Infant Feeding

As a new mum I became fascinated with the subject of infant feeding and collected a great deal of information about it. I strongly wanted to breastfeed my own baby because I believed nature, history, and the way women had brought up their children for centuries, knew best. But I also knew not all women find it easy; and what happened in the the past if the mother died, or if there was no wet nurse available? What can we learn from history in these circumstances? In my experience bottle feeding these days, at least where I live, is the most common way to feed a baby. When a new baby arrives is generally taken as a given that bottles and powdered milk will be required. Even if someone does chose to breastfeed, many of these mums still use bottles filled with their own breast milk they had previously pumped. I do understand why people may choose this option (for going back to work for example, whilst still providing what they believe to be the best nutrition for their child), though I personally didn’t like that idea for myself. It does however, intrigue me how science and industry have made themselves a ‘necessary’ part of child rearing in this way. Without a second thought most people genuinely believe we need this equipment, though I and many others before me, are proof that it is not true. I am very grateful that I was able to breastfeed my own daughter until she was a toddler straight from the breast, as I believe nature intended, because I do believe nature is a lot more intelligent than man. I always seek to learn what we did before industry and science took over our lives. In the long scheme of things, it’s a fairly recent phenomena. Below, for your information, is a number of links to external websites on the subject that I found interesting during my search; if like me you want to learn more. Websites The Baby Bottle Museum – An online museum about the history of artificial infant feeding. The Web Childhood Museum – Website featuring photographs of childhood related items, including some historical information about infant feeding bottles and practices. Histoire-du-Biberon.com – If you like French, or just like looking at pictures of historical baby bottles, take a look at this website. Infant Feeding History Blog – This blog has not been updated since 2009 as far as I can tell, but it is written along the same sentiment that I am writing – a curiosity about why things are the way they are now. Articles A History of Breastfeeding – Article found on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website about the history of breastfeeding. History of Breastfeeding by Ted Greiner PhD – pdf. article at global-breastfeeding.org History, horns and horrors: the birth of baby bottles – Baby feeding history from Mandy Haberman.com. (Inventor of the Anywayup¬Æ cup). FAQs: Baby Food – History of Baby food at foodtimeline.org History of Infant Feeding – Article at RawFoodExplained.com Breastfeeding – Wikipedia article. Wikipedia may not be the best source for accurate information, but as a general overview you can’t beat it. Neanderthal tooth reveals Breastfeeding history – Article at ABC.net.au Books The Complete Book of Breastfeeding, 4th edition: The Classic Guide – Link to Amazon page Misc Bottlefeeding Without Guilt – A Defense Manual for New Mothers Who Choose Not to Breastfeed Their Babies – Book by Peggy Robin, and outline of which is available online via link. An interesting take on the other side of the story. Why Women Wear Bras – This loosely related article is from www.007b.com – an American site I came across by accident with interesting articles about studying and promoting breastfeeding; and reclaiming breasts for this purpose. I highlight this article because it touches on another aspect of breastfeeding in history – the bra, and in particular the nursing bra; another relatively new invention that science and industry have convinced us is a must. The Resurgence of Breastfeeding, 1975‚Äì2000 – Transcript of a Witness Seminar held by the Welcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL, London, 2007. Link is a pdf from Queen Mary University of London Website KellyMom.com – If all that’s not enough and you want yet more links about breastfeeding history, this page at KellyMom.com is for you.

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