From royal wet nurses to Facebook: The evolution of breastmilk sharing hat geschrieben:Wet-nursing was an essential practice that allowed for infant survival after many mothers died in childbirth. The story of wet-nursing is complicated by both religious pressures and cultural expectations of women. It is likely that these historical practices have shaped our current social, political and legislative environments regarding breastfeeding. The aim of this article is to provide a historical perspective on the practice of wet-nursing, with a focus on: 1) social views of wet nurses, 2) breastmilk evaluation and 3) the ideal wet nurse. Historical perspectives from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, 19th and 20th century America and current practices are examined. An appreciation for the evolution of breastmilk sharing provides clinicians and lactation advocates with the historical origins which provided the template for current practice as it relates to donor milk, breastfeeding culture and relevant legislation.
University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing, Department of Health Promotion and Development.