The U.S. has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world, despite the fact it is the natural way to feed an infant. How did breastfeeding become the exception rather than the norm in America? And what would it take to restore this most natural act to its rightful place in our society?
The Milky Way follows two accomplished lactation specialists, pediatric nurses Jennifer Davidson and Chantal Molnar, on a journey to discover how pervasive formula marketing and the modern challenges of motherhood changed the perception of breastfeeding in America, and why in other countries breastfeeding remains the standard.
Through archival footage, ads and personal stories, the film shows how formula companies launched a successful campaign that helped convince mothers to trade in their breasts for baby bottles, which quickly became the recognizable symbol of infancy.
Visiting several European countries, Davidson and Molnar witness how these countries manage to support breastfeeding mothers, recognizing that the physiology of the infant and mother during nursing is health-promoting, as well as protective. Their journey energizes them to seek to change the cultural and political landscape back home in order to encourage women in America to breastfeed their babies.
Davidson and Molnar advocate for elevating new mothers to a place in our society where they receive the necessary support to nurse their children, where scientific evidence overrides formula marketing and other contemporary influences, and a woman does not fear nursing in public.
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