Breast Milk : An Ideological Framework That Enabled The Canadian Government Essay

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“Breast is best” is an ideological framework that enabled the Canadian government to control and dictate the bodies of marginalized peoples. Despite the associated benefits to both the child and the mother, breast milk rhetoric in the Canadian context was developed by breastfeeding supporters to reclaim infant-feeding. Since the early 1960s, the Canadian government, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) argued for a return to breastfeeding because of its associated health benefits to both the mother and child. When Aboriginal women were informed of the possibility of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination to their breast milk in Northern Quebec, breastfeeding rates among aboriginal women throughout Canada was on the rise. By the late 1980s, the Canadian federal government, in collaboration with the Canadian Paediatric Society and La Leche League, emphasis on the importance and naturalization of breastfeeding had flourished dramatically, so much so that women with contaminated milk were still encouraged to breastfeed. It was argued, despite previous issues related with PCB contamination in infants, that the benefits outweighed the risk. The resurgence of breastfeeding in Canada and globally, beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, created the authoritative recommendation for Inuit women with contaminated milk to continue breastfeeding regardless of potential risks of PCBs. In examining newspaper articles, materials

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