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ABSTRACT

This paper has summarized a sampling of observations by many social scientists and physicians who have viewed the practices of people in traditional cultures. There has been no intent to point out what is natural or ideal. Rather, it is hoped that the examples of practices different than our own will emphasize the varied ways in which the birthing and feeding processes have been approached. Today we need to make use of the contributions of social science and history to see our own traditions and rituals in context and be open to explore new and old avenues for mothers, fathers, and babies at the time of birth.