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A Matter of Life and Death

There once was a time when drinking contaminated milk meant severe illness and even death. Many babies died as a result of spoiled milk until production and storage regulations were set in place to ensure the public safety of Americans.

I found an interesting article from the Citizen newspaper (Berea, KY) dated July 28, 1910 about infant feeding. The article was entitled: Death Rate Among Children Our Shame and in it, the writer discusses ways to keep babies from dying from contaminated milk. To my surprise the first recommendation was to breastfeed:


In practically all cases the mother can and should nurse her own baby. Breast mllk Is the natural food for the newborn baby. No other food can compare with it. Ten bottlefed babies die to one that Is breastfed.

Immediately after birth do not use any kind of artificial food or teas for the baby while waiting for the breast milk to come. Put the baby to the breast every four hours and give nothing else but water that has been boiled.


The article also had important weaning advice and showed me once again that it was the 30s and 40s that witnessed a surge in bottlefeeding. In 1910, at least in Kentucky, breastfeeding was touted as the best nutrition for babies. If you would like to read the full article for yourself click here.

Comments (2)

Hi, I have beenn enjoying your blog tremendously. The photos & info are very thought-provoking and interesting. Thanks so much for doing this work. -Chrisoula
Thank you so much for the kind words. I hope you stop by often!
Mothering › Baby Articles › A Matter of Life and Death