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Breasts: A natural and un-natural history...is it worth a read?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

From a story on NPR this morning:



Has anyone read this? Is it worth checking out?

post #2 of 7

Thanks for sharing! 

post #3 of 7

I heard that interview as well and am curious what folks have to say about the book.

post #4 of 7

i have it on hold at the library. i have not read it.


but i think its definitely worth a read. i read her interview and i really appreciate the points she has made. esp. the part that no one is going to research bf.


esp. the parts about the kind of bacteria in the gut. 


i like the scientific aspect of the book as well as all the toxins and bad stuff in bm. i'd like an honest discussion about that. but its because i feel its a normal part of our life. all those toxins. i dont think i can keep plastics out of my dd's life as much as i would like to. i am hoping this book will look at breast milk realistically - without emotions involved. 


i already learnt so much in just that article on NPR. i expect to learn more from the book. 


its one of those books where i feel no matter what anyone says, i'd like to read it myself to verify how i feel about it. 


and all teh other factors she brings up. like breast cancer. and why its also a growing situation in men too (not sure if she covers men's breast cancer or not)

post #5 of 7
I listened to the Fresh Air interview.....and am now wary of even sitting on my sofa!!
post #6 of 7

if you are a geek and enjoy lots of oddball information then yes this is a great read. 


i was only going to flip through it last night but instead i stayed up the whole night reading it. 


there was only a tiny bit about breastfeeding. 


she showed the bias towards bfeeding even amongst lactivist and showed how scientists refuse to put money into studying the milk.


it was sad to read what happened before formula came along. 


lots of little interesting facts. 


she is not in your face that breastfeeding is the best. she even quotes that 2009 article was it in teh Atlantic Enquirer about against bfeeding and she pretty much agrees with it in a logical fashion. but what she does do is lay the facts about sugars and bacteria and why there are so many milk banks in other western countries, how some hospitals have milk banks because mothers milk is still outstanding for preemie babies. 


it is mostly scientific (easy rea). i still have a couple of chapters left and i am sad she only treats bfeeding from a nutrition perspective. not really considers other aspects too. 


she brought up a really interesting point. seeing how big breasts are and what they do to the body - male and female she is shocked (and so am i) that there is still no specialization in the breast. every other main organ even the skin has specialists. not the breast. 


easy read. casual. good research. missed on cultural viewpoints though. 

post #7 of 7

I read it as research for an article I was writing on contaminants in breastmilk. I thought it was very interesting. Like meemee, I'd have preferred more cultural/anthropological/historical viewpoints, because I'm that kind of person. :p But it was well-written and thought-provoking. Some of her conclusions were kinda disturbing from a lactivist POV - she stated that she felt guilty over BFing her kids for longer than six months, because she didn't think the benefits outweighed the toxins she was passing along. I don't agree with that - after all, there are so many studies showing benefits to BFing for longer than six months despite those toxins, and no real data (as she herself admitted) showing that breastmilk toxins actually cause harm. (I've since found some studies suggesting that they can retard the good effects of BFing to some degree, but still not enough to make weaning worthwhile.)


She's not anti-BF, though, and her section on the irreproducible unique qualities in human milk was fascinating. I thought I knew a fair bit about breastmilk, but there was lots of new info there.


So yes, I recommend it. I'm not a "sciency" person, but I didn't find it boring or dry. And the stuff about breast implants was very interesting too.

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