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|'A good woman at Deane'..?
Written by Kay S
(2/10/2003 10:41 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Weaning, penned by Clare A
] Three months seems rather early for weaning. I wonder if a wet-nurse was also involved. Babies weaned very early at that time would surely not have thrived easily.
I have the same question as Linden, about why the Austen babies were sent to live with a village woman, apparently after weaning.
It was a practice until well into the early 20th century for wealthy families to employ a 'wet nurse' to breast-feed a baby in place of the mother.
However, it seems that the Austens sent their babies to a village woman after weaning. Mrs. Austen wrote to her sister-in-law Mrs. Walter about her experiences with JA's older sister Cassandra : 'I suckled my little girl thro' the first quarter.... [Cassy] has been weaned and settled at a good woman's at Deane just eight weeks; she is very healthy and lively, and puts on her short petticoats today.'
Does anyone know what was happening here, and does the Austens’ experience reflect the standard practice of the times?
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