Thursday, June 12, 2014


From Anna Gibson:
Marie Antoinette was a notable supporter of the movement towards motherhood breastfeeding. According to Antonia Fraser, Marie Antoinette attempted to breastfeed her first child, Marie Thérèse, for nearly 18 days before ceasing, perhaps on the directive of her physicians or her husband. 
After the birth of her daughter, Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI decided to pay for the weddings of one-hundred men and women to be blessed at the cathedral of Notre Dame. In addition to giving 500 francs to each of the newly married women, Marie Antoinette arranged to help pay for the care of the first child from each union--if the new mother decided to employ a wet nurse, 10 livres would be sent per month until the child was done breastfeeding; if the new mother breastfed her own child, 15 livres would be sent per month until breastfeeding was no longer necessary. Although she was unable to breastfeed her own children, Marie Antoinette could still encourage other women to practice what Rousseau considered necessary for the foundation of an attractive domestic life. (Read more.)

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