Lengthy Breastfeeding May have Contributed to the Health of Medieval Babies

News Telegraph: A study of the bones from an abandoned medieval village may prove that English babies thrived due to lengthy breast-feeding. Researchers at Bradford and Oxford Universities have been studying the effects of lengthy breast-feeding on medieval infants. Although peasants tended to be malnourished during medieval times, mothers breast-fed their offspring for as much as 18 months after birth, shielding them from the poor diet and disease common to adults. The research centered Wharram Percy, a town in Yorkshire where the infant mortality rate was much lower than expected, and babies grew at a rate close to their modern cousins. Once given a regular diet, however, children's health reverted to that of their parents.

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