Just when you thought it was quieting down, the “breastfeeding battle” rears its ugly head again. In this case, political scientist Courtney Jung wrote a book all about it titled “Lactivism.” Courtney Jung’s book isn’t what you think it is: It’s not a breastfeeding bible. Rather, it’s an exposé.
Jung, who works at the University of Toronto, began to feel the widespread breastfeeding fervor when she was pregnant. So, she began to research the history and origins of breastfeeding. What she found out was surprising.
According to her research, breastfeeding is only a recent phenomenon; between 1971 and 2011, breastfeeding rates went from 24% to 79%. She also claims the World Health Organization “denied that H.I.V. could be transmitted through breast milk, despite plentiful evidence to the contrary.” Jung also points out that there’s a huge financial interest in breast milk, from lactation consultants to accessories.
Jung also touches on the damaging idea that working mothers, regardless of income, are encouraged to breastfeed and pump, especially considering there aren’t always safe and adequate conditions in the workplace to do so.
At the end of the day, moms just want the best for their kids, and no one has the right to tell a mom what to do. Whether or not you agree with Jung, it’s hard not to agree with her statement that women deserve the freedom to choose.