By Amy Koerber
Breast or Bottle? is the 1st scholarly exam of the shift in breastfeeding innovations taking place over the past part century. via an in depth research of medical and scientific controversies and a serious exam of the ways that clinical ideals are communicated to the general public, Amy Koerber exposes layers of transferring arguments and that means that tell modern infant-feeding advocacy and coverage.
Whereas the word "breast or bottle" may well as soon as have implied a call among relative equals, human milk is now believed to own particular health-promoting features. even though it is tempting to view this revision in clinical considering as completely the results of medical development, Koerber argues progress-based interpretation is incomplete. Epidemiologic proof demonstrating the future health merits of human milk has grown lately, however the tale of why those kinds of facts have dramatically elevated in contemporary many years, Koerber unearths, is a story of the committed participants, coalitions, and firms engaged in relentless rhetorical efforts to enhance our medical factors and cultural appreciation of human milk, lactation, and breastfeeding within the context of a old tendency to devalue those exceedingly girl features of the human physique. Koerber demonstrates that the rhetoric used to advertise breastfeeding at a given time and cultural second not just displays a preexisting fact but in addition shapes the infant-feeding event for brand new moms.
Koerber's claims are grounded in vast rhetorical examine together with textual research, archival learn, and interviews with key stakeholders within the breastfeeding controversy. Her technique bargains an essential counterpoint to different feminist analyses of the shift towards probreastfeeding medical discourse and provides a revealing rhetorical case examine within the complicated dating among medical info and its influence on scientific coverage and practices. The ensuing interdisciplinary learn can be of willing curiosity to students and scholars of rhetoric, communique, women's reports, clinical humanities, and public well-being in addition to scientific practitioners and policymakers.
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Additional info for Breast or bottle? : contemporary controversies in infant feeding policy and practice
23 Understanding the differences between breastfeeding as “optimal” and breastfeeding as “normative” is key to understanding the rhetorical situation of infant-feeding arguments that were made in the mid-twentieth-century United States. To treat these as two different rhetorical commonplaces is to consider how each formulation of the breast–bottle relationship has literally made possible some kinds of arguments in each historical era while precluding other kinds. Shifting from advice literature to clinical research reports, we gain a more specific understanding of how the topos of breastfeeding as foundation facilitated arguments that devalued human milk and breastfeeding even while outwardly supporting them.
In Martin’s interpretation, the complex-systems metaphor entails a fundamentally different way of thinking about the body’s ability to fight disease. ”9 A complex system, as Martin describes it, consists of multiple feedback loops, so that instead of a centralized point of control, there are multiple points of control. 10 The cultural shift that both Haraway and Martin discuss has been an important factor in the recent widespread acceptance of human milk’s immuneprotective qualities as scientific fact.
If a woman bottle-fed, she could report to the physician exactly how much milk her baby consumed on a daily basis, and both mother and physician presumably could know the exact nutritional composition of what the baby was being fed. 17 By contrast, human milk and the practice of breastfeeding seemed more difficult to monitor. This imbalance created a situation in which breastfeeding and human milk came to be viewed as imperfect and unable to achieve the level of quality that could be achieved in artificial substitutes.