Practice Across Cultures
The practice of using wet nurses is ancient and common to many cultures. It has been linked to social class, where monarchies, the aristocracy, nobility or upper classes had their children wet-nursed in the hope of becoming pregnant again quickly. Lactation inhibits ovulation in some women, thus the practice has a rational basis. Poor women, especially those who suffered the stigma of giving birth to an illegitimate child, sometimes had to give their baby up, temporarily or permanently, to a wet-nurse.
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