A Social History of Wet Nursing in America: From Breast to Bottle

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 23, 1996 - Health & Fitness - 215 pages
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A Social History of Wet Nursing in America: From Breast to Bottle examines the intersection of medical science, social theory, and cultural practices as they shaped relations among wet nurses, physicians, and families from the colonial period through the twentieth century. It explores how Americans used wet nursing to solve infant feeding problems, shows why wet nursing became controversial as motherhood slowly became medicalized, and elaborates how the development of scientific infant feeding eliminated wet nursing by the beginning of the twentieth century. Janet Golden's study contributes to our understanding of the cultural authority of medical science, the role of physicians in shaping child rearing practices, the social construction of motherhood, and the profound dilemmas of class and culture that played out in the private space of the nursery.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Wet nursing in colonial America
11
2 The new motherhood and the new view of wet nurses 17801865
38
The urban wet nurse marketplace 18301900
64
The wet nurse labor force and the offspring of wet nurses 1860 1910
97
The physician and the wet nurse 18701910
128
Relations in the private household 18701925
156
Human milk in the twentieth century
179
From commodity to gift
201
Index
207
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