|Description:||This 1963 image depicted a Pägei, New Guinea family including a husband at far left, his two wives, and four children, all the offspring of the wife standing in the middle.|
What is of importance here, is the dramatic physical differences between the two women. The older mother’s physical appearance illustrates what is known as “maternal depletion syndrome”, which resulted from repeated child-bearing, and prolonged lactation, which depleated her of nutrients in a region of the World that offered little in the way of nutritional resources. The younger woman at far right, appears robust and healthy, and had born no children.
Maternal depletion syndrome results when a woman does not take enough time in between births to restore her nutritional reserves, thereby, depleating her of the nutrition needed to restore her body mass, and energy.