feeding babies through the ages

We’ve always talked about how sharing breastmilk is not a new thing. We can only imagine that breastmilk’s been shared from the first time a baby needed it to be. And guess what? Neither is using yet other alternatives to breastfeeding your baby yourself. Because although breast is ‘best’, it’s not always available or possible, and we mamas and papas will find a way to feed our babies… nevermind how!

‘Before she went on maternity leave, a British politician called for a detente in the culture wars surrounding breastfeeding. Breast is best, as the saying goes, but it has never been the only option – terracotta pots, donkey’s milk and soaked bread have played their part in a varied history.’

-from a January 7, 2014 piece on the BBC news magazine site entitled, ‘Breastfeeding: Was there ever a golden age?’

Will you go have a read and let me know what you think?

I found this whole piece fascinating because I honestly had no idea why formula came to be created. I mean, not in a real way. I had a vague sense that there must have been a need for it somewhere at some point, and I’m certainly familiar with the old idea that because it was man made in a lab it was somehow cleaner or more scientific and therefore more nutritious- utter nonsense of course, but really coming from the right place, I think- a desire to give our babies the absolute best.

It was also interesting to note how (look at those baby feeders!) and what people have fed their babies throughout history- everything from the milk of other animals- which makes total sense to me since the babies of those animals are drinking it and thriving on it… but alcohol? That makes a lot less sense to me although to be fair, I’ve definitely had moments where I’ve thought I could understand why they might have done that! A moment’s peace – every parent’s dream! 😀 Ha!

And of course if I have to work in a factory, and leave my baby at home, where I can’t breastfeed her and my sister can’t breastfeed her either for whatever reason, then I would rather she be fed formula than some gruel or bread soaked in whiskey and honey! I’ll keep the second one for myself, thank you very much! So, I’m grateful it’s available for when breastmilk is not.

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