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

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

by JANET GOLDEN
     
 

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 in the eighteenth… See more details below

Overview

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 in the eighteenth century, shows why wet nursing became controversial in the nineteenth century as motherhood slowly became medicalized, and elaborates how the development of scientific infant feeding eliminated wet nursing by the beginning of the twentieth century. Setting these changes in the context of women's history and the history of medicine, the book makes a significant contribution 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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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814250723
Publisher:
Ohio State University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2001
Series:
Women and Health Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

List of tables
Acknowledgments
List of abbreviations
Introduction1
1Public discourse and private relations: Wet nursing in colonial America11
2The new motherhood and the new view of wet nurses, 1780-186538
3Finding "just the right kind of woman": The urban wet nurse marketplace, 1830-190064
4"Victims of distressing circumstances": The wet nurse labor force and the offspring of wet nurses, 1860-191097
5Medical oversight and medical dilemmas: The physician and the wet nurse, 1870-1910128
6"Obliged to have wet nurses": Relations in the private household, 1870-1925156
7"Therapeutic merchandise": Human milk in the twentieth century179
Epilogue: From commodity to gift201
Index207

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