Monday, February 23, 2009


I'll probably do a more thorough book review on this later. I haven't had much computer time lately, so I've been reading. I tend to read around 10 books at a time and the one that is most gripping gets my attention first.

Oh this book is driving me crazy right now! Milk, Money, and Madness: The Culture and Politics of Breastfeeding. Right now I'm in the section about the marketing of artificial foods. I don't want to read the nasty underhanded stuff that companies (*cough* Nestle *cough*) have done because it makes me upset, but I can't put this book down!

I've also learned all kinds of stuff about breastmilk and the amazing creations our bodies are. Did you know that your small intestines analyze what pathogens you intake and then hormonally tell your breasts what you've been exposed to lately so your breasts can make the most ideal protection for your baby? Genius! I knew that your body would give your baby antibodies, but I didn't know that the small intestines were involved or that it was so exact in preventing your baby from getting sick- I figured it just gave the baby equal amounts of all immunities. How clever of our bodies to think that our babies are probably exposed to the same stuff we are!

One of my favorite parts was titled, "Isn't Formula Just a Third World Issue?" refering to that attitude that formula is only dangerous when water in unclean and that "formula doesn't kill babies." From the book,

Most people assume that no child in the West dies because s/he is not breastfed, but a 1989 study conducted by the U.S. National Institue of Environmental Health Sciences estimated that four of every 1,000 infants born in the United States each year die because they are not breastfed. In 1992, 4.1 million American children were born. If half were bottle-fed (which is a conservative estimate), there would have been 8,168 unnecessary, preventable deaths.
The book was published in 1995, so it's over a decade old, hence the use of older birth rates. I started reading this book because I've been asked to speak to a women's health class at BYU about breastfeeding support, specifically in Utah county and LDS community. I think I was told this was required reading for their class- though I can't find the email that said that anymore. Oh well, it's a great read anyway.


  1. I loved this book. I would like to buy it one of these days. In any case, my favorite parts of the book were the history of artificial feeding, and the section about the unethical marketing practices. I think this book should be required reading for all first-time moms.

  2. Fascinating, though I would like to see some up to date stats. Maybe they will do a revised version?

  3. Love this book. It would be great if they would come out with a new edition with updated statistics.

  4. I tell every pregnant woman I run into to check out that book! I know this is bizarre but my favorite part was the picture of a tribal woman nursing her baby with her breast slung over her shoulder. I don't know if I really want my breasts to be able to perform such acrobatics, but wowee!

  5. Wow! I can't believe all the deaths :(


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