Quotes about breastfeeding from Shakespeare

Dost thou not see my baby at my breast, That sucks the nurse asleep?

Shakespeare. Anthony and Cleopatra. Act V, Scene 2

One would think his mother’s milk were scarce out of him.

Shakespeare. Twelfth Night. Act I, Scene 5, 1, 165

Dear nurse of arts, plenties and joyful births

Shakespeare. Henry V. Act V, Scene 2, 1, 34

On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen; 
That shall she, marry: I remember it well. 
'T is since the earthquake now eleven years; 
And she was wean’d, I never shall forget it, 
Of all the days of the year, upon that day;

Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet. Act I, Scene 3

(Juliet was 3 years old when she was weaned) 
For I had then laid wormwood to my dug, 
Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall; 
My lord and you were then at Mantua - 
Nay, I do bear a brain - but, as I said, 
When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple 
Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool, 
To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug!

Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet. Act I, Scene 3

An honour! were not I thine only nurse, I would say thou hadst suck’d wisdom from thy teat

Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet. Act I, Scene 3

I have given suck, and know 
How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me: 
I would, while it was smiling in my face, 
Have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums, 
And dash’d the brains out, had I so sworn as you 
Have done this.

Shakespeare. Macbeth. Act I, Scene VII

Come to my woman’s breasts, 
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers.

Shakespeare. Macbeth. Act I, Scene 5

Give me the boy; I am glad you did not nurse him; 
Though he does bear some signs of me, yet you 
Have too much blood in him.

Shakespeare. The Winter’s Tale. Act II, Scene 1

Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyalty; 
Apparel vice like virtue’s harbinger; 
Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted; 
Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint;

Shakespeare. The Comedy of Errors. Act III Scene 2

Compiled by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC