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Meat eating behind evolutionary success of humankind
My brother was born before I stopped breastfeeding. Has anyone noticed that we have the same verb for both the one giving the milk and the one receiving it? I was receiving the milk in this comment, not giving it.
In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.
I have a friend who breast fed both her boys until they started school - about 5. She didn't find it any hardship (she was at home, of course). As they got older, the frequency dropped right off, of course, and a nautral halt came when they started school and no one else was doing it - good old peer pressure, even at 5! Both are happy, well adjusted, intelligent boys who went on to university and terrific careers.
Of course, some women do find it impossible to breast feed for one reason or another. If this happened in hunter gatherer societies, other women would have probably fed the child, as there would always be some in the group with a child at the breast. Nowadays, this sort of cooperation is no longer possible, our society structure has changed too much (and in the wrong direction IMHO).
F 58 / 170cms / SW 131.5 kgs / Current 112.4/ GW 65 following Primal Lifestyle and swimming my way to health
Of course, some women do find it impossible to breast feed for one reason or another. If this happened in hunter gatherer societies, other women would have probably fed the child, as there would always be some in the group with a child at the breast. ....
I think wet-nursing must've been pretty common till fairly recently.
One often finds casual references to it in older books -- 18th or 19th century novels, for example. One example would be Dickens' Dombey and Son. Mr. Dombey's wife has died in childbed, but i don't think it was uncommon for wealthy women to get someone else to do the feeding -- although, presumably, they would have been producing the milk.
Mr Dombey had remained in his own apartment since the death of his wife, absorbed in visions of the youth, education, and destination of his baby son. Something lay at the bottom of his cool heart, colder and heavier than its ordinary load; but it was more a sense of the child's loss than his own, awakening within him an almost angry sorrow. That the life and progress on which he built such hopes, should be endangered in the outset by so mean a want; that Dombey and Son should be tottering for a nurse, was a sore humiliation. And yet in his pride and jealousy, he viewed with so much bitterness the thought of being dependent for the very first step towards the accomplishment of his soul's desire, on a hired serving-woman who would be to the child, for the time, all that even his alliance could have made his own wife, that in every new rejection of a candidate he felt a secret pleasure. The time had now come, however, when he could no longer be divided between these two sets of feelings. The less so, as there seemed to be no flaw in the title of Polly Toodle after his sister had set it forth, with many commendations on the indefatigable friendship of Miss Tox.
'These children look healthy,' said Mr Dombey. 'But my God, to think of their some day claiming a sort of relationship to Paul!'
I guess Dombey -- who of course thinks he can buy everything -- could buy decent nutrition for Paul. He picks a woman who looks healthy and has healthy-looking children, and takes her into his house where she can eat whatever's thought best. He controls the economic situation, so he can get what he wants (at that simple transactional level).
I believe some children of wealthy parents were "put out" to wet nurses, and probably didn't get the nutrition (or indeed care) they needed. I guess their parents thought milk was just milk and didn't twig that the health and nutritional status of the mother mattered.
I have a friend who was having trouble producing milk the second week of her son's life. Thankfully, a breastfeeding friend shared some of her frozen milk and pumped for her until she got her production back. She really was a modern-day wet nurse and such a blessing!