"Breastfeeding: Was there ever a golden age?" asks the BBC headline, because the answer is obviously no.
"We talk about the golden age where everybody breastfed, and that age never happened," says Suzanne Barston, author of Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why it Shouldn't.Indeed, throughout history, humans have tried to feed babies and keep them alive when breast milk was not available. The problems were nutrition and illness. And sterilization. That's apparently what did in the rather awesome-looking "banjo bottle" above, demonstrated in this photo from the Baby Bottle Museum [!] by Macaulay Culkin's great-great-grand-uncle Macleish McCulkin, who died of an unwashable rubber hose infection.
Look, there really should not be a war on bottle feeding, or formula feeding when it's an informed choice. And there really needs to be all the support there can be for mothers to breast feed their kids. And there definitely should not be a war on parenting of any kind that cites some golden age of yore. There was no golden age. It's all a bullshit myth. Our parents didn't know best, or even better. They just did it first. And so on and so on, all the way back. Our entire species is living in a never-ending, intergenerational remake of Groundhog Day.
So yes, no war on bottles. Fine. Instead, let's declare all-out war on the publishing industry's super-annoying approach to non-fiction book titles, the Catchy Pun: Entire Premise Of The Book In Just Enough Words To Generate Hope You're Convinced To Buy It After Some TV Talking Head's Been Coerced Into Reciting It. It has really gone too far, and it must be stopped. I don't know what the replacement should be. If I did, I'd be publishing money. Alls I know is, It. Must. Be. Stopped.