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Live webchat with Gabrielle Palmer, author of The Politics of Breastfeeding, this Friday (20 Nov, 1-2pm)

(179 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Nov-09 22:07:07


We're very pleased to have Gabrielle Palmer, author of the highly praised The Politics of Breastfeeding, as a guest for a live chat on Friday 20 Nov, 1-2pm.

Gabrielle Palmer is a nutritionist and a campaigner. She was a breastfeeding counsellor in the 70s and helped establish the UK pressure group Baby Milk Action. She has written, taught and campaigned on infant feeding issues, particularly the unethical marketing of baby foods.

In the 90s, she co-directed the International Breastfeeding: Practice and Policy course at The Institute of Child Health in London until she went to live in China for two years.

She has worked independently for various health and development agencies, including serving as HIV and Infant Feeding Officer for UNICEF New York.

As usual, if you can't join us on the day, please post your question here and Gabrielle will try to answer as many as possible on Friday.

CharCharGabor Tue 17-Nov-09 17:43:29

See, this is why I should have prioritised getting the book, I kept putting it off! [headdesk]

Will still be here on Friday! smile

pistachio Tue 17-Nov-09 19:10:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thisisyesterday Tue 17-Nov-09 19:43:31

you bet i am hoochie!!!! but sadly that's not the first one that has gone down that route.

thank you for the link pooter, no time to read it through now but the title sounds promising :-D
(though i suspect some people just can never be told)

BrigitteBardot Tue 17-Nov-09 20:35:28

I loved the book. Thank you. Trying to think of a good question.

popsycal Tue 17-Nov-09 20:59:08

I have not read your book - but have fed ds2 til a few weeks shy of his 3rd birthday and am still feeding ds3 (14 months)

My question is:

What is your opinion of the new cow and gate (I think blush) TV camnpaign ie 'Do I look like my tummy is suffering' (disclaimer - this is not exact fromadvert) - essentially referring in reversal to benefits quoted for breast feeding

sorry if that is not clear - am feeding ds3

popsycal Tue 17-Nov-09 21:03:03

is the cow andgate advert to which i am referring

popsycal Tue 17-Nov-09 21:04:15

Beveridge Tue 17-Nov-09 21:51:30

What a fabulous book - I can only dream of ever writing something as well-informed, passionate and important as TPOB. Very excited about Friday!

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 17-Nov-09 22:26:43

Message withdrawn

nigglewiggle Tue 17-Nov-09 22:33:30

As a determined breastfeeder who was diagnosed with a DVT just after delivery of my second child and was then advised to stop Bfeeding, I know that medical professionals "err on the side of caution" with regard to advice regarding medication and BFing. Two GP's on here were brave enough to admit that they have no training in BFing and the general view is - if in doubt, tell them to stop.

My question is, why do medical professionals take such a glib view of breast feeding when all the medical evidence clearly demonstrates how important it is for mother and baby and secondly, what can be done to change this?

hunkermunker Tue 17-Nov-09 22:38:33

I am, as you might imagine, delighted that Gabrielle is coming on for a webchat grin

I am trying to think of just ONE question though...!

Jacksmama Tue 17-Nov-09 22:49:35

Ditto - will have trouble limiting myself to just one question!

TheCrackFox Tue 17-Nov-09 22:54:08

Gabrielle, have you seen the Scottish adverts promoting breastfeeding? They are excellent.

LeninGrotto Tue 17-Nov-09 23:01:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoobBuffet Wed 18-Nov-09 00:00:32

[starstruck emoticon]
Thought the book was inspiring - should definately be set text in schools! With that in mind....
I firmly believe that current antenatal bf promotion is too late, by that time, I feel that women's opinions regarding infant feeding are ingrained and almost impossible to change.

What do you think are the chances of bf being part of health and social education in schools, do policy-makers have a real understanding of the importance of bf for the health of the nation?

LoveBeingAMummy Wed 18-Nov-09 07:36:11


Mine is a simple question without a simple answer, How do we change the mindset of people (not just women) to understand/remember that breast milk is the most suitable as it is specically designed by nature to be so? There are so many people that just don't get that a processed milk from another animal will never be as good for a baby as the one its mother makes.

RibenaBerry Wed 18-Nov-09 09:33:14

Hi Gabrielle,

Wow, I'm quite star struck! It was reading your book and Mumsnet that educated me that you didn't necessarily just stop breastfeeding at six months.

I'd like to ask a question about language. I understand your argument that use of the word 'formula' gives a scientific weight to commercial infant milks that seems inappropriate. However, use of the phrase 'artificial milk' is likely to be seen as inflammatory in everyday life, since our culture would associate artifical as bad and (understandably) no-one who ff likes to be told that they are feeding their baby 'bad milk'. How do you reconcile this use of language when in an every (rather than professional) setting, and how do you personally refer to ff when in a social setting?

StealthPolarBear Wed 18-Nov-09 10:10:24

I'd like to discuss stuff without cluttering up this thread - anyone interested? Thread here

pistachio Wed 18-Nov-09 13:30:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pistachio Wed 18-Nov-09 13:32:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 14:19:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArizonaBarker Wed 18-Nov-09 16:29:46

Hi GP,

This is a bit of a simplistic question but how can we ensure support is in place across the board for all women who want to bf?

I wasn't able to bf, but feel very lucky to have had masses of support from family and local health professionals. This made a huge difference emotionally as I didn't feel I had 'failed'.


AbricotsSecs Wed 18-Nov-09 16:35:22

Message withdrawn

dawntigga Wed 18-Nov-09 20:03:08

Hi GP,

I too am star struck - in a way Henry Winkler has only ever achieved on here I of course am so not worthy but here goes:

Having read your book and got political - don't mentiont the letter writing I've done after ds has gone to sleep. How do you think we can educate the future mothers of this world to understand the value of breastfeeding and therefore increase the uptake?


popsycal Wed 18-Nov-09 20:57:25

I have already posted a question....but wanted to comebackto the early education at school about breast feeding being important to boys as well as girls. I feel in some way more important to normalise with boys. I am so glad that ds1 and ds2 areoldenough to retain memories of me feeding ds3

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