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Breastfeeding and Social Movements

New Internationalist magazine, The BabyMilk Issue, April 1982

The Nestlé boycott, likely the largest consumer boycott ever, was launched on July 7, 1977 and continues today.

If you think that deciding whether to breastfeed your baby is an individual choice or personal preference, you might be surprised to learn that rates of breastfeeding have always been intertwined with social and cultural movements.

Some of the movements and organizations that have directly or indirectly influenced breastfeeding practices over time include the Nestlé Boycott, feminism in all its forms, the natural childbirth movement, INFACT Canada, La Leche League, Eats on Feets, the UN/WHO Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, and the slow food movement.

This is one of the themes Aleck Ostry and I discuss in our book chapter in Health and Sustainability in the Canadian Food System: Advocacy and Opportunity for Civil Society published by UBC Press (2012).

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