Natural feeding

Humans are mammals, so for us natural feeding is breastfeeding. Human milk is unique on the planet, having been adapted over eons to suit the particular needs of our infants. Just 200 years ago, all human babies were feed naturally. If the mother was dead, absent or fashion dictated – wet nurses were used to ensure the health and survival of the infant.

At this time, infants who were ‘dry fed’ (foods other than mother’s milk) had a slim chance of survival. If they were fed on gruel or other foods, immunity levels were low and immunization was not yet discovered. In the gold rushes of early Australia, where the conditions were similar to modern developing countries, some 4 of every 5 children died before they were 5 years old (unsafe water supplies, infectious disease e.g. typhoid). This was not only about how they were fed, but also related to the conditions of the environment: no sewerage systems, no safe water supplies.