Until recently, women never considered not nursing their babies. It was the only means available to them at the time-the only way they knew how to feed their babies. In fact not only did they breast feed their babies but they did so until the child was at least 2 or 3 years of age. In the ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, The Mesopotamiens, the Greeks, the Greeks and the Romans, a wet nurse ( a women with breast milk who nurses your baby for you ) was utilized by rich women who thought they were "above" nursing their own babies. When babies were first artificially fed, it was on bread and water. Then came the use of cow's milk. The invention of the bottle naturally followed. The first bottle consisted of a cow's horn with a couple of pieces of leather sewn to the narrow end which had a hole in it. The baby sucked the milk through thr holes between the stitches of the leather.Next came the invention of artificial formula milks and all sorts of canned baby foods-and needless to say, the deterioration of health. Nursing, and in fact nursing for long periods, continued until the beginning of last century. After this, the decline in breast-feeding was very rapid in the Western world. This is largely due to the medical profession advising mothers that bottle-feeding is better (cleaner) for the baby and will allow them more freedom. This decline was also due to the rising dairy industry followed by the manufacturing of artificial formula milks were pushed for a profit. By the 1920s, a women's rights movement began and breasts went out of style. Women were moving into a men's world and took jobs outside the home. They were no long able to stay home and nurse their babies. Besides women entering the work world, doctors-and other "experts" claimed that if mothers nursed their babies too long , their child will become too attached to them, become emotionally retarded, or that it will ruin their marital relashionships,etc. With the 20th century came so-called scientific child rearing- rearing the child on a schedule rather than on instinct or common sense. Up until 2 generations ago, children stayed home with their mothers until nursery school or primary school. Each year it seems the age of children being cared for by those other than parents gets lowered. Now even infants are raised in day care centers. Much of this is due to the economic situation forcing women to work away from their children. In the 1960s and 1970s the trend, however, came back toward breast-feeding. Women began questioning the "experts" and feeling that there must be a better way. Now there are many books available on the subjects of natural birthing and breast feeding and there is a come-back to trust that, after all, nothing can beat nature! To be continued: Next week- facts about human breast milk versus cow's milk.