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The Big Letdown

How Medicine, Big Business, and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding

Kimberly Seals Allers

St. Martin's Press

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ISBN10: 1250026962
ISBN13: 9781250026965


304 Pages


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Journalist and infant health advocate Kimberly Seals Allers breaks breastfeeding out of the realm of "personal choice" and shows our broader connection to an industrialized food system that begins at birth, the fallout of feminist ideals, and the federal policies that are far from family friendly. The Big Letdown uncovers the multibillion-dollar forces battling to replace mothers' milk and the failure of the medical establishment to protect infant health. Weaving together research and personal stories with original reporting on medicine, big pharma, and hospitals, Kimberly Seals Allers shows how mothers and babies have been abandoned by all the forces that should be supporting families from the start—and what we can do to help.


Praise for The Big Letdown

"Formula companies make millions by convincing women they aren’t capable of one of their most basic bodily functions, and have spent millions of marketing dollars aimed at women, doctors, hospitals, scientists and policymakers to hammer this point home for the past century. Allers is . . . transform[ing] the narrative surrounding breast-feeding into an empowering message."—The Washington Post

"With abundant research to back her narrative, journalist Allers, who has two children, shows how and why American women have been made to feel ashamed of breast-feeding . . . Allers makes the message loud and clear: since breast-feeding provides the most benefits for mother and child, for those who are capable of doing so, it should be the feeding method of choice. Easily digested research and personal stories in support of breast-feeding and its importance to mothers and their children." —Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt



The beginning is the most important part of any work, especially in the case of a young and tender thing.


I am driving—correction: speeding—down...

About the author

Kimberly Seals Allers

KIMBERLY SEALS ALLERS is an award-winning journalist, and leading breastfeeding commentator. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast,, Ladies Home Journal, The New York Daily News, Real Simple, Fortune, Pregnancy and many others. She has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Anderson Cooper, Fox News and the Huckabee Show and NPR. Kimberly worked at Fortune, Essence, New York Post and The Times (of London), before turning to freelance work. She is the author of The Mocha Manual® series of books and the co-author of Giving Notice: Why the Best and Brightest are Leaving the Workplace.

Kimberly Seals Allers

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