Premiers cris - Premières nourritures [First cries, first foods]

"Premiers cris, premières nourritures" is an international-scale study of breastfeeding and weaning practices through the ages, from prehistory to the twenty-first century. The fruit of a conference organized by INED IN-HOPPE (International Network—Historical and Osterarchaeological Past Populations Exploration), the book presents the most up-to-date research on breastfeeding and weaning infants and young children. The approach is multidisciplinary, bringing together sociologists, historians, anthropologists and archeologists.

The textual sources, together with bio-archeological data from digs and chemical analysis of bones, advance our knowledge on how newborns and children were fed. One key finding is that in all time periods, maternal breastfeeding has been only one means of nourishing babies.

What did breastfeeding represent in the prehistoric period and what does it involve and imply today? Has breastfeeding duration varied over the centuries due to changes in living conditions and lifestyles?

The book echoes current societal preoccupations but also discusses questions and concerns that have arisen in virtually all periods. Indeed, parents’ decisions about breastfeeding can be influenced as much by family frameworks and community traditions as by medical discourse, public health policies and the power of industrial lobbies.

Source: Estelle Herrscher et Isabelle Séguy (dir.), 2019. Premiers cris, premières nourritures. Presses universitaires de Provence

Contacts: Estelle Herrscher, Isabelle Séguy

Online: November 2019