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Synopsis

'Breast is best' is today’s prevailing mantra. However, women – particularly first-time mothers – frequently feel unsupported when they come to feed their baby. This new experience often takes place in the impersonal and medicalized surroundings of a hospital maternity ward where women are 'seen to' by overworked midwives.

Using a UK-based ethnographic study and interview material, this book provides a new, radical and critical perspective on the ways in which women experience breastfeeding in hospitals. It highlights that, in spite of heavy promotion of breastfeeding, there is often a lack of support for women who begin to breastfeed in hospitals, thus challenging the current system of postnatal care within a culture in which neither service-user nor provider feel satisfied.

Incorporating recommendations for policy and practice on infant feeding, Breastfeeding in Hospital is highly relevant to health professionals and breastfeeding supporters as well as to students in health and social care, medical anthropology and medical sociology, as it explores practice issues while contextualising them within a broad social, political and economic context.

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