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Social Experiences of BreastfeedingBuilding Bridges between Research, Policy and Practice$
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Sally Dowling, David Pontin, and Kate Boyer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447338499

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447338499.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Weaving breastfeeding practices into policy

Weaving breastfeeding practices into policy

(p.71) Four Weaving breastfeeding practices into policy
Social Experiences of Breastfeeding

Lucila Newell

Policy Press

This chapter explores breastfeeding as a practice through a sociological and geographical perspective. More particularly, it closely follows E. Shove's work on social practices to think about the everyday practice of breastfeeding. The aim is to change the type of questions asked about breastfeeding, and to change how the issue is framed, to inspire people to develop alternative policy proposals. It suggests a framework focusing on practices to bring in the wealth of research and perspectives on breastfeeding that focus on the wider emotional, social, and cultural issues that affect breastfeeding in a way that can inform policy practices. The chapter describes what a practice-based approach means and looks like, and how it differs from behaviouralist approaches. It also outlines how breastfeeding relates to its competing practice: feeding babies with infant formula. Threaded through this analysis are ways in which these practices reproduce each other, and their patterns of recruitment and defection. The chapter then analyses the elements and histories that make up breastfeeding practice today, and ends with thoughts on how these may move policy forward.

Keywords:   social practices, policy practices, practice-based approach, infant formula, breastfeeding practice

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