Myself and my wife Eilis have always felt very strongly about breastfeeding’s important role in developing infants. All of our five children were thus fed, until 1 year and beyond. Now Nick Mailer has filled in the gaps with a fascinating history of this fundamental human function.
The history and facts around breastfeeding have been twisted beyond recognition during the past century – as rampant profiteering messed up the pitch. Enjoy this erudite discussion on a linchpin of ancestral health…it will bring you up to date for sure:
Summary: “Until the arrival of forceps and the “male midwife”, men in traditional societies had little role in the birth and early feeding of infants. Women used traditional models of co-nursing, peer-support and matriarchal custom to help establish breastfeeding. From the 19th century, men inserted themselves insistently into the birthing process. Some interventions saved lives; others damaged early mother-child bonding. In the 20th century, men (largely) promoted formula as “scientific” and superior to breastfeeding. When this was revealed as profoundly inaccurate, cynical exploitation of the “New Man” as a model of nurturing masculinity – from dad in the birthing room to his “heroically” doing the night feeds – ironically undermined further the important physiological role of women in feeding infants. This talk examines how to resolve this mismatch between ancestral expectations and the laudable desire for gender equality, and discusses helpful roles men can undertake in an infant’s crucial early months.”