I’ve been reading history stuff again. This time it’s about feeding babies in 1839. I found the following bit of information in The Guide for Mothers and Nurses in the Management of Young Children, by Caleb Ticknor, A.M., M.D.
The influence of the mind upon the body is well exemplified in the case of nursing women; the milk always becoming deranged and being rendered unfit for nutrition when the mind is any way disturbed. There are frequent instances of infants being seized with convulsions after sucking an enraged nurse; and cases are not wanting where they have been destroyed by violent inflammations from the same cause. An infant of a year old, while he sucked milk from an enraged mother, on a sudden was seized with a fatal bleeding, and died; and infants at the breast in a short time pine away if the nurse be affected with grievous care.
I don’t normally make personal comments about the articles I post here, but I can’t help myself in this case. Wow! I know how I felt after my daughter was born. Emotional, in a word. And yes, I did get angry a couple times, hormones being what they are. Can you imagine the pressure on a new mother hearing this from her mother/sister/husband/mother-in-law/neighbor/or whoever?
“Abigail! Don’t get enraged! You’ll derange your milk and kill the baby with fatal bleeding!”