The Politics of Breastfeeding, first published in 1988, remains a hugely important book. It exposes infant feeding as one of the most important global public health issues of our time, and describes how big business and vested interests influence the intimate relationship between mothers and their babies to the detriment of all, rich or poor, in the West or in the developing world. In Why the Politics of Breastfeeding Matter, the central ideas of The Politics of Breastfeeding are distilled into a concise form, making it the perfect introduction to understanding the complex forces that govern what many think of as a simple choice to breastfeed or not.
Gabrielle Palmer is a nutritionist and author. A breastfeeding counsellor in the 1970s, she later went on to help establish the UK IBFAN group, Baby Milk Action. In the early 1980s she worked in Mozambique. She has written and campaigned on infant feeding issues, particularly the unethical marketing of baby foods. In the 1990s 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. She recently worked at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where she originally studied nutrition. She is a mother and a grandmother. She is the autor of three books, The Politics of Breastfeeding, Complementary Feeding and Why the Politics of Breastfeeding Matters.