Yoga Retreat
Mother As First Guru ( By Swami Gurupremananda Saraswati
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~Breastfeeding, Food and Diet~

   I have amalgamated all these topics into one section because, although breastfeeding is a specifically different area to the cooking and feeding of solids to your children, all these areas are intimately connected, and often merge together in concept and practice. For example there are the cross-over zones between breast milk and other liquids; the changeover periods from breast milk to solids; and ultimately the period of final weaning leading onto the toddler and pre-schooler diet. These  events are not always clear thresholds but may start and stop and merge for many months. And above all, my premise in this section is that the way we start to


science but a hangover from the Anglo- European class system and Victorian prudery. From as far back as the 1500's, baby rearing had been relegated to a servant's role and wet nurses (a lactating woman who had recently given birth to her own baby) had been employed by the upper classes to breastfeed their children. The wet nurses were invariably poor women and, rather than continue to expose their precious children to the likes of such "ruffians", mothers of class began to employ a nanny as an alternative to the wet nurse. The (non-lactating) nanny was then armed with all the necessary bottles, spoons and hoses to try to force an artificial "milk" down the

 feed our children, and how we teach them about eating and drinking, are lessons they will have deeply imprinted in themfor the rest of their lives.Early experiences and  early habits are very important factors in their eventual adult health and wellbeing.

  little mite's gullet! During this period, "formulas" were nothing more than homemade recipes based on modified animal milk - either by cooking or thinning it with other liquids. Since nannies could see that the liquids they were using were hopelessly at nourishing their charges, solid Obviously  many babies became under-nourished,

The Modern Demise of Breastfeeding
   Here we go again - another immensely controversial topic - although I honestly can't see why it needs to be. One would think that the obvious existence and biological function of women's breasts would be all that was needed to convince women that "Breast is Best". But these days, the availability of synthetic baby milk and synthetic baby milk dispensers in the form of plastic bottles and rubber teats, have afforded women the option of going against the natural order of things. So what are we to make of the anti-breastfeeding movement and why should it be necessary for books on mothering such as this one to have to extol the virtues of breastfeeding and critique the alternatives? 
   The decline of breastfeeding and the rise of formula and bottle feeding, was never based on either commonsense or

got sick, and some died. But despite the increase in infant morbidity - instead of returning to breastfeeding - the way forward was thought to be in better refining the artificial methods and foods fed to babies.
   In addition to a movement towards artificial milks, there was also a decline in the social acceptability of breastfeeding during the same period. By the end of the 1800's Victorian prudery had all but forced breastfeeding underground. Baring the breast was simply not to be done in the polite and modest society of Queen Victoria's day. She even passed a law to make sure that it wasn't.
   All over the developed world from the end of the 19th Century, mothers of the aspiring middle class continued to adopt artificial feeding in imitation of their wealthier sisters, such that by the mid

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Please Note:
The complete ‘Mother As First Guru’ Set also contains Book 2 + 2 audio cds. Book 2 relating to comprehensive Yoga Practices as well as the Audio Instructional practices (2 cd set) are only available with your purchase and is NOT available on the Reading Room.

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