Maternal milk is the first food practice that serves to control the female body, enabling certain women but not others from nursing infants. I explore how authors in early modern Spain conceptualized breastmilk and the social practices associated with nursing and advocate mother’s breast is best, by comparing, Antonio de Guevara’s 1529 Relox de los princípes with Ana Francisca Abarca de Bolea’s Catorce vidas de santas de la orden del císter (1655). In studying these texts together, I explore essential morays, real-life practices and propose an alternative way of understanding the body politic in early modern Iberia that is female-centered.

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