Feminism, breast and breastfeeding

Feminism, breast and breastfeeding

BOOK REVIEWS Breastfeeding: a Guide for Midwives Dora Henschel, Sally Inch Booksfor Midwives Press, 1996, 1st edn. ISBN 1898507-12-0, 130pages. Pric...

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Breastfeeding: a Guide for Midwives Dora Henschel, Sally Inch Booksfor Midwives Press, 1996, 1st edn. ISBN 1898507-12-0, 130pages. Price £9.95 Hensehel & Inch are well k n o w n within the midwifery profession in the U K for their commitment to breast feeding. The book is concise and covers many aspects of breast feeding including the value of breast milk for health, the disadvantages of artificial feeding, anatomy of the breast, physiology of breast feeding, the skills of breast feeding, and varied problems which occur when breast feeding. Each chapter is short, concise and easily read. The illustrations are few and tend to depict 'white middie-class' mothers breast feeding. The authors have taken time to write about the varied breast feeding initiatives on-going in the UK. Imperative for all health professionals to read are the appendices which out-line the summary of the International Code of Marketing of Breastfeeding substitutes - Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, and the Innocenti declaration on the protection, promotion and support of breast feeding, recognising that breast feeding is a unique process. This is a well-presented, referenced book which is a must for every midwifery library and all health care professionals - not only midwives, but health visitors and general practitioners. It might also be appreciated by breast feeding women and by anyone who is supporting them.

Susan Cohen BSc, RGM, RM, IHSM Cert

Feminism, Breast and Breastfeeding Pam Carter

W o m e n ' s views have been utilised throughout the book to give further insight w h e n considering the feminine and sexual aspects of breast feeding, and the complex reasoning which mothers give when choosing to breast feed or w h e n moving from breast to bottle. I would recommend this book for libraries, and midwives who wish to enhance their understanding of women's autonomy, and the circumstances which lie behind choices in infant feeding.

Susan Cohen BSc, RGN, RM, IHSM Cert

Missing Voices, the Experience of Motherhood S Brown, J Lumley, R Small, J Ashbury Oxford Press, 1995. ISBN 0-19553378, 294 pa2es. Price £10.99 The aim of this research study, conducted in Australia, was to investigate childbearing women's thoughts on the people who administer care, the interventions they were subjected to and the effect this had on their experience and emotional wellbeing. The researchers also wanted to find out what w o m e n felt about the decision-making process and how the relationship they had with their midwife or doctor influenced this process. The method used by the researchers is clearly described and would be easily understood by those unfamiliar to research. Both quantitative and qualitative findings of women's experiences of motherhood are presented. The transcripts of interviews give a frank and moving account of these experiences and of women's feelings in the postnatal period. One in seven women in this study were depressed one year post delivery and the accounts of their feelings in particular would contribute to midwives' understanding of these women. Overall this is a very readable and valuable resource for midwives who may be in the process of improving a service to meet the needs of women.

Elaine Torrance RN, RM, ADM

MacMillan, 1995.1SBN 0-333-62311-8, 266 pages. Price £00.00 The author of this book is a senior lecturer in sociology and women's studies. She has put forward varied arguments which lie behind the choices to breast or bottle feed. The book commences with an over-view of policies of infant feeding, with a well-referenced historical perspective on infant feeding from the 1990s to the present day. The book considers women's place in the private and public world of home and work by analysing power relations, the language of sexuality, and the autonomy of a mother's ability to assert herself and to control her life. In discussing the medicalisation of childbirth, one of the issues raised is the increased level of professional support required by mothers wishing to breast feed and the fact that health professionals are not always the ones to encourage breast feeding. Other points covered are the present World Health Organization policies and the effect of the baby milk manufacturers on breast feeding rates. Midwifery (1996)I 2, 98-101

© 1996PearsonProfessionalktd

Issues in Midwifery Edited by Tricia Murphy-Black Churchill Livin2stone, i995. ISBN 0-44304864-9, 314pages. Price £16.00 Currently there are many changes taking place in midwifery throughout the world, particularly in the provision of maternity services and in midwifery education. This book examines these issues in the UK, Canada, Australia, N e w Zealand and the USA and will provide midwives with a greater insight into what has shaped midwifery services in the past and what may affect them in the fiture. The contributors are all midwives who have been involved in the changes in midwifery practice and education in their particular country and it is interesting to note h o w frequently the same difficulties arise in the different societies.