Studies of breastfeeding have proliferated over the last decade. Breastfeeding is an intimate and deep-rooted bodily practice and yet also a highly controversial sociocultural process, invoking strong reactions from advocates and opponents. Whilst breastfeeding practices and experiences vary greatly in different parts of the world, reducing infant mortality is a pressing international goal for governments and societies.
Representing cross-cultural concerns of researchers, policy-makers and mothers, this important book takes a rich ethnographic survey of breastfeeding all over the world. Breastfeeding is shown to highlight various links between gender, power and resources in culture. Each chapter covers a new topic and ethnic or national group, and major topical themes of research such as the rise of milk banks, mother-to-mother sharing networks facilitated by social media, breast milk and HIV are explored.