I think there's already a thread about this, but it's certainly an interesting topic.
I was a formula baby. I think I started solids at 4 months.
Formula. :-( The doctors told my mom she couldn't breastfeed because she had flat nipples. Guess what? Mine are short and I breastfeed just fine!
Breastfed here till 19 months. OP--my mom told me she was fed the corn syrup and evaporated milk stuff in the 1940s/50s (her mom was one of the few who did breastfeed, but only for a few months). I'm guessing your DH is younger than my mom--surprising that he was given that, too?
I was born in the 60s. I was breastfed for about 6 weeks and then, supposedly, "some doctor told me my milk was water, so I quit." (My mother never owns her own decisions.) I found out later "that doctor" never saw me, never weighed me, (I was gaining well on breast milk and dropped in the percentiles when put on Similac and even more when put on cow milk, then developed a severe case of Milk Anemia.) and never asked my mother any questions about her breastfeeding.
By 2 weeks old I was eating: egg yolk, orange and/or tomato juice and cereal. I was then put on Similac at 6 weeks and then cow's milk at around 4 months, because "that formula was really expensive." More and more solids were added weekly. I was on meat shortly after the egg yolk, then every kind of jarred baby food known. My parents moved out of my grandmother's house when I was 16 weeks old and I was immediately put on a rigid CIO regiment. My mother claims, "You didn't sleep through the night at four months because your grandmother would come and pick you up whenever you cried." The horror.
And she wonders why my GI, immune and nervous systems are so messed up. *sigh*
My mother's excuse: "Doctors were gods. You did what they told you without questioning." I don't believe this as she lived IN THE TOWN where many of the first La Leche League meetings were being given and my grandmother and great grandmother and aunt all breastfed their kids until toddlerhood and she had the support to continue breastfeeding IF she wanted it. Yes, I'm still a little pissed off that my body was defiled by this stuff at such a young age due to "convenience" and my mother refusing to own her own decisions.
My MIL never breastfed after she was given a dry up shot in the delivery room without her consent and had no milk the first few days for my brother in law. She didn't try with my husband. They were given home made formula made with honey and evaporated milk. They were born in the 50s.
OMG. Thanksgiving. Somehow the subject of babies came up. My mother gleefully told the story about how she "had no choice" (dear Lord I hate that expression, there are few situations where people "have no choice") but to let me scream myself to sleep when they moved out of my grandmother's house when I was 16 weeks old. She blamed my dear, sweet grandmother and my dear sweet great grandmother and my aunts for picking me up when I cried when my parents lived with them. (My dad was 2nd Generation Italian and it wasn't uncommon for 3 or more generations to all live in the same house. Like a village.) She again laughed when she told how she told the neighbors she was "teaching the baby to sleep, so if you hear screaming all night, I'm not beating her. I'm just NOT going to pick that baby up every time she makes a noise." I guess there was a risk of DCFS being called because I cried so hard, so long, so loud and so desperately.
I was fuming. How could anyone not only DO that to an innocent infant, but brag about it and tell the story like it was amusing to anyone. WTF? Decades later she's still defending her choice as not even being a choice. "You could stay awake for 24 hours." Yeah, so? I had my first two babies 26 months apart, they were both colicky for 14 weeks and never let them cry. I didn't get enough sleep. SO? You do for your babies and you survive. It didn't make me neglect my tiny innocent babies, who only cried because it was the only way they could communicate, and the ONLY thing they wanted was my presence and my arms and my milk. I don't think they were asking too much or unusual at all. That's what babies do. They sleep erratically. Parenting isn't for the weak, or the excuse makers or for those who want a convenient life.
I'm still fuming. That woman still thinks she knows more about parenting than I do. Called me (I'm a Lactation Consultant) in the hospital after my THIRD baby was born and gave me completely irrational "breastfeeding advice." When I, as calmly as I could, told her that what she was suggesting (I had some soreness and she said, "You make those nurses get you a nipple shield!") wasn't recommended for my situation, she got bitchy with me and said, "Then what are they for, then?" I was barely 24 hours post C Section with a preterm baby, in a lot of pain and trying to only get milk into this tiny little baby and I wasn't going to give my mother a crash course on Lactation 101 from my hospital bed at the moment.
Her hubris never fails to amaze me. She not only refuses to admit she made grievous errors but refuses to own any of her choices, claiming she "had no choice" but to make far less than optimal mothering choices, and then, if that is questioned or anyone explains that she did have other choices, blames other people who either "forced" her to do things a certain way or "wouldn't let" her do thing a different way. Cowardly. That's all I can call her mothering.
To laugh and joke about a baby crying lonely and scared in the night, her only worry that a neighbor might call DCFS. WHO does that?
Maggie, you are right to be angry! It's not a "funny" story at all, and it's awful that your mother won't admit now that she did some things wrong, even if she really didn't know at the time.
My partner and I both were breastfed until about 1 1/2 years old and offered soft healthy foods at 6 months. My younger brother nursed until he was almost 3, but his intro to solids was screwed up by my paternal grandmother, who claimed she "didn't know" not to feed him strawberry ice cream at 4 months. My mom thinks that may have been the trigger for his dairy allergy, which lasted until he was about 4 years old.
That grandmother fed my dad some kind of homemade baby formula, but I don't know what was in it. She also gave him "soothing syrup" with opium...
On my mom's side of the family, though, it seems like everybody breastfed even through the era when it was unfashionable. I remember my great-aunt telling me that when her kids were babies in the 1940s, she would leave them with their father while she went grocery shopping, but if she heard someone else's baby crying in the store, her milk would let down--she made it sound like she looked like a lawn sprinkler!
My sister was breastfeed for about 6 months I think. The crazy story about that is that friends of theirs wanted to "keep the baby overnight", she agreed, and weaned her because of it.
I was breastfed until 11 months, when my parents went on vacation. In those days, "vacation" was excluded to anyone under age 5, because one can't expect an under 5 to sit in a boat hours a day and fish. So at 11 months (and subsequent years following) I was sent off to an aunt who had a similar age child for a week while my mom went on vacation with dad. I can't imagine how hard that was for me, my mother, or the aunt!
My mother was formula fed, although she said her mother breastfed some of the children (there were 9) but not all. I've heard that my father was forumla fed, although that probably means he was fed cow's milk, as they lived on a dairy farm. Stories about her in bed for days make me think she suffered severe post-partum depression.
Both my brother and I were EBF for six weeks, then mom had to go back to work. Who knows after that? I am assuming formula. My husband was never BF'd and was fed corn syrup, that karo stuff, and powdered milk. Yuck. We were born in the early 70's.
My siblings and I were EBF, though my mom weaned me at 7 months due to compulsive biting and mastitis. I think the others she nursed until around one year.
My siblings and I where breastfed, my twin sister until she was 1 1/2 and me until 1 year old, I dont know why I stopped earlier though.
There were breast pumps in the early '70s! (Actually, there were manual breast pumps at least as far back as 1902--they're in the Sears catalog I have!) Depending on your mom's work situation, it might have been too difficult for her to pump at work, but it's possible that she might have. My aunt did. My mom was a SAHM when we were little but was a LLLLeader, and I remember her having custody of the chapter's electric breast pump and having moms come over to learn how to use it, not for work (they would have needed their own) but for temporary situations like being in the hospital or taking a short trip away from baby. I was kind of freaked out by the pump, and the feeling stayed with me until after my son was born when I tried pumping myself--it wasn't nearly as uncomfortable and weird as I'd expected!
Hah! My grandmother can describe the recipe in detail! She laughs about it now, how it was all the rage... It was part of the homemade recipe for formula.
I was breastfed 6 weeks, then put on formula. Apparently I was a very bad nurser, because my twin brother nursed much longer.
I was breastfed back in 1972 when "only the Hippies nursed their babies." At least, that was the case in suburban Long Island where I was born. She used to express milk for my 1 bottle a week when she and my Dad had an appointment. I believe the doctor gave her the go-ahead to use whole cow's milk in that bottle when I was 6 months old. At 11 months old, the day I learned to walk, I "weaned myself." Apparently, I couldn't take the breast with me (but she let me toddle/crawl around with a bottle.) I have no idea how much cow's milk/how many nursings a day I was getting between 6 and 11 months old.
I can now recognise my own toddler behavior as a nursing strike, and could give a new mom lots of tips for getting the baby back to the breast. But in 1973, she was given kudos for nursing "so long" and she's still proud that she never fed any of us formula.
My dad was fed that too! It was 1953 and my grandma had had breast surgery and was unable to make milk. My dad ended up with horrible allergies, eczema, and asthma. They also introduced solids way, way early, as in 1 month old. My dad ended up on goat's milk. He suffered health problems his whole life and then passed away in April due to asthma attack. :-(
I, on the other hand, was breastfed for a long time, and fed home-made baby food. I too unfortunately have asthma and allergies but not to the extent my dad did. My brother was unable to nurse due to a rare syndrome and my mom had to formula feed him through a tube. The breast pumps were not good enough back then to sustain a milk supply for very long but she tried.
Breastfed for 3 years, probably EBF for at least the first 6 months, and home made baby food only.
I barely speak to my mother because we have never had a good relationship. I'm pretty sure breastfeeding is the only fond memory I have of her. I actually realized that this week- I have a really hard time thinking of good memories of my mother. I have virtually no immune system to speak of and numerous physical and mental ailments, including a lot of food intolerances. Breast milk didn't do me much good. I would have preferred being formula fed and raised by a good, loving parent. I mean, sure, ideally you could have both- but sometimes I feel like after I weaned my mom decided that she was done with the parenting thing.
My mom BF all of my sibling and me. I am the oldest of 4 girls. Most of use were weaned to formula at some point. The longest she BF was 1.5 years and the shortest was 7 months.
In the 80s, I was breastfed around 6 months til my mom broke her wrist and was put on strong pain meds that would pass into the milk, so then I got formula. I probably ate cereal and purees like 4m or so onward. In 2000 my baby brother nursed for 2 months then I had him full time and mom worked.
My Mom was 17 when she had me in the mid-70's and she was led to believe that boobs are "dirty parts", so I was formula fed. I developed colic almost immediately, and by the time I was 10 weeks old, the pediatrician had told her that I was crying because I was hungry, so they put me on rice cereal in a bottle, too. But I'd keep eating the rice cereal and drinking formula because I suspect I must've had a high suck need as an infant. I've since had two sons- breastfed babies- and they were the same- refused their thumbs, refused a paci, just wanted to suck- nurse- 24/7.