Accepted paper:

"I have to know this baby, he will be like my son": considerations on migration and milk banking in Italy


Rossella Cevese (University of Verona)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

During the hospitalization of her daughter, Fatema was asked by a nurse if she wanted to donate her milk to the bank, and Fatema refused.I must know the baby who will have my milk, she explained. Fatema is a young Moroccan woman who arrived in Verona in 2004. Migration brings to light differences in meanings of bodily substances and social practices, such as breastfeeding; as Fatema shows, breast milk can be seen as a substance that both feeds and creates ties. Comparing the experiences of Moroccan and Italian women, this paper, based on research into the ideas of health, the body and healing among Moraccan women migrants in Verona, is concerned with the cultural meanings and representations of breast milk.

panel W056
The breast milk problem: cultural considerations when mother's own milk is unavailable