Breastfeeding: A Window into Mothering Itself
  • Room 114, Rolle Building, Plymouth University

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The Institute of Health and Community is delighted to invite you to their forthcoming seminar entitled ‘Breastfeeding - A Window into Mothering Itself’ by Lucy Parker of Plymouth University.

Lucy recently completed an MSc in social anthropology at the London School of Economics. A linguist and communications professional with more than 20 years’ professional experience, she has worked in a number of countries across Europe and Asia and – latterly – at Plymouth University. Since becoming a mother in 2013 her interests have evolved to include the cultural constructions of motherhood and child-rearing in the western world.

She says "In this discussion I employ an anthropological analysis to understand why contemporary women in the anglophone world, who struggle to breastfeed their infants as planned, end up feeling disempowered as mothers. Drawing on the Foucauldian concepts of biopower and biopolitics, I will discuss how power and authority have been infused and practised within the current UK breastfeeding discourse. 

One of the first decisions a woman makes as a mother is how to feed her newborn and this is inextricably linked to notions of ‘good’ and ‘moral’ motherhood. The current breastfeeding discourse leaves many pregnant women with unrealistic expectations and there is very little official information covering the experiences of women who did not breastfeed as they had planned. 

My argument is for the current discursive space to be expanded to help empower the millions of western mothers who were unable to breastfeed as they intended."

This free seminar is open to all but booking is essential via the Eventbrite webpage.

Please note that this event is available to book online through Eventbrite. Eventbrite is a third-party data capture tool which is not owned or managed by Plymouth University. Information about how your data is treated can be found on Eventbrite’s Privacy Policy webpage.

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