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The big letdown


The big letdown

by Kimberly Seals Allers, BA, MS

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Kimberly Seals Allers, BA, MS

Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning journalist, author and a nationally recognized media commentator, consultant and advocate for breastfeeding and infant health. A former senior editor at Essence and writer at Fortune magazine, Kimberly is widely considered a leading voice in the counterculture movement in infant feeding. Last year, her online commentaries on the social, structural and racial complexities of maternal and child health issues received over 10 million page views.

Kimberly’s fifth book, The Big Letdown, (St. Martin’s Press) is a groundbreaking book on the social, political and economic influences on the American breastfeeding culture was released in January 2017.

More information about Kimberly can be found on her website

The big letdown: how medicine, big business, and feminism undermine breastfeeding

The Big Letdown (St. Martin’s Press), is an in-depth analysis of the social, economic and political influences of the American breastfeeding culture. For decades, the breastfeeding conversation has been rooted in an individualistic approach, leaving women to fend and fight for themselves–usually turning on each other. But there is a bigger picture–one that involves structural gaps, capitalist interests, feminist ideology and the growing industrialization of our food system that begins with a battle for the first meal of every newborn. Yes, breastfeeding is only a small window of the motherhood spectrum, but it provides a powerful lens to peer into the conflicts shaping and dividing women’s lives. And we are all affected, whether we have children or not.

Falling back on her journalistic training, Kimberly has delved into fields as varied as pediatrics, sociology, history, feminism, capitalism and pop culture to better understand the social history and the modern influences, some subtle some blatant that impact women as infant feeding decision makers every day. The mother-child dyad is the most basic yet significant biological unit of humankind, and if something is occurring to contaminate that relationship and every woman’s right to feed, on either side, whether that is by well-meaning activists, scientific research processes or deep-pocketed drug companies, then it must be thoroughly examined. The Big Letdown is eye-opening exploration of what she discovered.