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Old 02-13-2009, 09:33 AM   #1
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Does anyone have a grandmother that never nursed?

My grandmother had 5 children. One died early on but the other 4 she says she never nursed. It is so strange for me to talk to her because for me I assume that formula didn't come around till maybe the 60's and she had her last child (my mother) in 1957 (her first was around 1945). So when I am talking to her she is somewhat clueless as to the trials and tribulations I am going through (all normal).

I get the impression that the only person that breastfed for longer then a few weeks in my family was my cousin (who admittedly is a bit of a black sheep in the family).

Does anyone else have a grandmother or someone that they are close to that you would think would have breastfed but never did?

My grandmother says that with here first she gave her diluted (with water) milk. Can you imagine just giving a child cows milk under a year?
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:38 AM   #2
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Re: Does anyone have a grandmother that never nursed?

I'm not sure how long my grandma nursed for. I remember talking to her about my BFing problems and she mentioned how my dad was a big baby and she couldn't keep up with his needs (9 lbs at birth 6'8" as an adult) and she put him on solids at a month old.

My MIL gave my DH cow's milk as an infant. She was a single mom and couldn't afford formula. He's lactose intolerant now, but other than that healthy.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:41 AM   #3
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Re: Does anyone have a grandmother that never nursed?

YES! My grandmother had 4 chilren and never nursed any of them, not even for a split second. I feel bed thinking of that! But then I remember that it was a different era back then. Babies were born in pristine hospitals, on doctor's timetables, then whisked away to the nursery immediately, where they were usually given sugar water, mothers were given pills to prevent their milk from coming in, etc. It was a different time altogether. Nursing just wasn't the norm. I mean, women were expected to vacuum in high heels and a dress! - the thought of exposing a breast and then allowing your baby to suck on it must have been mortifying for the "proper" woman back then.

All I can say is I am sure glad times have changed! I know nursing is still not as accepted as a lot of people (me included) would like, but it has come a long way from those times.

My grandmother, when I talk to her about nursing says things like, "I wish someone had told me how good that is for babies. I think it's wonderful that you nurse yours. I wish someone would have knocked some sense into me back then. I didn't know any better."

My own mother only nursed my brother and I for 3 months or so each. While it's great that she nursed us at all, she's not very knowledgable about nursing and has NEVER made an effort to help me with any of the nursing problems I've had. She's always been cold and aloof about it... even suggesting I wean b/c it's "weird" and "embarassing" for her when I NIP.

I think each generation of mothers has different ways.


A very old friend of ours (about 87 or so?) says his sister was raised on horse milk because his mother got very ill and could not nurse her. He says she's only had one broken bone, which split, didn't break in two, and he attributes that to the horse milk. Not sure that it has any merit what-so-ever but it was an interesting story from an old friend.

On DH's side, his mother nursed both of her children until they were about 3 mos each. Then they were weaned. Pretty much the same story as my mom with her kids. Both my MIL and my own mother are big pushers for water, rice cereal and solids.

My other grandmother I don't think she nursed either. She also had 4 children. She had to work and could not nurse them.

And, the last thing I wanted to say, my Aunt was the first in our family to nurse. She is a career woman and a mom and she would pump so her son could have momma milk while she was at work. My grandfather cracks up laughing when he tells me about her "milking machine" !!! Which I think is hilarious.

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Old 02-19-2009, 01:55 AM   #4
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Re: Does anyone have a grandmother that never nursed?

My grandmama never nursed. She did cloth diaper 6 out of 7 kids though! (I need to see if she has any piks of my mama in cloth). My mama nursed my little sister not very long at all. I vaguely remember her nursing Jess (I was 3 but I have an AWESOME memory). She had issues and 18 years ago she didn't have anyone to help her. As far as I know, I am the ONLY one in the family to nurse past a week. my cousin tried for a week... another cousin tried for 3 days... I'm going on 6 1/2 months with Jake!

Shaun's mom, however, nursed all 4 of her kids! I may not like her parenting or ways of things, but I give her kudos for BFing and she was an extended BFer!!
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:02 AM   #5
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Re: Does anyone have a grandmother that never nursed?

I'm the only person in my family who has nursed longer than a few weeks. I bf my daughter for almost 3 years, until I got pregnant with my son and at 4 months along my milk dried up. And yeah, I get a lot of heck about that from my family.

My Gramma never nursed, they had just come out with formula when she had her babies and said that all the doctors told them it was better for the babies. Even my Great Grandma only nursed one child for less than a few months. I believe she used goat milk and or evap milk.
David's mother didn't nurse either, David was on formula and his brother was on goat milk.
Even David's ex wife didn't nurse their twins, she said she didn't want to ruin her breasts...whatever...

My cousin bf her first son for 3 days and gave up. My friend didn't even try with either of her two kids, and my other friend gave up on both her kids after a few days.

My mom bf only me for 6 weeks, but gave up because my father wouldn't allow her to put me directly on her breast, she had to pump and give me a bottle and with 2 kids and a full time job, she didn't have the time.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:06 AM   #6
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Re: Does anyone have a grandmother that never nursed?

My grandmother had 10 children and did not nurse. I think Formula started around WWII maybe [at least the big influx of it] because of all the women going to work. There maybe have been "formula" before that, people making there own as well but i don't know the official history.

I think I'm off to google it now!

ETA: I found this article:
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Making the journey through ASD, ADHD, SPD, anxiety, Depression, and ITP with my special needs son
Read about our adventures!

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Old 02-13-2009, 10:09 AM   #7
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Re: Does anyone have a grandmother that never nursed?

My grandma is 83 and had 3 children and she never nursed either! Neither did my mom...I was the first!
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:07 PM   #8
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Re: Does anyone have a grandmother that never nursed?

I have a gm that did not nurse either of her 2 babies (if still alive she would be in her mid 90's). Her babies were fed canned evaporated milk diluted with water. My mother (now 73) tried very briefly to nurse my oldest brother but had no support from any breastfeeding women so he was given the same canned milk, water and corn syrup concoction my mother was fed. My mother then fed the same mixture to her next 4 children.

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Old 02-13-2009, 10:09 AM   #9
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Re: Does anyone have a grandmother that never nursed?

I'm pretty sure neither of my grandmother's breastfed. Though I guess it's possible my dad's mom breastfed her younger children. Dad was raised by his grandmother though. My mom said her mom never breastfed (she had 7 children within 8 years). I've seen pics of her giving a bottle to a newborn also.

My mom did breastfeed me and my sister. But not my older brother. She breastfed us mostly because they were broke and breastmilk was free. I have no idea how long she did so though, because the longer I breastfed the longer she said she breastfed, up to 6 months, lol.

Most people from my family did not breastfeed though.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:09 AM   #10
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Re: Does anyone have a grandmother that never nursed?

I do. Neither one of my grandmothers nursed.
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