INFANT FEEDING.Lecture delivered in the Fourth Special Course of the Chicago Policlinic,
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
What I propose to give you to-day will be proba¬ bly more in the nature of suggestion than instruc¬ tion. I may possibly be rather more iconoclastic than constructive, but I wish to take into considera¬ tion certain of the principles which underlie the sub¬ ject of infant feeding, rather than all the details which go to make up successful work in that direction. We find it stated that human milk is the "best food for the infant ; we find it further stated, and generally accepted, that in the
... ted, that in the absence of human milk that food which most closely resembles mother's milk in its chemical and physical properties is the best for the infant. Now I wish to deny this latter statement, and it is rather difficult to show cause for the denial, for a lie that is partly true is the hardest of all to down. It is unquestionably true that mother's milk is by all odds the best food for the healthy infant. Let us get that word healthy well fixed in our minds. That it should be made the guide in the formation of any artificial food for the healthy infant is like¬ wise true, but that it should be followed absolutely, that we should bow down to it exactly and never vary from it even in the slightest particular, is not true. It is not true, for instance, that we must have a milk which shall coagulate exactly as mother's milk does in order to be successful as food for a baby ; it is not true we must have exactly the same proportion of the several ingredients which enter into mother's milk imitated in our artificial food. In consequence of the general conception we find that the efforts of chemists and of physicians have been directed towards imitating mother's milk as closely as possible. We are told to take the milk of goats because it resembles mother's milk more closely than does cow's milk. But it is not practical. We cannot obtain goat's milk in sufficient quantity, but we must look to cow's milk for artificial food for the child.