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What would a baby born in the 40's have been fed if not breastfed?

post #1 of 84
Thread Starter 
My mom was born in 1942. She insists that she was not breastfed, but she doesn't know what she was fed instead. (Her mom and dad are both gone, and her sister is only a couple years older than she is and she can't remember. She does remember getting to feed my Mom with a bottle, though.)

I know they didn't have formula. And they didn't have a wet nurse. Would they have just put plain cow's milk in the bottle?
post #2 of 84
My mom remembers babies getting "formula" made with goat's milk, and also with evaporated milk. Supposedly, goat's milk is closer to our own than cow's milk. I've never really looked into it.
post #3 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
My mom remembers babies getting "formula" made with goat's milk, and also with evaporated milk. Supposedly, goat's milk is closer to our own than cow's milk. I've never really looked into it.
Hmmm...I wonder if they would have had access to goat's milk? My great-grandparents were dairy farmers, but I guess they could have had some goats, too.
post #4 of 84
Formula was invented in the late 1800s. They absolutly had formula in the 1940s. My mother wasnt nursed either, and neither were any of her siblings, including my uncle born in 1949.

Formula was initially invented to feed orphans so that abandoned children wouldnt die. Can't remember when it became something to use in lou of breastmilk. WOnder whose brilliant idea THAT was.
post #5 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
Formula was invented in the late 1800s. They absolutly had formula in the 1940s. My mother wasnt nursed either, and neither were any of her siblings, including my uncle born in 1949.

Formula was initially invented to feed orphans so that abandoned children wouldnt die. Can't remember when it became something to use in lou of breastmilk. WOnder whose brilliant idea THAT was.
Oh, I thought formula wasn't developed until later. Maybe that's what they fed her, then.

After I posted this, I got to thinking about what was done in orphanages. But probably an orphanage would have had a wet nurse. That would have been such an awesome job.

ETA: You are right! A quick little Wiki search revealed that Similac was introduced in the 1920's. I don't know why I assumed that formulas weren't available until the 50's or 60's.
post #6 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by emelsea View Post
Oh, I thought formula wasn't developed until later. Maybe that's what they fed her, then.
just google "When was baby formual invented?" SOme say 1845, some say 1869, but it was definetly before the turn of the century. Like I said, it was invented as a means to keep the infant mortality rate down for orphaned children. SOmewhere along the way, it started to be commercialed as an alternative method to breastfeeding. I was formula fed. .

I had a morbid curiosity about this about a year ago.
post #7 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by emelsea View Post
After I posted this, I got to thinking about what was done in orphanages. But probably an orphanage would have had a wet nurse. That would have been such an awesome job.
I believe, if memory serves, the rate of orphaned babies was begining to overcome the services the wet nurses could provide. ALternative methods for nutrition were needed to satisfy the shere number of children in need.

Its the commercialazation that turned it into a cash cow. Scuse the pund.
post #8 of 84
This blog post contains a recipe in a booklet given to new mothers that sounds similar to what my grandmother describes mixing up for her children (condensed milk, corn syrup, and cod liver oil).
post #9 of 84
Babies can survive on animal milks as well. Presumably their death rates are much higher but I know my nephew (born in India) got buffalo milk after my SIL couldn't bf and he didn't tolerate whatever formula was available. He's just fine now.
post #10 of 84
From what little my grandmother and mother told me, canned evaporated milk, cows milk and early introduction of food. In fact, my dh(poor guy) was given formula for a couple weeks, then switched to cows milk and solids at about 3months. Maybe earlier. My MIL actually started with whole milk and slowly switched to 2%. How my dh isn't a complete metabolic mess, I have no idea.
Oh wait...he is.
post #11 of 84
Granted, I was born in 1981, but I was fed canned evaporated milk with caro syrup. that was my Gran's idea of formula. My mother was capable of BF'ing, and did, for 3 weeks. but she was also a senior in high school working 3 jobs, and wasn't able to and didn't have the desire to continue.

formula was available for a long time, but depending on people's circumstances and finances, they may have chosen a more inexpensive/readily available option.
post #12 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
Can't remember when it became something to use in lou of breastmilk. WOnder whose brilliant idea THAT was.
Some male doctor/researcher who thought he could do better than God/nature. Ok, there was probably more than one. It gave doctors one more thing they could have power over, which would necessitate more frequent doctors visits. Not to mention bottle feeding preserved their "Victorian" sense of modesty for their women (no need to bare breasts to anyone). So here we are 60-70 years later trying to undo multiple generations of BAAAAD informaion. Kind of like "smoking is good for you". Alright, enough sarcasam.

I'm sure it became more popular when more and more women went to work while the men were overseas fighting in WWII.

I have a home ec book from 1950 and it mentions using the "formula recipe" mom would get from the babies doctor. My mom remembers using evaporated milk mixed with Kayro syrup.
post #13 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teensy View Post
This blog post contains a recipe in a booklet given to new mothers that sounds similar to what my grandmother describes mixing up for her children (condensed milk, corn syrup, and cod liver oil).
Quote:
Originally Posted by smpayne View Post
I have a home ec book from 1950 and it mentions using the "formula recipe" mom would get from the babies doctor. My mom remembers using evaporated milk mixed with Kayro syrup.
the thought of giving my babe condensed milk and kayro/corn syrup made me simultaneously tear up and feel like i was going to vomit. OMG.
post #14 of 84
My mom was fed formula along with her siblings. DPs mom and all of her siblings (6 I believe) were fed a combo of powdered milk, karo syrup and maybe something else in it. It sounds like a gross combo, but honestly the formulas out there aren't very much different than that.
post #15 of 84
I've always wondered about this myself. I wondered about orphans or babies who mother died in childbirth and what they would have been fed two or three hundred years ago. Interesting topic.
post #16 of 84
200 or 300 years ago, and beyond that through the ages, they had wet nurses. Matter of fact, English, (and possible french and spanish) queens going back centuries were not even ALLOWED to feed their infant children. Especially if the baby was female.
post #17 of 84
My mom was born in the 40's and wasn't breastfed. She was fed a homemade formula: evaporated milk, corn syrup, and water, in a specific "recipe" (or formula) given to Grandma by the doctor. Solids were started very young because babies needed vitamins not found in canned milk or corn syrup.

Two or three hundred years ago, orphaned babies were either nursed by adoptive moms or a wet nurse, fed whole cow or goat milk, fed "solids" way too young, or died.
post #18 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
200 or 300 years ago, and beyond that through the ages, they had wet nurses. Matter of fact, English, (and possible french and spanish) queens going back centuries were not even ALLOWED to feed their infant children. Especially if the baby was female.
I heard a really interesting lecture by a GWU English professor about bio-moms and "breast moms" with regards to Shakespeare's time, and specifically Romeo & Juliet. What was interesting is that poorer women would have jumped at the chance to wet nurse, because they just couldn't afford to keep having babies. Rich women, on the other hand, were producing heirs, so it was in their best interest to have their fertility return ASAP.

ETA: I think it was Gail Kern Paster, the former director of the GWU English department. I saw her speak as part of the Folger Teaching Shakespeare Institute. She wrote a book about Shakespeare and bodily functions, if you're interested... sorry, rambling off topic. I'll blame the 94 degree heat.
post #19 of 84
I read a book about middle-class Victorian families in England and back then the general consensus of the "experts" was that formula was better for babies because it was "scientifically" engineered to meet babies nutritional needs. With all the new inventions like lightbulbs, phonographs, telephones, etc. there was kind of this "gee whiz, the more technology the better!" idea that prevailed.
post #20 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teensy View Post
This blog post contains a recipe in a booklet given to new mothers that sounds similar to what my grandmother describes mixing up for her children (condensed milk, corn syrup, and cod liver oil).
Sadly this is what my mother was told to feed me in the early 1970s!
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