Revista Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia
versão impressa ISSN 0120-0011
BECERRA BULLA, Fabiola; PENA ALVAREZ, Diana Carolina; PUENTES VALENCIA, Vanesa Angélica e RODRIGUEZ CEPEDA, Diana Estella. Breastfeeding: a review of its evolution through time. The case of some indigenous communities in Colombia. Rev.fac.med.unal [online]. 2009, vol.57, n.3, pp. 246-257. ISSN 0120-0011.
Breastfeeding is an innate function of all mammalians, and humans are not an exception. This article reviews secondary sources related to the evolution of breastfeeding in different contexts and historical moments. Thus, breastfeeding has been since centuries ago an eminently biocultural practice because, besides being a biological process, it is a behavior determined by culture that has been transmitted from mother to daughters through generations. This article carries out an approximation to hystorical information about this practice, since the Egyptian civilization and in Europe before Christ until the twentieth century, mentioning evidences of knowledge and beliefs regarding breastfeeding. Later, we present an overview of the Colombian context since pre-colonial and colonial times and the independence until our days. Nonetheless, it is necessary and of great importance to highlight the continuity of this practice under the influence of the Colombian indigenous cultures. For this reason, at the end of the article we point to the characteristics of breastfeeding and complementary nutrition in some Colombian indigenous cultures.
Palavras-chave : breast feeding; historical aspects; wet nurse; culture; indigenes community.