Breastfeeding Bodies and Choice in Late Capitalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


In a social culture that institutionally endorses Breast is Best policy, and yet commonly refers to the nation’s breastfeeding support agency as the nipple nazis or breastfeeding police, breastfeeding ‘culture’ is at best ambivalent in contemporary Australia. There have been numerous studies on what influences women’s choice to breastfeed or not, but most of them see breastfeeding as a personal choice and a personal practice which has varying levels of success or failure. Failure to breastfeed (through choice or practice) is interpreted as a personal failing of the mother. But neither choice nor practice is a simple concept, being contingent on at least our education, suburbs, peers, race, corporeality and personal histories. In this article, I follow through some of the consequences of breastfeeding as ‘choice’ and then propose some discursive options which might shift the direction of advocacy rhetoric.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralian Mothering
Subtitle of host publicationHistorical and Sociological Perspectives
EditorsCarla Pascoe Leahy, Petra Bueskens
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-30367-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-20266-8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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