Abstract and Keywords
The feeding and rearing of infants are sociocultural and developmental processes, each with their own timetables that can either unite or diverge, depending on the wellbeing and physiological growth of the infant, and the needs of the mother or carer and the society in which they live. They are highly emotive and complex topics, which go to the heart of human relationships and behaviours, because they are regarded as important steps to achieving personhood and a social identity. Furthermore, because these processes begin during pregnancy, they rely on the intimate connections between a mother and foetus, and carer and baby. This chapter will examine these processes from pregnancy through to childhood, providing a framework to understand the practices and choices made by the Iron Age, Roman and Saxon communities in Britain and Europe.
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