Segments in this Video

Introduction: The Milky Way: Every Mother Has a Story (00:45)


Learn the ancient Greek myth of how the Milky Way was created.

History of Breastfeeding (02:49)

Dr. Jay Gordon and nurse Jennifer Davidson support breastfeeding as the foundation of good nutrition. Breastfeeding was the norm and is depicted in many works of art. U.S. breastfeeding rates are currently low.

Modern History of Breastfeeding (04:23)

Breastfeeding rates dropped throughout the early 1900s. In the 1950s, doctors openly discouraged breastfeeding and the media began to use breasts as marketing tools.

Moving Forward (02:13)

Breastfeeding offers a physical and emotional connection for babies that is crucial for development. Davidson and Chantal Molnar developed a unique way of working with mothers to normalize breastfeeding again.

The Purpose of Breasts (02:00)

American culture sexualized breasts. Seeing a mother breastfeeding a baby is now a controversial topic. View media footage of mothers being shamed for breastfeeding in public.

Emotional and Nutritional Benefits (03:51)

Brain development and chemical interactions occur between mother and baby during skin to skin contact, especially the act of breastfeeding. Breast milk has nutritional and immunity-boosting benefits.

Formula (01:39)

Formula companies use marketing strategies that claim to support breastfeeding mothers while also selling their products.

Nursing in Public (02:34)

Mothers share breast feeding experiences. The law protects breastfeeding mothers; they can nurse anywhere they have the right to be.

Lack of Information and Support (02:34)

Doctors took over the role of educating women. Women often doubt their ability to breastfeed their child without the proper support network.

Maternity Leave (02:47)

Women are often forced to choose between a paycheck and being with their baby. The U.S. is one of only four countries in the world without mandatory paid maternity leave.

Hospital Practices (04:54)

The experience a woman has in the hospital can make a big impact on her breastfeeding success; some hospitals view a baby's illness as an opportunity to make money. The Neonatal Lactation Program at St. Joseph's Hospital in Berlin has high breastfeeding rates and keeps the mother in the same room a s the baby at all times.

Whose Baby Syndrome (02:42)

In hospitals, nurses and doctors often view the babies as their own and the parents as incompetent. At St. Joseph's, the nurses support the parents in taking control of the baby for diaper changes, baths, feedings, and general parenting tasks.

Devaluation of Mothers (02:13)

Medical professionals are not taught very much about breastfeeding, parental support, or wellness during their education. In some cases, babies were taken away from parents because they disagreed with medical professionals.

Kangaroo Mother Care (02:17)

Human babies are the least mature of all primates at birth; skin-to-skin contact is crucial in early life. Learn about the general practices at the Baby-Friendly Hospital in Berlin.

American Birth Practices (02:48)

Several mothers recount their stories of birthing in a hospital and not holding their newborns for several hours. Babies who are not put skin-to-skin with the mother go into distress and switch to survival mode.

Infant Separation (01:55)

Dr. Louise Dumas explains that babies who are separated from their mother during the first two hours act differently than those who have skin-to-skin contact. The AAP recommends skin-to-skin for all babies, but does not enforce it.

Co-sleeping (04:34)

At St. Joseph's, families sleep together. Learn many benefits of co-sleeping even after returning home from the hospital. American society depicts co-sleeping as unsafe.

St. Joseph: Postnatal Care (03:25)

Women who give birth at St. Joseph's receive 10 weeks of follow-up care with a midwife. Premature babies are successful at breastfeeding and the hospital's use of formula is low.

Lack of Breastfeeding Support (05:24)

Some women choose not to breastfeed, but it is those who fail from lack of support that makes mothers feel guilty. Several women share their "seeds of doubt" that others gave them about breastfeeding.

Breast Feeding in Sweden (03:11)

In Sweden, breastfeeding rates are high and breastfeeding in public is a typical sight. Women share their breastfeeding expertise and support through the generations.

Sweden: Healthcare Costs (04:19)

Women receive 18 months of paid maternity leave in Sweden and fathers receive paid paternity leave. The country saves on healthcare costs later in life by promoting breastfeeding.

WHO International Code (03:08)

Mothers share their experiences of being pushed to formula feed in the hospital. Sweden follows the WHO's code and does not allow formula companies to advertise or give gifts.

Formula Marketing (03:47)

U.S. hospitals do not enforce the WHO international code; they promote formula companies by giving away free samples. See marketing strategies that formula companies use to promote their products.

Nutritional Differences (02:15)

Breast milk is so tailored to a baby's individual needs that it is impossible to identify all the components. Babies that have lost weight or are jaundiced need more care, not formula.

Legalized Bribery (01:45)

Formula companies do not make money by supporting breastfeeding. They gain the support of the government and medical community in many ways.

Formula Detrimental to Health (02:51)

Formula feeding affects the health of babies and children in America. More than twice as many babies die every year in the U.S. when compared to Sweden.

Creating Change (02:48)

Formula companies might be compelled to use healthier ingredients if the customer demands it. Creating laws that allow parents to have paid parental leave would make a huge impact on the American family.

Supporting Mothers (02:33)

Women need a supportive community to help them through motherhood. Women share their experiences with donating milk and using donated breastmilk instead of formula to feed their babies.

Cultural Shift (03:44)

The U.S. became a place that does not value breastfeeding. The country needs a shift in media and policies to restore the support of raising families in a natural way.

Creating a Movement (03:09)

Women need to stand up for their human rights, normalize breastfeeding, and create change. Breastfeeding is a powerful act for mother and baby.

Credits: The Milky Way: Every Mother Has a Story (03:24)

Credits: The Milky Way: Every Mother Has a Story

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The Milky Way: Every Mother Has a Story

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Throughout history, breastfeeding was a cultural norm and can be seen in countless pieces of art. This film looks at postnatal care, public policies, and cultural norms related to breastfeeding in the U.S. and Sweden. Experts explain the nutritional, physiological, immunological, and psychological benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child.

Length: 94 minutes

Item#: BVL94219

ISBN: 978-1-68272-145-2

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.