Author(s): Barbara Broers (AEG), Barbara Królak-Olejnik (EG)
This article presents a brief history of breastfeeding with a particular emphasis on the role of a wet nurse, a woman that breastfeeds another woman’s child. The fact that breast milk is the best food for a child and the only alternative for his or her survival has been underlined since antiquity. Throughout the ages, women breastfeeding other women’s children were frequently the only chance for the child’s survival. Convictions and principles associated with breastfeeding that governed ancient cultures have been largely incorporated by modern societies. As breast milk composition was becoming explored, the uniqueness of this type of food was proven more and more frequently. The latest research on human milk composition delivers new evidence for the value of nutrientrich mother’s milk, whereas the role of the then wet nurses has been taken by donors of breast milk, which is stored in human milk banks.