Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: breast milk

  • Galactagogues in postpartum rituals

    Puja PersaudTrue Blue, Grenada, West Indies Having a baby demands drastic changes in lifestyle, eating habits, and sleeping patterns. Many cultures across the world practice postpartum rituals that “allow the mother to be ‘mothered’,” and help to “facilitate the transition into motherhood.”1 For generations, the Indian descendants residing in Guyana of South America have helped…

  • Wet nursing: A historical perspective

    Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta A Russian wet nurse, c. 1913. Painted by Frederic de Haenen public domain via Wikimedia. Wet nursing, a form of breastfeeding provided by someone other than an infant’s biological mother,1 has a long and sometimes controversial history. Death in childbirth, a mother’s illness, as well as cultural habits and circumstance have…

  • Did Salvador Dali follow the prolactin discovery in his painting of the fountain of milk?

    Michael YafiHouston, Texas, United States The Fountain of Milk Spreading Itself Uselessly on Three Shoes by Salvador Dali remains one of his most enigmatic works. It shows a nude woman on a pedestal, milk flowing from her breasts, while an emaciated man is staring at her.1 As he was completing the painting, Dali may have…

  • A history of breastfeeding and wet nurses

    Nursan CinarSumeyra TopalSinem Yalnizoglu CakaSakarya, Turkey Breastfeeding has been vital to life since the beginning of humanity. For infants who are unable to get this unique nutrition from their own mothers, wet nursing practices have been accepted since ancient times. The concept of wet nursing was evident in the clay tablets of  the Hammurabi Laws.…