Super-Natural Breastfeeding: How Lactation Consultants in Hawai‘i Demedicalize and Reshape Women's Embodied Experiences

dc.contributor.advisor Brunson, Jan Cooper, Crystal Renee
dc.contributor.department Anthropology 2021-07-29T23:11:34Z 2021-07-29T23:11:34Z 2021 Ph.D.
dc.subject Cultural anthropology
dc.subject Health sciences
dc.subject Women's studies
dc.subject breastfeeding
dc.subject embodiment
dc.subject Hawaii
dc.subject ideologies
dc.subject lactation consultants
dc.subject medicalization
dc.title Super-Natural Breastfeeding: How Lactation Consultants in Hawai‘i Demedicalize and Reshape Women's Embodied Experiences
dc.type Thesis
dcterms.abstract Women’s difficulties and negative experiences with breastfeeding have prompted a backlash in the U.S. against its promotion, as well as attempts to change the discourse to say it is insignificant and potentially dangerous with benefits that are overstated. My dissertation examines how lactation consultants in Hawai‘i confronted dominant ideologies that affect breastfeeding and helped women having difficulties. Data was collected over 2.5 years through participant observation at La Leche League meetings, with 7 lactation consultants and their clients, IBCLC training with 4 of the lactation consultants, and interviews of 8 lactation consultants and 15 clients. The research uncovers the contrasting concepts of lactation consultants and breastfeeding mothers. It demonstrates that dominant ideologies inform women’s concepts of the lactating body as likely to fail, and this promotes medicalization and ignores structural barriers. It provides insights into how lactation consultants help mothers form new concepts for positive embodied experiences, and demedicalize breastfeeding from within medical environments. It is significant for its contribution to efforts to improve maternal and infant experiences and health outcomes, and its contributions to the anthropological literature on medicalization, embodiment, and science as culture.
dcterms.extent 369 pages
dcterms.language en
dcterms.publisher University of Hawai'i at Manoa
dcterms.rights All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
dcterms.type Text
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