This book centers on the role of media in shaping public perceptions of breastfeeding. Drawing from magazines, doctors' office materials, parenting books, television, websites, and other media outlets, Katherine A. Foss explores how historical and contemporary media often undermine breastfeeding efforts with formula marketing and narrow portrayals of nursing women and their experiences. Foss argues that the media's messages play an integral role in setting the standard of public knowledge and attitudes toward breastfeeding, as she traces shifting public perceptions of breastfeeding and their corresponding media constructions from the development of commercial formula through contemporary times. This analysis demonstrates how attributions of blame have negatively impacted public health approaches to breastfeeding, thus confronting the misperception that breastfeeding, and the failure to breastfeed, rests solely on the responsibility of an individual mother.
Katherine A. Foss is Associate Professor of Media Studies in the School of Journalism at Middle Tennessee State University, USA. She is author of Television and Health Responsibility in an Age of Individualism (2014). Foss earned her PhD from the University of Minnesota, USA in 2008.
1. Breastfeeding and the Media2. "Where the mother's milk is insufficient...": The Commodification of Infant Feeding and the Demise of Breastfeeding3. Infant-feeding in the 20th Century: Shifting Media Messages and the Role of the "Expert"4. Breastfeeding Promotion, Formula Marketing and the Role of Health Professionals5. "So you're going to have a baby?": Breastfeeding Messages in Parenting Guides and Children's Books6. From the Milky Man Vest to Nursing on the Throne: Breastfeeding Representations in Fictional Television7. Reality Television Programs and the Failure Narrative8. "The New Boob Tube?": Education, Entertainment, and Viewers' Perceptions of Breastfeeding on Social Media9. Marginalized Milk: "Extreme" Nursing, Milk Exchange, and Erotic Breastfeeding10. Concluding Thoughts: Media's Role in Improving Breastfeeding Success