La Leche League: At the Crossroads of Medicine, Feminism, and Religion / Edition 1

La Leche League: At the Crossroads of Medicine, Feminism, and Religion / Edition 1

by Jule DeJager Ward
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0807847917

ISBN-13: 9780807847916

Pub. Date: 01/24/2000

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

In 1956, when La Leche League was founded, if a new mother chose to breastfeed rather than bottlefeed her child, she could by no means expect universal support for her decision. Though physicians of the era admitted that breastfeeding was the best method of infant feeding, they warned of the difficulties that nursing mothers faced, and many held that successful

Overview

In 1956, when La Leche League was founded, if a new mother chose to breastfeed rather than bottlefeed her child, she could by no means expect universal support for her decision. Though physicians of the era admitted that breastfeeding was the best method of infant feeding, they warned of the difficulties that nursing mothers faced, and many held that successful breastfeeding required a knowledge of science and medicine that most new mothers could not claim. Started by seven Catholic women who simply wished to help their friends learn to breastfeed, La Leche League grew into an organization with several million members worldwide, known here and abroad for its pathbreaking promotion of the breastfeeding of infants.

Offering a fascinating look inside an organization whose full history has been essentially untold, Jule Ward explores the genesis, theological underpinnings, and development of La Leche League. She demonstrates that, despite distancing itself from any overt expression of its religious roots, the organization remains a quasi-religious articulation of Catholic social thought blended with scientific ideology and feminism. In short, says Ward, the story of La Leche League provides an excellent example of how religion in practice permeates everyday life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807847916
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
01/24/2000
Edition description:
1
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.65(d)

Table of Contents

CONTENTS
Preface
Introduction. La Leche League: Religious Metaphors in a Secular Ethos 1
Chapter 1. What Is La Leche League?
Chapter 2. Mothers, Medicine, and Misinformation
Chapter 3. An Alternative Approach: Maternal Knowing
Chapter 4. Feminism and the Motherhood Wars
Chapter 5. Challenging the Public Domain from within the Private Sphere
Chapter 6. The Evolution of a Catholic Theology of the Family
Chapter 7. The La Leche League Family: Natural, Loving, and Just
Chapter 8. Asking the Hard Questions
Chapter 9. Coping Strategies for a Changing Environment
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Illustrations

Six of the founding mothers of La Leche League, 1957
Several editions of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
Founders share parenting stories with young mothers
Dr. Gregory White at La Leche League's twenty-fifth anniversary conference
La Leche League gathering
La Leche League newsletters
Maria Hidalgo Dolan and her fourteen-month-old son, 1989
Debbie and Jack Bray with their children
La Leche League family demonstrating involvement of both mother and father
International participants at a La Leche League convention
League leadership training materials
La Leche League high school breastfeeding class

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