Posted by Kathy F. on August 15, 1997 at 11:05:35:
In reply to Nursing Babies posted by ElaineL on August 15, 1997 at 09:59:32
] I'm still waiting on transfer of library books that might help with some of my period questions, so in the mean time here are a couple for this well-informed group (or atleast you make up good answers.)
] In the late 18th century/early 19th, how did the gentry handle nursing of babies? Did they have wet nurses in their homes, mothers nursed own babies, used a kind of early-style formula?
] Thanks. EL
"Mrs. Austen [JA's mother] nursed her babies herself for their first few months of life, and then 'followed a custom, not unusual in those days, though it seems strange to us, of putting [them] out to be nursed in a cottage in the village. The infant was daily visited by one or both of tis parents, and frequently brought to them at the parsonage, but the cottage was its home, and must have remained so till it was old enough to run about and talk; for I know that one of them, in after life, used to speak of his foster mother as "Movie," the name by which he had called her in his infancy.'"
Then from a letter from Mrs. A. to her Sister Cooper about JA: "I suckled my little Girl thro' the first quarter; she has been wean'd and settled at a good Woman's at Dean just Eight weeks; she is very healthy and lively, and puts on her short Petticoats to-day."
One problem I always find, is that when I see the word "nurse" I think "breast-feeding"; when it may mean more like "doctor and nurse" nursing.
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