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Back To the BreastNatural Motherhood and Breastfeeding in America$
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Jessica Martucci

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226288031

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226288178.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Frustration and Failure

Frustration and Failure

The Scientific Management of Breastfeeding

(p.58) Chapter Two Frustration and Failure
Back To the Breast

Jessica L. Martucci

University of Chicago Press

Scientific motherhood encompassed an interventionist, medical technology-driven model of maternal and child care that rested upon the expertise of scientifically-trained professionals as authorities and guides. As the appendages of the medical system, healthcare providers approached their patient interactions from a variety of vantage points, all of which seemed incommensurable with the emergence of an ideology of natural motherhood and the breastfeeding model it supported. This chapter explores the science and medical management of breastfeeding from the postwar years up through the early years of the 1970s. The postwar decades witnessed the lowest rates of breastfeeding in American history, but this was also the period that witnessed the birth of a movement against scientific motherhood and the medical management of infant feeding it supported. In the pages that follow, I explore how medical professionals and researchers, particularly those few who actively supported breastfeeding, participated in and confronted an era that witnessed both the near extinction of breastfeeding as well as the origins of its modern-day return.

Keywords:   physicians, pediatrics, obstetrics, hospital, let-down reflex, lactation, natural motherhood

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