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Breastfeeding rarely conforms to the idealized Madonna-and-baby image seen in old artwork, now re-cast in celebrity breastfeeding photo spreads and pro-breastfeeding ad campaigns. The personal accounts in Others’ Milk illustrate just how messy and challenging and unpredictable it can be—an uncomfortable reality in the contemporary context of high-stakes motherhood in which “successful” breastfeeding proves one’s maternal mettle.
Exceptional breastfeeders find creative ways to feed and care for their children—such as by inducing lactation, sharing milk, or exclusively pumping. They want to adhere to the societal ideal of giving them “the best” but sometimes have to face off with dogmatic authorities in order to do so. Kristin J. Wilson argues that while breastfeeding is never going to be the feasible choice for everyone, it should be accessible to anyone.
About the Author
Kristin J. Wilson is chair of the anthropology department at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California. She is the author of Not Trying: Infertility, Childlessness, and Ambivalence.
“Beautifully written, historically informed, and full of surprising stories about breastfeeding from the margins of mainstream, this book nurtures a more diverse set of breastfeeding practices and a language to speak them. It is a riveting read.”
— Alison Bartlett
“With rich detail, Others’ Milk demonstrates how breastfeeding is a process, an identity, and a performance that is not simply about nourishing children, but one that reveals larger meanings of gender, sexuality, race, inequality—and the limiting ways we imagine bodies can and should be used.” — Jennifer Reich
"Breastfeeding As A Spectrum Of Forms And Identities" interview with Kristin J. Wilson — "8 O'Clock Buzz," WORT
WAMC "51%" interview with Kristin J. Wilson — WAMC "51%"
Interview with Kristin J. Wilson on Jefferson Public Radio's "Jefferson Exchange" — Jefferson Public Radio, "Jefferson Exchange"
"Recommended." — Choice
Interview on KHSU's "Through the Eyes of Women" with Kristin Wilson, "Exceptional Breastfeeding" — KHSU "Through the Eyes of Women"
"Breast-feeding is a 5.5 year old isn’t creepy, it’s hilarious," by Liz Monroy — Washington Post
Radio Health Journal "Exceptional Breastfeeding" show interview with Dr. Kristin Wilson — Radio Health Journal "Exceptional Breastfeeding" show