Throughout history there has been a need for alternative feeding methods for infants. Whether because of an issue with the mother’s milk supply or because of death of the mother, there have always been children that required the use of something other than their own mother’s milk. In more recent history, alternative feeding has also been used as a convenience. Prior to the development of infant formula in 1865, animal milk and wet nurses were used to accomplish the feeding of orphaned infants or others whose mothers could not, or chose not to, breast feed. Between 1950 and 1970 the breast feeding rate fell dramatically. Some studies suggest that more that 75 percent of American infants born during that time were formula fed. As the rates of diabetes, obesity and other health issues continue to increase researchers are looking at how individuals are feeding their infants and what effects the large amounts of high calorie “breast-milk substitute” may be having. Infant formula is being considered as one of the contributors to the growing health crisis in America. American mothers may be inadvertently predisposing their children to a lifetime of health issues by choosing not to breast feed.
Throughout recorded history there were many feeding devices created for the feeding of animal milk, most commonly cow’s milk, to infants. These feeding vessels or devices have been found in all shapes and sizes dating back thousands of years B.C. Prior to 1865 wet nurses were the most common source of alternative nutrition for infants but by 1900 the profession was all but extinct due to the practice “falling out of favor” socially and the introduction of feeding bottles. Early in the 19th century, the use of unclean feeding devices, along with t...
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