Interests?
Although breastfeeding is a natural physiological process that has sustained our existence for thousands of years, today mothers face a plethora of barriers that “make it difficult and sometimes impossible for women to breastfeed in the UK” (Unicef, 2018). These barriers include access to support, aggressive marketing of formula, lack of education, socio-economic barriers and mothers’ feelings of embarrassment (Ibid). On top of this, the politics of breastfeeding has become so complex that there are a myriad of cultural issues that those providing support to mothers have to navigate. Unicef believe we need an approach that recognises that, although mothers are the ones who will physically breastfeed, all of us can impact on breastfeeding. Therefore, if we are to try and solve the problem of breastfeeding we need to stop framing the issue as being the individual responsibility of mothers.
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