Bringing Breastfeeding from the Past into the Present – by guest blogger Dr. Charlotte King

Bringing Breastfeeding from the Past into the Present – some recent coverage from our chapter published in this awesome new book!

Anthrolactology

This month, Anthrolactology welcomes Dr. Charlotte King. Dr. King is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Otago, New Zealand.  Her research focusses on the emergence of agricultural societies and the way in which this transition has shaped human culture and biology. She uses chemical analysis of human tissues to understand diet and human mobility in the past, as well as processes in the burial environment which might have impacted upon bone composition.

The importance of infant-feeding practices in modern societies has long been noted by clinical professionals and anthropologists, but people who study the human past (like bioarchaeologists) are also interested in breastfeeding and weaning. The knock-on effects of changes to breastfeeding and weaning practices for maternal and infant health, and mortality rates mean that they can have important implications for societies. They can contribute to population growth or increases in infant and maternal mortality. In a sense…

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