A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother by Rachel Cusk

By Rachel Cusk

The adventure of motherhood is an event in contradiction. it really is usual and it truly is most unlikely to visualize. it really is prosaic and it really is mysterious. it really is right now banal, weird and wonderful, compelling, tedious, comedian, and catastrophic. To develop into a mom is to develop into the executive actor in a drama of human lifestyles to which not anyone turns up. it's the procedure during which a regular existence is reworked unseen right into a tale of odd and strong passions, of affection and servitude, of confinement and compassion.

In a ebook that's touching, hilarious, provocative, and profoundly insightful, novelist Rachel Cusk makes an attempt to inform whatever of an previous tale set in a brand new period of sexual equality. Cusk's account of a yr of contemporary motherhood turns into many tales: a farewell to freedom, sleep, and time; a lesson in humility and difficult paintings; a trip to the roots of affection; a meditation on insanity and mortality; and so much of all a sentimental schooling in infants, books, infant teams, undesirable suggestion, crying, breastfeeding, and not being on my own.

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The first milk bank was established at the Boston Floating Children’s Hospital in 1910. ” Prospective wet nurses on shore were put through various screening practices to ensure that the breastmilk collected for the floating hospital came from physically healthy and morally suitable donors (Golden 2001). Women were paid by the ounce for their milk, which was then bottle-fed to the babies on board (Swanson 2009). Using the Boston Floating Children’s Hospital as a model, “mother’s milk stations” sprung up across the country (Golden 2001; Wolf 2001).

In the health clinics where I carried out my research, the displays and the discourse focused on milk, the food, rather than on breastfeeding, the action. ” embodied, inter-subjective reasons for wanting to breastfeed were very 16 ETHNOGRAPHIES OF BREASTFEEDING uncommon. Only three women gave such reasons as their initial response when asked why they planned to breastfeed. These women held the idea that breastfeeding was a tangible way to demonstrate love for their child. Anita (19) said she wanted to breastfeed “for the contact of the mother with the baby.

The process, the embodied connection between a women and her infant and the dance of request and provision that maintains breastmilk supply, is hidden. Women are then confronted with the sometimes overwhelming physicality of breastfeeding in the early hours, days, and weeks of breastfeeding. Among the participants discussed here, some women were able and willing to embrace this largely unsuspected aspect of breastfeeding, and maintain the practice. ” –2– Demedicalizing Breastmilk: The Discourses, Practices, and Identities of Informal Milk Sharing Aunchalee Palmquist Milk sharing is an emergent infant-feeding practice in which a breastfeeding mother1 nourishes a child who is not her own biological offspring through privately negotiated altruistic breastmilk gifts.

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