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ERIC Number: EJ1005197
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
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.
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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