Breasts Across Motherhood
Breasts Across Motherhood is available to buy in increments of 1
|Author||DREW, EDWARDS [EDS]|
|Date Published||2nd April 2020|
|Publisher||Demeter Press [ABC}|
Lived Experiences and Critical Examinations Breasts are integral to mothers’ bodies; over the life course, they can swell, droop, be judged, be aroused, lactate, be altered, be removed. A woman’s own breasts may be foremost in her mind during some life events, only to recede into the background at other times. Breasts are complex; they are enveloped by larger cultural meanings that go far beyond their mammary gland function, and we cannot fully understand breasts without examining the myriad discourses surrounding them. Social policies, cultural norms, and interpersonal interactions all help construct localized breast discourses which, in turn, shape mothers’ breast experiences. Through examining commonalities and differences over the lifespan, we can see that women’s breast experiences inform us about the social conditions in which women live their lives. The chapters in this volume bring together perspectives from Spain, Brazil, Canada, and the United States, among other countries. They include historical and contemporary examinations, and feature diverse types of writing such as first-person narrative accounts, academic interviews, and art analyses. Contributors come from an array of fields including nursing, sociology, English, art history, and psychology. Each chapter offers readers a unique context for understanding how temporally- and geographically-situated breast understandings shape mothers’ personal breast views and breast-related body practices. Taken together, the chapters in this edited collection reveal the significant ways that societies shape mothers’ embodied experiences and breasted selves. “Breasts Across Motherhood is rich with diverse insights into the stigmas, realities, and expectations around what breasts mean to mothers, their offspring, and the many parts of society that influence attitudes and outcomes. This exploration of how breasts are seen across motherhood in different regions and situations provides a unique and essential angle from which to understand women and children’s rights and roles across cultures. Renée E. Mazinegiizhigoo-kwe Bédard’s essay on the sacredness of Anishinaabeg mothers’ breasts, for example, offers deep insight into one cultural approach and its effects. Breasts Across Motherhood’s explorations of public breastfeeding and societal norms, and consideration of issues such as foster/adoptive mothers and their breasts and breastfeeding options, highlight contemporary biases that, ultimately, affect everyone. The diversity of subjects and approaches in this collection, paired with reflective and often touching first-hand accounts, makes for compelling and thought-provoking reading for anyone interested in gender studies, human rights, or the value we place on the well-being of both parents and children.” —Anita Dolman, fiction writer, poet and editor; co-editor, Motherhood in Precarious Times; and author, Lost Enough: A collection of short stories Patricia Drew is Associate Professor of Human Development and Women’s Studies at California State University, East Bay. Dr. Drew’s research examines the intersection of health and identity, including studies of identity transformation in weight loss surgery patients, mothers who undergo post-partum breast reduction surgery, and gender messages in the media. Rosann Edwards holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Ottawa, a front-line public health nurse, lactation consultant, third degree black belt, and mother of boys. Rosann’s publications analyze breastfeeding among vulnerable populations and, also, older, first-time mothers’ breastfeeding experiences and transitions to motherhood.