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ERIC Number: EJ1005197
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0361-6843
"Giving Guilt the Flick"?: An Investigation of Mothers' Talk about Guilt in Relation to Infant Feeding
Williams, Kate; Donaghue, Ngaire; Kurz, Tim
Psychology of Women Quarterly, v37 n1 p97-112 Mar 2013
Manuals offering advice to new parents on the topic of infant feeding have recently begun to attend to the possible implications of pro-breast-feeding discourses for mothers' subjective experiences, particularly with respect to guilt. In this article, we present a discursive analysis of focus groups with 35 Australian mothers in which we examine how mothers discuss their infant-feeding practices and their related subjective experiences. We focus on how the mothers draw upon notions of "guilt," "choice," and "emotional self-control" to attend to the possibility of moral judgment over their infant-feeding practices. We highlight a construction of choice that dramatically restricts permissible reasons for not breast-feeding one's infant and a pervasive view that guilt is a natural and appropriate response for "good" mothers who do not breast-feed. We argue that the incorporation of advice to mothers that they should "not feel guilty" is unrealistic in a context in which breast-feeding is so heavily advocated and that, rather than providing relief or comfort, this advice can create an additional burden for mothers who do not breast-feed. Finally, we reflect upon the implications of our findings in relation to the provision of public health information to women making choices around how to feed their infants.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail: journals@sagepub.com; Web site: http://sagepub.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia