Mothers and Medicine: A Social History of Infant Feeding, 1890-1950 (Wisconsin publications in the history of science and medicine)

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9780299114800: Mothers and Medicine: A Social History of Infant Feeding, 1890-1950 (Wisconsin publications in the history of science and medicine)
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In the nineteenth century, infants were commonly breast-fed; by the middle of the twentieth century, women typically bottle-fed their babies on the advice of their doctors.  In this book, Rima D. Apple discloses and analyzes the complex interactions of science, medicine, economics, and culture that underlie this dramatic shift in infant-care practices and women’s lives.
    As infant feeding became the keystone of the emerging specialty of pediatrics in the twentieth century, the manufacture of infant food became a lucrative industry.  More and more mothers reported difficulty in nursing their babies.  While physicians were establishing themselves and the scientific experts and the infant-food industry was hawking the scientific bases of their products, women embraced “scientific motherhood,” believing that science could shape child care practices.  The commercialization and medicalization of infant care established an environment that made bottle feeding not only less feared by many mothers, but indeed “natural” and “necessary.”  Focusing on the history of infant feeding, this book clarifies the major elements involved in the complex and sometimes contradictory interaction between women and the medical profession, revealing much about the changing roles of mothers and physicians in American society.

“The strength of Apple’s book is her ability to indicate how the mutual interests of mothers, doctors, and manufacturers led to the transformation of infant feeding. . . . Historians of science will be impressed with the way she probes the connections between the medical profession and the manufacturers and with her ability to demonstrate how medical theories were translated into medical practice.”—Janet Golden, Isis
 

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"The strength of Apple’s book is her ability to indicate how the mutual interests of mothers, doctors, and manufacturers led to the transformation of infant feeding. . . . Historians of science will be impressed with the way she probes the connections between the medical profession and the manufacturers and with her ability to demonstrate how medical theories were translated into medical practice."—Janet Golden, Isis Wisconsin Publications in the History of Science and Medicine

"Apple’s Mothers and Medicine is a fascinating sociohistorical documentation of infant feeding practices, of the mother’s role in the creation of information and hospital support systems, and the development of pediatrics as a medical specialty."—Choice Magazine.

"Apple’s book is an important contribution to the social history of American medicine. It will be invaluable, however, not only to historians of medicine, but to others interested in the historical relationships between physicians, infants, and their parents."—Susan E. Lederer, The History of Medicine.

"It is ironic that now that truly scientific research in biochemistry, bacteriology, immunology, and nutrition has established the other benefits of breastfeeding in addition to the psychological ones, Apple has well demonstrated that it can no longer be considered "natural" - it must often be taught."—Nell Pape Warning, Journal of the American Medical Association.

". . . in Mothers and Medicine Rima D. Apple analyzes the fascinating transition from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding. These parallel but intimately related stories make a noteworthy contribution to the larger history of the body that is evolving at the intersection of several different fields within contemporary feminist scholarship."—Joan Jacobs Brumberg, The Women’s Review of Books.

"Apple’s painstaking research makes Mothers and Medicine a rich source of information about the scientists, doctors, nutritionists and entrepreneurs who struggled for hegemony in the infant feeding business."—Joan Jacobs Brumberg, The Women’s Review of Books.

"Apple’s book is an illuminating analysis of many of the social forces that led to a revolution in infant feeding practices in the United States as well as other industrialized countries."—Armond Goldman, Medical Humanities Review.

"Focusing on the history of infant feeding, this book clarifies the major elements involved in the complex and sometimes contradictory interaction between women and the medical professions, revealing much about the changing roles of mothers and physicians in American society."—Bulletin of the History of Medicine.

About the Author:

Rima D. Apple is a Fellow in the Department of the History of Medicine and a member of the Women’s Studies Programs at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.  She has lectured at the University of Melbourne and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she compiled the Illustrated Catalogue of the Slide Archive of Historical Medical Photographs at Stony Brook.  Her work has appeared in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine and she has contributed to several books, including Women and Health in America, edited by Judith Walzer Leavitt and published in 1984 by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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Apple, Rima D.
Published by University of Wisconsin Press (1988)
ISBN 10: 0299114805 ISBN 13: 9780299114800
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