As the subject of a popular Web reality series, Suzanne Barston and her husband, Steve, became a romantic, ethereal model for new parenthood. Called "A Parent is Born," the program’s tagline was "The journey to parenthood...from pregnancy to delivery and beyond." Barston valiantly surmounted the problems of pregnancy and delivery. It was the "beyond" that threw her for a loop when she found that, despite every effort, she couldn’t breastfeed her son, Leo. This difficult encounter with nursing-combined with the overwhelming public attitude that breast is not only best, it is the yardstick by which parenting prowess is measured-drove Barston to explore the silenced, minority position that breastfeeding is not always the right choice for every mother and every child.
Part memoir, part popular science, and part social commentary, Bottled Up probes breastfeeding politics through the lens of Barston’s own experiences as well as those of the women she has met through her popular blog, The Fearless Formula Feeder. Incorporating expert opinions, medical literature, and popular media into a pithy, often wry narrative, Barston offers a corrective to our infatuation with the breast. Impassioned, well-reasoned, and thoroughly researched, Bottled Up asks us to think with more nuance and compassion about whether breastfeeding should remain the holy grail of good parenthood.
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Barston's defense of bottlefeeding declares a moratorium on using motherhood as a dumping ground for our cultural anxieties and ambivalences. Through the deft interweave of personal narrative and sharp analysis, Bottled Up reveals how mother-blaming, sloppy science and deficient policies are far more pernicious that artificial milk." Chris Bobel, author of The Paradox of Natural Mothering
Bottled Up is a truly timely book. It is testament to how messed up things have become when it comes to motherhood that it even had to be written. The end result is a serious, engaging, challenging and also accessible account, drawing on the best of scholarship, science and journalism.” Ellie Lee, Director of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies, University of Kent
" This is an informative and well-reasoned book that looks acutely at the meaning of baby feeding alternatives. It will be helpful to mothers, no matter what their choice." Sydney Z. Spiesel, Ph.D. M.D., Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine
This book is a must-read for every woman and man who is fed-up with the shaming and blaming of bottle-feeding parents. Barston explains with evidence, anecdote and humour why breast isn't always best and why women will never be free to enjoy their babies and map the maternal landscape until infant feeding decisions are no longer used as a test of good motherhood.” Dr. Leslie Cannold, author of The Book of Rachael
Barston gives a heartfelt defense of mothers who go against the dogma of Breastfeeding Over All Else. Based on both personal experience and expert consultations, her conclusion: occasionally it's healthier not to breastfeed, and anyway don't stress about it. Surprisingly, such a reasonable point of view is poorly represented in the Mommy Wars. Barston's book is a welcome contribution." Sam Wang, Ph.D., Princeton University, co-author of Welcome To Your Child's Brain: How the Mind Develops from Conception to College.
Suzanne Barston has worked for the past decade as a writer and editor for health and parenting publications, including as the Editor-in-Chief of Los Angeles Family Magazine. She runs The Fearless Formula Feeder blog.
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