A Note from Darcia
Welcome to The Evolved Nest!
Welcome to The Evolved Nest's monthly newsletter!

It's National Breastfeeding Month and Black Breastfeeding Week, (Aug. 25-31)! Do you know your breastfeeding history? How did we get here, what does the science say about breastfeeding's importance and why do we need week to honor the cultural issues black mothers face?

Below you can find links to a two-part series on the history and science of breastfeeding, along with a link to Kimberly Seals Allers' insights into Black Breastfeeding Week.

I hope you will join me this November at the Attachment Parenting International and La Leche League Rock the World Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. We're using this event as our official launch for The Evolved Nest.

Please share the growing resources on The Evolved Nest website and this newsletter with your friends and family. You are always welcome to support our nonprofit work with your tax-deductible donations.

Thank you for your support!

Darcia Narvaez, PhD
"The earth loves us--let's love her back!" - Darcia Narvaez, PhD
Darcia's Blog
It's National Breastfeeding Month and Black Breastfeeding Week!
How did infant formula come to dominate infant feeding?

The other day I overheard a graduate student in developmental psychology say she thought that infant formula foodstuff is as good for babies as breast milk. I am afraid that most Americans have the same mistaken attitude and are equally uneducated about breast milk’s importance. It pays to know a little history of how this attitude came about, especially as more and more studies show the nearly magical qualities of breast milk.

Here is a quick history.

Tens of millions of immigrants came to America in the 1800s without the support of extended families to share in the efforts needed to raise a child and without the intergenerational know-how for successful breastfeeding. In her book  Mothers & Medicine: A Social History of Infant Feeding 1890-1950 ,  Rima Apple (1987) provides a history of what happened during this time period, in which the US society shifted from believing in breastfeeding to believing that artificial food for infants was just as good or better.

At first, breast milk was considered essential and physicians criticized breastfeeding mothers who were not disciplined enough to exercise, eat and sleep properly so that their breastmilk would be at its most healthful for the infant.  This is still a problem for mothers prenatally and postnatally .

During the 1800s, industrialization meant that many newcomers worked in factories away from their children. Even middle-class women were becoming more active outside the home in social organizations like Women’s Christian Temperance Union and, since breastfeeding was considered a private affair, wanted or needed to feed their babies something other than breast milk at least part of the time. In the late 1800s, babies were fed all sorts of things and many became ill and even died. Like Apple, Jacqueline Wolf also writes about this period in her book  Don’t Kill Your Baby . Businesses moved into the fray, with the first canned milk business opened by Gail Bordon in 1856.

Medical physicians/researchers turned a critical science-based (science of the day) eye on artificial infant foods—first, those that mothers designed at home. Too many mothers were unsuccessful at their own formula development, leading to a great number of child illnesses and deaths that disturbed both the public and physicians.
During this time also, many mothers seemed unable to breastfeed for more than a few weeks or months.

Read More:

Breastfeeding In The USA: A Little History, Part One of Two
Breastfeeding's Importance: What Science Tells Us, Part Two of Two

New Study: Breast Milk Keeps Time and May Set Baby’s Clock: Although researchers know very little about how the changes in breast milk affect infant health, this research suggests that if a mother pumps milk in the morning and gives it to a baby at night, it will have the wrong cocktail of ingredients for promoting sleep (and promote wakefulness instead).

Five Reasons We Need Black Breastfeeding Week - Celebrated annually August 25-31, feature by Kimberly Seals Allers

New Research Paper
The Importance of Early Life Touch for Psychosocial and Moral Development.

ABSTRACT: One of the primary means of communicating with a baby is through touch. Nurturing physical touch promotes healthy physiological development in social mammals, including humans. Physiology influences wellbeing and psychosocial functioning. The purpose of this paper is to explore the connections among early life positive and negative touch and wellbeing and sociomoral development. In study 1, mothers of preschoolers (n = 156) reported their attitudes toward positive/negative touch and on their children’s wellbeing and sociomoral outcomes, illustrating moderate to strong positive correlations between positive touch attitudes and children’s sociomoral capacities and orientations and negative correlations with psychopathology. In study 2, we used an existing longitudinal dataset, with at-risk mothers (n = 682) and their children to test touch effects on moral capacities and social behaviors in early life. Results demonstrated moderate to strong relationships between positive/negative touch and concurrent child behavioral re gulation and positive correlations between low corporal punishment and child sociomoral outcomes. In a third study with adults (n = 607), we found significant mediation processes connecting retrospective reports of childhood touch to adult moral orientation through attachment security, mental health, and moral capacities. In general across studies, more affectionate touch and less punishing touch were positively associated with wellbeing and development of moral capacities and engaged moral orientation.

Discover The Evolved Nest
Building the Nest

The Evolved Nest has been integral to 99% of human genus history and provides a baseline for optimizing normal development. Here are more details about the importance of each of these  Components of The Evolved Nest:

Read more about the components of The Evolved Nest here.
Evolved Nest In The News

Darcia F. Narvaez, professor of psychology at Notre Dame University points out that no human being is designed to have a solid eight hours sleep. She reminds us that in pre-historic times, when our ancestors were busy hunting and gathering, they would catch a few hours of sleep here and there.

Narvaez also says that human babies aren’t necessarily ready for delivery at the time of birth. If you think about other mammals, they’re able to walk at birth, or at least stagger. Our precious bundles are still just that, precious. In fact, Narvaez goes as far as to say that a human newborn is still like a fetus at birth.

“So that means you want to keep that baby calm while the brain systems are finishing because they only have 25% of the adult brain-size developed, and a lot of systems haven’t set their thresholds and parameters yet. They’re expecting good care – like in an external womb or nest. We call it the evolved developmental niche or nest.”

Find The Evolved Nest in the news in our press room . You can also book Darcia for interviews and events on this page.

Fresh Eyes on the Evolved Nest
Follow the Fresh Eyes Series to discover how the next generation perceive the Evolved Nest and relate to children, before they become parents...
Our Planet in Peril
By Janey Almaraz

Those who will suffer the most from climate change are those who will live beyond us. It is imperative that we each start being conscious of our environmental footprint because life as we know it is at stake. Climate change doesn’t mean that the Midwest will become a tropical paradise in January; instead, it means that our children and grandchildren will suffer from disease, hunger, and heat exhaustion while fighting for survival in a world which can no longer sustain them.  We must all come together and take responsibility for ensuring that our home remains a home for those who will come after us. 

Resources for Educators
Nurturing Character in the Classroom EthEx Series
By Narvaez and Colleagues
The Nurturing Character in the Classroom book series is a set of guidebooks for teachers that provide hundreds of ideas for how to incorporate moral character skill development into regular academic instruction. EthEx refers to the lifelong development of ethical skills toward expertise (ethical expertise) in many domains and situations. The four EthEx books each suggest 7 skills with 3 subskills important for a virtuous life. The books outline how to teach these skills in a middle-school context. But the books are used by K-16 instructors. 
Each book contains:

· Hundreds of ideas for integrating ethical skill development into standards-drive academic instruction

· Four levels of novice-to-expert instruction

· Guidelines for a classroom climate supporting each skill

· Student self-monitoring items for each skill

Rock the World Breastfeeding and Parenting Conference
API is partnering with La Leche League of KY/TN for the  Rock the World: Breastfeeding and Parenting Conference  in Nashville, November 2, 2019! The location will be in the heart of Nashville, near so many family friendly and musical locations.

The conference will feature Darcia Narvaez, PhD,  Dr. Bill and Martha Sears, Dr. James McKenna, Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker, and many other stellar speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and, of course, a music event! Come meet parents and professionals from all over the world and celebrate API's 25th Anniversary too.

The conference will be a one-day event complemented by an evening event on Friday and a concert on the day of the event. CEUS will be provided.

Find out more about this 25th Anniversary Celebration of Attachment Parenting International  here .

See Darcia's full event calendar here

Cafe Press Logo Gifts

This Evolved Nest mug is on sale for $5 for the next two days! You can find the mug by clicking on the image or going here.

You an find the entire Evolved Nest Cafe Press store, with totes, t-shirts, hats and more, here.
Where to Find and Share The Evolved Nest

Find and share The Evolved Nest on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, SoundCloud and LinkedIn!

Read Darcia's blogs on Psychology Today, Kindred, and LinkedIn.

And support The Evolved Nest's nonprofit work with your tax-deductible donations here.

Please contact The Evolved Nest with your questions here.

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