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Royal Wet Nurse or King's Nurse (ancient Egyptian: mnꜥt-nỉswt) was an ancient Egyptian occupational title held by women of high nobility who breastfed and cared for the Pharaoh's children (possibly the future pharaoh). Wet nurses were employed if the king's consorts were unable to nurse their own child themselves or to simply not burden them with this confining and time-consuming chore. In ancient Egypt maternal death, during and shortly after childbirth, was high, often requiring the need for wet nurses and they were often available when their own babies had died.

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Royal Wet Nurses were supervised by the Overseer of the Nursery, an office that also could be held by women.

Royal Wet Nurses were regarded highly in ancient Egyptian society, especially when the royal child grew up to become pharaoh. For example; Sitre-In, the nurse of Hatshepsut,[1] was not a member of the royal family but received the honour of a burial in the royal necropolis in the Valley of the Kings, in tomb KV60.

See also[]

References[]

  1. Cline & O'Connor 2006, p. 98.

Bibliography[]

  • Cline, E.H./O'Connor, D.B., 2006: Thutmose III: A New Biography. University of Michigan Press.
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