ABOUT THIS BOOK
How did breastfeeding—once accepted as the essence of motherhood and essential to the well-being of infants—come to be viewed with distaste and mistrust? Why did mothers come to choose artificial food over human milk, despite the health risks? In this history of infant feeding, Jacqueline H. Wolf focuses on turn-of-the-century Chicago as a microcosm of the urbanizing United States. She explores how economic pressures, class conflict, and changing views of medicine, marriage, efficiency, self-control, and nature prompted increasing numbers of women and, eventually, doctors to doubt the efficacy and propriety of breastfeeding. Examining the interactions among women, dairies, and health care providers, Wolf uncovers the origins of contemporary attitudes toward and myths about breastfeeding.