A blind spot of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes
Medicalization of breastfeeding first and foremost eradicates women and the relational aspects of a nursing relationship between a woman and her child. Medicalization of breastfeeding castrates a nursing relationship between two people to a food transaction between anybody and everybody and a child. This profound lack of understanding of the nature of a nursing relationship between two people leads to disastrous policy that backfires on women and children in a multitude of ways from lack of financial and work protection to blatant exploitation of women’s reproductive abilities (poaching) that results in effective killing of a nursing relationship.
Narrow medical understanding of a nursing relationship as food leads to a reduction of breastfeeding to breastmilk as we see in the name of the World Health Organization resolution of 1981 – International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk substitutes (emphasis mine). This further leads to the goals of the document to be focused around milk and the appropriate swapping of milks while negating the process of breastfeeding as vitally important and not replaceable by bottles.