Breastfeeding Grief, Formula Marketing and Why It Matters

with Professor Amy Brown

Season Episode 21: Breastfeeding Grief, Formula Marketing and Why It Matters


‘Be as kind to yourself as you are to your baby’

As Professor Amy Brown and Pinky discuss, there are many confusing and contradictory health, commercial and social messages that tend to ‘deluge’ new Mums – especially when it comes to breast and bottle feeding.

The tragedy is that the avalanche of multiple social, emotional and physical ‘facts’ can lead to ‘poor’ milk production, and leave Mum totally confused about what is best for her, baby and her family. And access to good information can be hard to find and is poorly funded, despite the fact that in Australia, breastfeeding is encouraged by most state health authorities.

But the research is clear:
‘Across the female population, breast feeding reduces the instance of reproductive cancers, heart disease and diabetes.’ Wow! And health outcomes for babies are similarly positive.

But what do you do when breastfeeding isn’t an option (or the only option)?

Are you denying or damaging your child by bottle feeding formula? These dissonant questions can cause significant psychological distress to new Mums, at a time when the development of the mother and baby team is so crucial.

Unfortunately, there are enterprises that may be seen to be furthering this dissonance – sometimes making spurious nutritional comparisons, unsupported claims around infant sleep, happiness and future health, not to mention the denial of the ‘opportunity
to bond’ experienced by partners who miss out on bottle feeding their baby (really?).

The global dairy ($720 billion) and infant formula ($50 billion) worldwide markets are estimated at around USD $770 billion. Now even a fraction of that could also be a heap of support services for new Mums, maybe?

Listen in as Amy and Pinky drill into these very important maternal and child health issues.


Professor Amy Brown – see Amy’s books, blog and research.


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More About Our Guest

Professor Amy  Brown is based in the Department of Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences at Swansea University in the UK where she directs the research centre ‘LIFT’ : Lactation, Infant Feeding and Translation. With a background in psychology, she first became interested in the increasingly global issue of low breastfeeding rates  when breastfeeding her first baby. Three babies and a PhD later, she has spent the last sixteen years exploring psychological, cultural and societal barriers to breastfeeding, alongside experiences of perinatal mental health and caring for babies. Amy has published over 100 research papers and is the author of 10 books  – all about infant feeding and supporting parents through pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. Her primary goal is working to shift our perception of breastfeeding and infant care from an individual mothering issue, to a wider public health responsibility.

See Amy’s Books, Blog, research and resources at her website

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