Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-cnmwb Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-20T15:12:14.091Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Versions of Milk and Versions of Care: The Emergence of Mother's Milk as an Interested Object and Medicine as a Form of Dispassionate Care

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 April 2014

Kristin Asdal*
Affiliation:
University of Oslo, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture E-mail: kristin.asdal@tik.uio.no

Argument

At the turn of the twentieth century the Norwegian market flourished with milk products intended for infants. But medical doctors argued in favor of “going back to nature”: Women ought to breastfeed their children. This paper explores how a re-naturalization of mother's milk emerged within experimental medicine. The prescribed “natural way” did not develop within medicine alone. The paper demonstrates how the natural developed within a relational space of different versions of milk: the free-market milk, the dirty and decaying milk, and the non-nutritional milk. But why did Norwegian mothers, in contrast to the development in for instance the US, continue to breastfeed their infants? Drawing on the work of the leading pediatrician Theodor Frølich, the paper suggests that this may in part be explained by the development of a distinct version of care: A matter-of-fact, pragmatic and flexible version of care that nevertheless came to enact mother's milk as the supreme form of nutrition to which there was hardly a competing or healthy alternative. “The natural way” became a thought style and was made integral to everyday culture.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Aaser, Peter, and Malm, Ole Olsen. 1908. “‘Melke-epidemien’ i Kristiania. Erklæring fra overlæge P. Aaser og Direktør dr. O. Malm” [The ‘Milk Epidemics’ in Kristiania: Report from Chief Physician Peter Aaser and Director and Doctor Ole Olsen Malm]. Norsk Magazin for lægevidenskaben 69:811824.Google Scholar
Anon. 1891. “Obituary for Ernst Ferdinand Lochmann.” Tidsskrift for Den norske lægeforening 11:193–99.Google Scholar
Apple, Rima D. 1987. Mothers & Medicine. A Social History of Infant Feeding 1890–1950. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
Arctander, Signy. 1952. Sosialstatistikkens historie i Norge gjennom 100 år [The History of Norwegian Social Statistics through 100 Years]. Oslo: Aschehoug.Google Scholar
Asdal, Kristin. 2006. “Making Space with Medicine: The Dissolution of Norway's Union with Sweden and the Unexplored Role of Animal Trade.” Scandinavian Journal of History 31 (3):255–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Asdal, Kristin. 2011. “The Office: The Weakness of Numbers and the Production of Non-Authority.” Accounting, Organizations and Society 36 (1):19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Asdal, Kristin. 2012. “Contexts in Action – And the Future of the Past in STS.” Science, Technology and Human Values 37 (4):379403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Asdal, Kristin. Forthcoming 2014. “Animal Models as Contested Objects: Axel Holst and the Controversy over Scurvy and Beriberi.” Social History of Medicine.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Atkins, Peter J. 1992. “White Poison? The Social Consequences of Milk Consumption 1850–1930.” Social History of Medicine 5 (2):207–27.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Atkins, Peter J. 2010. Liquid Materialities: A History of Milk, Science and the Law. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Bentzen, Gotfred Eugen. 1909. “Om Melkekontroll. Møte 9. September 1908” [On the Control of Milk. Meeting September 9, 1908]. In Forhandlinger i det Medicinske Selskab i Kristiania 1908 [Proceedings of the Medical Society of Kristiania 1908], 134–143. Kristiania: Steenske Bogtrykkeri.Google Scholar
Berg, Annika. 2009. Den gränslösa hälsan. Signe och Axel Höjer, folkhälsan och expertisen. [The Limitless Health: Signe and Axel Höjer, Public Health and Expertise]. Uppsala Universitet: Uppsala Studies in Histories of Ideas.Google Scholar
Berg, Marc, and Mol, Annemarie, eds. 1998. Differences in Medicine: Unraveling Practices, Techniques, and Bodies. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blom, Ida. 1988. “Den harde Dyst”: Fødsler og fødselshjelp gjennom 150 år [Births and Birth Assistance through 150 Years]. Oslo: Cappelens Forlag.Google Scholar
Blom, Ida. 2008. “How to Have Healthy Children: Responses to the Falling Birth Rate in Norway, c. 1900–1940.” Dynamis 28:151174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brinchmann, Nils A. 1914. Norges Jubileumsutstilling 1914. Officiel Beretning ved N. A. Brinchmann, Utstillingens Generalsekretær [Norway's Jubilee Exhibition 1914: Official Report by Nils A. Brinchmann, Secretary General of the Exhibition]. Kristiania: Grøndahl og Søn.Google Scholar
Carpenter, Kenneth J. 1986. The History of Scurvy and Vitamin C. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Carpenter, Kenneth J. 1993. “Nutritional Diseases.” In Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine, vol. 1, edited by Bynum, William F. and Roy, Porter, 463483. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Collett, Arthur. 1937. “Barneforsorgen fra medisinsk standpunkt” [Childcare from a Medical Point of View]. In Social Håndbok for Norge. [Social Handbook for Norway], edited by Storsteen, Einar, 331336. Oslo: Norsk forening for socialt arbeide.Google Scholar
Crockett, Dennis. 1999. German New Expressionism. University Park PA: Penn State University Press.Google Scholar
Davin, Anna. 1978. “Imperialism and Motherhood.” History Workshop 5:965.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Druglitrø, Tone. 2012. Å skape en standard for velferd: forsøksdyr i norsk biomedisin, 1953 -1986 [Producing a Standard of Welfare: Experimental Animals in Norwegian Biomedicine, 1953–1986]. Oslo: Senter for teknologi, innovasjon og kultur, Universitetet i Oslo.Google Scholar
Dwork, Deborah. 1987. War Is Good for Babies and Other Young Children: A History of the Infant and Child Welfare Movement in England 1898–1918. London and New York: Tavistock Publications.Google Scholar
Ellingsæter, Annelise. 2012. “Det norske ammeregimet – grense for likestilling?” [The Norwegian Regime of Breastfeeding: A Limit to Equality?]. In Rødt og hvitt: Om blod og melk i fortid og samtid [Red and White: On Blood and Milk in the Past and Present], edited by Bondevik, Hilde and Lie, Anne Kveim, 139161. Oslo: Unipub.Google Scholar
Espeli, Harald. 2008. “Prelude to Extreme Protectionism? Norwegian Agricultural Protectionism in a West-European Context, 1850–1940.” Scandinavian Economic History Review 56:209–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Espeli, Harald, Trond Bergh, and Asle Rønning 2006. Melkens pris - perspektiver på meierisamvirkets historie [The Price of Milk – Perspectives on the History of the Dairy Cooperative]. Oslo: Tun Forlag.Google Scholar
Flateby, Anne Marie. 1979. Opptakten til en norsk næringsmiddellovgivning ca. 1880–1910 [Prelude to a Norwegian Legislation on Food 1880–1910]. Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo.Google Scholar
Fleck, Ludwik. 1981. Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Foucault, Michel. [1978] 2007. Security, Territory, Population. Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977–78. Translated by Graham, Burchell. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
Frølich, Agnes H. [2009]. “Kirsten Utheim Toverud.” In Norsk Biografisk Leksikon [Norwegian Biographical Encyclopedia]. http://snl.no/.nbl_biografi/Kirsten_Utheim_Toverud/utdypning (last accessed February 18, 2012).Google Scholar
Frølich, Theodor. 1905. “Om Barlows sygdom” [On Barlow's Disease]. Norsk Magazin for Lægevidenskaben 66:895902.Google Scholar
Frølich, Theodor. 1910. “Om aarsagerne til skjørbug. Experimentelle undersøgelser over infantil skjørbug” [On the Causes of Scurvy: Experimental Investigations Regarding Infant Scurvy]. Norsk Magazin for Lægevidenskaben 71: 252293.Google Scholar
Frølich, Theodor. 1924. Pædiatri. En veiledning under studiet av den første barnealders sygdomme [Pediatrics: A Guideline for the Study of Early Infants Diseases]. Kristiania: Steenske Forlag.Google Scholar
Frølich, Theodor. 1938. Pædiatri. En veiledning under studiet av den første barnealders sykdommer [Pediatrics: A Guideline for the Study of Early Infants Diseases]. Oslo: Steenske Forlag.Google Scholar
Frølich, Theodor, Adolf Lichtenstein, and Svenn Monrad, eds. 1945. Nordisk lærebog i Pædiatri [Nordic Textbook on Pediatrics]. Second revised edition. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.Google Scholar
Golden, Janet. 1996. A Social History of Wet Nursing in America: From Breast to Bottle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gradmann, Christoph. 2009. Laboratory Disease: Robert Koch's Medical Bacteriology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haavet, Inger Elisabeth. 2006. “Milk, Mothers and Marriage: Family Policy Formation in Norway and Its Neighbouring Countries in the Twentieth Century.” In The Nordic Model of Welfare. A Historical Reappraisal, edited by Niels Finn Christiansen, Klaus Petersen, Nils Edling, and Per Haave, 189214. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.Google Scholar
Halvorsen, Tor. 1995. “Sektorinteresser eller profesjonssystem?” [Sector Interests or Professional System?]. TMV skriftserie no. 10. Oslo: TMV/University of Oslo.Google Scholar
Hardy, Anne. 1993. The Epidemic Streets: Infectious Disease and the Rise of Preventive Medicine, 1856–1900. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Harman, Graham. 2009. Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics. Melbourne: re.press.Google Scholar
Haroun, Raymond I., Daniele Rigamonti, and Rafael J. Tamargo. 2000. “The Recurrent Artery of Heubner: Otto Heubner's Description of the Artery and His Influence on Pediatrics in Germany.” Journal of Neurosurgery 93:1084–88.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Helsing, Elisabeth, and Häggkvist, Anna-Pia. 2008. Amming. Til deg som vil amme [Breastfeeding: For You Who Wants to Breastfeed Your Child]. Oslo: Fagbokforlaget.Google Scholar
Hirdman, Yvonne. 1983. Magfrågan. Mat som mål och medel. Stockholm 1870–1920 [Food as Ends and Means: Stockholm 1870–1920]. Stockholm: Rabén & Sjögren.Google Scholar
Holst, Axel. 1909. “Om Melkekontroll. Møte 9. september 1908” [On the Control of Milk. Meeting September 9, 1908]. In Forhandlinger i det Medicinske Selskab i Kristiania 1908 [Proceedings of the Medical Society of Kristiania 1908], 143–148. Kristiania: Steenske Bogtrykkeri.Google Scholar
Holst, Axel, and Frølich, Theodor. 1907. “Experimental Studies Relating to Ship-Beri-Beri and Scurvy.” Journal of Hygiene 7 (5):619–33, 3471.Google ScholarPubMed
Hörnfeldt, Helena. 2009. Prima barn, helt u.a. Normalisering och utvecklingstänkande i svensk barnhälsovard 1923–2007 [Normalizing and Development Discourses in Health Care for Children in Sweden, 1923–2007]. Göteborg/Stockholm: Makadam Förlag.Google Scholar
Hård, Mikael. 1994. Machines Are Frozen Spirit: The Scientification of Refrigeration and Brewing in the 19th Century – A Weberian Interpretation. Boulder CO: Westview PressGoogle Scholar
Jacobi, Abraham. 1904. The History of Pediatrics and Its Relations to Other Sciences and Art. N.p. Reprinted from American Medicine 8(19):795–805.Google Scholar
Jacobsen, Adolf. 1909. “Om Melkekontroll. Møte 7. Oktober 1908” [On the Control of Milk. Meeting October 7, 1908]. In Forhandlinger i det Medicinske Selskab i Kristiania 1908 [Proceedings of the Medical Society of Kristiania 1908], 178–185. Kristiania: Steenske Bogtrykkeri.Google Scholar
Jakobsen, Kate Hovgaard. 1988. “Lægerne tog patent på vejledningen af Spædbarns-mødrene” [It Was the Medical Doctors Who Decided How to Advise the Mothers of Infants]. In Barndom. Børns vilkår og sundhed før og nu [Childhood: Children's Living Conditions and Health in the Past and Present], edited by Joav, Merrick, Peter, Scheel, and Lene, Gården, 97104. Copenhagen : Dansk Sygeplejeråd.Google Scholar
Johannessen, Axel. 1908. De forskjellige dødsaarsagers indflydelse paa spædbarnsdødeligheden i Norge. [The Various Causes of Death and Their Significance on Norwegian Infant Mortality]. Christiania: A.W. Brøggers Bogtrykkeri.Google Scholar
Jönsson, Håkan. 2005. Mjölk – en kulturanalys av mejeridiskens nya ekonomi [Milk – A Cultural Study of the New Economy of Milk]. Stockholm: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion.Google Scholar
Kamminga, Harmke, and Cunningham, Andrew, eds. 1995. The Science and Culture of Nutrition, 1840–1940. Atlanta GA: Rodopi.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Klaus, Alisa. 1993. “Depopulation and Race Suicide: Maternalism and Pronatalist Ideologies in France and the United States.” In Mothers of a New World: Maternalist Politics and the Origins of the Welfare States. Edited by Koven, Seth and Michel, Sonya, 188212. New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Knorr-Cetina, Karin. 1981. The Manufacture of Knowledge: An Essay on the Constructivist and Contextual Nature of Science. Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
Knorr-Cetina, Karen. 1995. “Laboratory Studies: The Cultural Approach to the Study of Science.” In Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, edited by Jasanoff, Sheila, Markle, Gerald E., Petersen, James C., and Pinch, Trevor, 140167. London: Sage.Google Scholar
Latour, Bruno. [1995] 2007. “To Modernize or to Ecologize? That Is the Question.” In Technoscience: The Politics of Interventions, edited by Asdal, Kristin, Brenna, Brita, and Moser, Ingunn, 249–72. Oslo: UnipubGoogle Scholar
Latour, Bruno. 1987. Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Latour, Bruno, and Woolgar, Steve. 1986. Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Law, John. 2010. “Care and Killing: Tensions in Veterinary Practice.” In Care in Practice: On Tinkering in Clinics, Homes and Farms, edited by Annemarie, Mol, Moser, Ingunn, and Pols, Jeannette, 5769. New York: Columbia University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lundqvist, Åsa. 2007. Familjen i den svenska modellen [The Family in the Swedish Model]. Umeå: Boréa.Google Scholar
Løkke, Anne. 1998. Døden i barndommen. Spædbørnsdødelighed og moderniseringsprocesser i Danmark 1800 til 1920 [Death in Childhood: Infant Mortality and Modernisation Processes in Denmark, 1800–1920]. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.Google Scholar
Løkke, Anne. 2012. “Livgivende og farlig, moderpligt og kvindelig potens – kvindemelk og amning” [Lifegiving and Dangerous, A Mother's Duty and Female Potency – Women's Milk and Breastfeeding]. In Rødt og Hvitt. Om blod og melk i fortid og samtid [Red and White: On Blood and Milk in Past and Present], edited by Bondevik, Hilde and Lie, Anne Kveim, 163186. Oslo: Unipub.Google Scholar
Malm, Ole Olsen. 1909. “Om melkekontroll. Møte 23. september 1908” [On the Control of Milk. Meeting September 23, 1908]. In Forhandlinger i Det Medicinske Selskab i Kristiania 1908 [Proceedings of the Medical Society of Kristiania 1908], 163–170. Kristiania: Steenske Bogtrykkeri.Google Scholar
Malm, Ole Olsen. 1916. Barneformindskelsen i Norge og dens aarsaker [The Diminution of Children in Norway and Its Causes]. Kristiania: Aschehoug.Google Scholar
Martinsen, Kari. 1987. “Legers interesse for svangerskapet – en del av den perinatale omsorg. Tidsrommet ca 1890–1940” [The Medical Doctors and Their Interest in Pregnancy – A Part of Prenatal Care 1890–1940]. Historisk tidsskrift 66:373–90.Google ScholarPubMed
Martinsen, Kari. 2003. Omsorg, sykepleie og medisin: historisk-filosofiske essays. [Care, Nursing and Medicine: Historical and Philosophical Essays]. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.Google Scholar
Milton, Lena. 2001. Folkhemmets barnmorskor. Den svenska barnmorskekårens professionalisering under mellan- och efterkrigstid [Midwives in the Folkhem: Professionalization of Swedish Midwifery during the Interwar and Postwar Period]. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.Google Scholar
Mol, Annemarie. 1999. “Ontological Politics: A Word and Some Questions.” In Actor-Network Theory and After, edited by John Law and John Hassard, 7489. Malden MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Mol, Annemarie. 2002. The Body Multiple: Ontology in Medical Practice. Durham NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mol, Annemarie, and Law, John. 2004. “Embodied Action, Enacted Bodies: The Example of Hypoglycaemia.” Body & Society 10 (2–3):4362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mol, Annemarie, Moser, Ingunn, and Pols, Jeannette, eds. 2010. Care in Practice: On Tinkering in Clinics, Homes and Farms. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.Google Scholar
Monrad, Svenn. 1925. Moderens Bog. Det sunde barns pleje [The Mother's Book: Care for the Healthy Child]. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.Google Scholar
Monrad, Svenn. 1945. Moderens Bog. Det Spæde Barn. Hjemmebarnet - Skolebarnet [The Mother's Book: The Infant, the Child at Home, the Child at School]. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.Google Scholar
Moser, Ingunn. 2006. “Sociotechnical Practices and Difference: On the Interferences between Disability, Gender, and Class.” Science, Technology & Human Values 31 (5):537–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ohrlander, Kajsa. 1992. I barnens och nationens intresse. Socialliberal reformpolitik 1903–1930. [In the Interest of the Child and of the Nation: Social-Liberal Reform Policy 1903–1930]. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International.Google Scholar
Pols, Jeannette. 2006. “Washing the Citizen: Washing, Cleanliness, and Citizenship in Mental Health Care.” Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 30:77104.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rosenberg, Margit. 1989. “Breastfeeding and Infant Mortality in Norway 18601930.” Journal of Biosocial Science 21:335348.Google ScholarPubMed
Rosencrantz, Barbara. 1985. “The Trouble with Bovine Tuberculosis.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 59:155–75.Google Scholar
Schiff, Erwin. 1956. “Pediatric Profiles: Adalbert Czerny 1863–1941.” Journal of Pediatrics 48:391–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steere-Williams, Jacob. 2010. “The Perfect Food and the Filth Disease: Milk-Born Typhoid and Epidemiological Practice in Late Victorian Britain.” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 65 (4):514545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thue, Fredrik W. 1997. Empirisme og demokrati. Norsk samfunnsforskning som etterkrigsprosjekt [Empiricism and Democracy: Norwegian Social Science as Post-War Project]. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.Google Scholar
Toverud, Kirsten Utheim. 1946. Beretning om de første 6 års arbeid ved Oslo kommunes helsestasjon for mor og barn på Sagene (1939–1944) [Account of the First Six Years’ Work at the Oslo Health Station for Mother and Children at Sagene (1939–1944)]. Oslo: Fabritius og Sønner.Google Scholar
Ustvedt, Yngvar. 1908. “‘Melke-epidemien’ i Kristiania’: Bemerkninger til de sagkyndige, overlæge Aaser's og direktør Malm's erklæring” [The Milk Epidemics in Kristiania: Comments to the Experts, Doctor Aaser's and Director Malm's Explanation]. Norsk Magazin for lægevidenskaben 69:904911.Google Scholar
Weiner, Gena. 1995. De räddade barnen: om fattiga barn, mödrar och fäder och deras möte med filantropin i Hagalund 1900–1940 [The Saved Children: On Poor Children, Mothers and Fathers and Their Encounter with Philanthropy in Hagalund, 1900–1940]. Linköping: Hjelms.Google Scholar
Öberg, Lisa. 1996. Barnmörskan och läkaran. Kompetens och konflikt I svensk förlossningsvård 1870–1920 [Children's Nurses and the Medical Doctor: Competence and Conflict in Swedish Maternity Assistance, 1870–1920]. Stockholm: Ordfronts förlag.Google Scholar
Ørum, Hans Peter. 1897. “Melkehandelen i Kjøbenhavn” [The Milk Trade in Copenhagen]. Tidsskrift for Den norske lægeforening 17:401–04.Google Scholar