[Photo] The Hard Work of Feeding the Baby: Breastfeeding and Intensive Mothering in Contemporary Urban China

In this talk, Dr. Hanser described an emerging culture of intensive mothering among middle-class, urban Chinese women that focuses on infant feeding. Based upon interviews with new mothers in urban Shanghai, she described the intense efforts and commitment by these women to provide their babies with breast milk and described the complexities of their attempts to put mothering ideals into practice. Amy suggests that the linkage between breastfeeding and motherhood represents a “gendered burden” for Chinese women and that infant feeding has become important, the early terrain on which new mothers grapple with their own and others’ expectations about mothering and caring for a child.

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