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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thinking of this tonight and wanted to share.

My father attended a one-room schoolhouse in rural oklahoma in the late 1920s. Children started attending 1st grade on their 6th birthday, and the teacher just started them off learning to write. He walked to school with his older brothers and sisters.
All the older kids brought lunch, but some of the first graders had to run the mile or two to their home (literally run) to breastfeed, then run back.
It was an accepted fact that you breastfed your child as long as possible to prevent another pregnancy. My dad wasn't still breastfeeding because he had a younger sister, but any kids without a sibling were still nursing.

While that's a radically different expectation than child-led weaning, it certainly shows a high level of tolerance and acceptance for weaning past infancy and toddlerhood.
 

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Then why did things change so much and so quickly?
It seems that those kids would remember than and encourage their kids to do the same and so on?
 

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Yeah, I always have to laugh when people talk about sustained breastfeeding as if it's some new fad.

If you ask me, our culture got flushed down the toilet after WWII, and we're still trying to struggle back up the drain.
 

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Thanks for sharing that Apricot.


I knew that breastfeeding was a normal part of life when everything wasn't about convenience, commercialism and a buy-buy-buy culture. It is difficult to come by testimonials because our culture has changed so much in the past 75 years. What a shame. I asked my grandmother (who grew up on a rural farm with a midwife mother) about whether she remembered breastfeeding and she quickly changed the subject. I wished she could have shared with me before she passed away.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by amarasmom
Then why did things change so much and so quickly?
It seems that those kids would remember than and encourage their kids to do the same and so on?
i dare say the invent of the pill would have changed breastfeeding for contraception's sake.
 

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That is so interesting. I didn't know that ebf was the "norm" that recently in American society. After my DD turned one, my Granny (born in 1906) asked me several times if she was weaned yet. I told her I wasn't planning to wean her until at least two, and she accepted that - I think she was just making conversation. But I just assumed from what she said that her family didn't nurse toddlers.

Thanks for sharing your anecdote.

Best,
Nichole
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for reading folks. That's one of my favorite stories.

If I had to guess why it didn't "hold" through time, I'd say because they were farm mamas. Their practices were very much attached to being on the farm (and poor). If you wanted to be modern, it would be pretty easy to just totally disregard everything those mamas did. That and doctors giving people dry-up shots while they were still in twilight sleep, that couldn't help bfing.

My grandma had all her babies at home, but only the last two were attended by a doctor, my dad and his sister. The forceps the doc used severely damaged my father's skull, and the doc nearly blinded him with silver nitrate.
Yet everyone of her seven children had babies in the hospital. The cure for a bad doctor was to go to the hospital where good doctors were, not get a midwife.
I can't really say too much because my grandma had stillborn babies and babies that died when young. I won't judge anyone else's choices when I cannot even imagine the heartache.

While I've veared very far off topic, I'd say that one reason we have come so far in technology is because American people do what they're told. The same forces that gave us computers and telephones are identical to the reasons women and families believed their doctors implicitly. It's the two sides of the coin.
 

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From what I know about formula history, this is around the time that breastfeeding in general fell out of favor. Women started giving their children manufactured infant food instead of breastmilk because of a perception that it was approved by science, better than bmilk because it was scientifically engineered, etc.

It all leads back to that time in history when manufactured infant food (i.e. formula, although it wasn't called that at first) was introduced and mammas thought it was best to use that. We almost lost the art of breastfeeding altogether (that's why there is an entire group of professionals devoted to helping women breastfeed).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Women have been making formulas for ages. With goats and cows milk and lard and other ingredients. I think we women take our cooking talents too far.
Breastmilk is a recipe that doesn't need to be improved on.
And men don't need to profit on it...

More thinking about my dad this morning...
His family didn't have much space, but all the boys slept in one place, in one bed, and all the girls in another room, also all in one bed. The baby slept with Mom and Dad.
It was hot where they lived, so my dad often slept outdoors, too.

I remember being a little girl and traveling to visit my "grandmothers". They were sisters who took in my dad when he was a teen. He worked on their cotton farm and they housed him like family from 11 to 14 or 15 years old. He considered them to be his mothers as well.
Anyway, these ladies were in their late 80s, but they used to look forward to our family visits because I would be sent to sleep with one of them. I thought it was a little odd (as a 5 year old), and it was hard to sleep with a tiny bony old lady, but they liked it. When I'm a very old woman, I hope someone might let me sleep with their baby.
 

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Neat bf story, Apricot! I asked my great aunt (in her 90's) if she knew if my dad was breastfed. She didn't know, then she went on to tell me that she "couldn't breastfeed because her milk wasn't good enough" - the myth started a Looooooong time ago
 

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Something you said about people thinking formula was better than breastmilk made me think of the book "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver. I can't forget the part where the mother talks about having a set of twin girls, one of whom had quite a few health problems. The doctor told them formula was better, so they scrounged up the money to give the physically-challenged baby formula, and breastfed the healthy child. Little did they know, was all I could think. Then the formula-fed child grew up to be a genius, while the breastfed woman was a total schmuck, but that's a whole other story!

Nichole
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by KristiMetz
From what I know about formula history, this is around the time that breastfeeding in general fell out of favor. Women started giving their children manufactured infant food instead of breastmilk because of a perception that it was approved by science, better than bmilk because it was scientifically engineered, etc.

It all leads back to that time in history when manufactured infant food (i.e. formula, although it wasn't called that at first) was introduced and mammas thought it was best to use that. We almost lost the art of breastfeeding altogether (that's why there is an entire group of professionals devoted to helping women breastfeed).

This is exactly what I learned in my CLEC course. With all the women returning to the workforce plus the "scientific era" breastfeeding almost became a lost art. Sad, isn't it, that we need to educate the masses that breastfeeding is natural.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Love my 2
This is exactly what I learned in my CLEC course. With all the women returning to the workforce plus the "scientific era" breastfeeding almost became a lost art. Sad, isn't it, that we need to educate the masses that breastfeeding is natural.
What is a CLEC course?
 
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