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Health and wellbeing in the ancient world
Health and wellbeing in the ancient world

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2.6 Advertising baby feeding

Figure 9 shows an advert for a baby bottle: the Hygeia nursing bottle

Newspaper advertisement promoting the Hygeia nursing bottle and featuring a crying baby.
Figure 9 Advertisement for the Hygeia nursing bottle

This advert dates to 1919 and reads:

Danger lurks in the narrow, hard-to-clean neck of Baby’s Bottle. A million babies died in this country in the last three years. Safe milk would have saved thousands if the nursing bottles had also been safe. A narrow-neck nursing bottle is not safe. Even boiling to sterilize cannot make it completely safe, for the narrow neck chokes free circulation of water. Your baby in its first year feeds 2000 times. Dare you risk the bottle being imperfectly cleaned – and baby sick – even once? The wide-mouthed Hygeia Nursing Bottle is always safe – it has no place for food particles or germs to collect. Easy to cleanse as a tumbler. The rubber Hygeia Breast is nearest like a mother’s breast and aids nursing. There is a rubber cover that snaps over the bottle to protect food while in ice box. Be safe – not sorry. First made by a physician to save his own child. Insist on Hygeia, the Nursing Bottle with breasts of red or black rubber. All drug stores.

Activity 4

Describe the differences between this ‘modern’ type of baby bottle in Figure 9 and the baby feeder described in Breast milk in antiquity.

What is the significance of the use of the name ‘Hygeia’, which you also encountered in Week 1, to promote a baby bottle?

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