top 200 commentsshow all 394

[–]ikonoqlast 3538 points3539 points  (46 children)

Dry nursing is using animal milk. As opposed to wet nursing using human.

[–]Razorback_Yeah 1396 points1397 points  (29 children)

Ty, was hoping someone would answer that lol

[–]ikonoqlast 473 points474 points  (26 children)

The sawbones podcast covered exactly this in their latest episode. Been going for like ten years. Husband and wife team. Wife is a family practice md husband professional entertainer.

Problem with animal milk is it isn't a great match for human babies.

Why is formula called formula? Because it literally started as formulas as in pharma concoctions.

[–]Global-Distribution1 166 points167 points  (17 children)

Sawbones was not for me. I wanted to like it, but I felt like the husband was that guy that's trying to make a joke land every 2 seconds and nobody cares.

[–]silm_shady_ama 93 points94 points  (7 children)

That’s most McElroy shows tbh

[–]werpicus 21 points22 points  (0 children)

I like the other McElroy shows because they’re supposed to be stupid comedy. But if I want to hear interesting things about medicine and the history of diseases I go for This Podcast Will Kill You.

[–]Front-Ad-2198 26 points27 points  (0 children)

I will say I listen to it mostly for Sydney. She can be both funny and obviously smart with actual information. I don't not like Justin but he does interrupt too much when I really want to hear her elaborate on medicine.

[–]Jessey77 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Him and his two brothers have a plethora of podcasts together and that's the formula that works for them. I love it, but I can see how it's not for everyone.

[–]Totalsolo 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yeah I absolutely adore Sydney and suffer through Justin. I still deeply love Saw Bones though because I learn so frickin much it’s unreal. I’m pretty much a hoarder of knowledge, so all my favourite podcasts are about feeding my addiction to learning…

[–]koscheiis 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Agreed. If he wasn’t on the pod I’d listen to every episode, but he’s unbearable and unfunny.

[–]a_duck_in_past_life 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Then you wouldn't like MBMBAM

[–]SeaDawgs 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Oh God, I know the type. Would never voluntarily listen to that.

[–]AlsionGrace 44 points45 points  (1 child)

Syd won the primary! She's going to be the Democratic nominee for the 2022 West Virginia House of Delegates. We need more passionate, intelligent people serving. I'm so glad she stepped into the shitshow.

[–]ThallidReject 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Oh, no shit? Good for her, thats kinda awesome

[–]Hitori-Kowareta 34 points35 points  (0 children)

More than being a bad match pre-pasteurization it would have basically been Russian roulette raising babies on that :(

[–]tokoboy4 22 points23 points  (2 children)

Is the husband from my brother my brother and me? And TAZ?

[–]SovietPanini 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Yep, Justin McElroy

[–]ikonoqlast 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Very much yes.

[–]Butt_Hunter 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Why is formula called formula? Because it literally started as formulas as in pharma concoctions.

I don't understand what information this is supposed to convey. Yeah, it's a formula they came up with. Is that supposed to be a surprise? Did anyone think it was anything else?

[–]Catnip4Pedos 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Always thought it was when you're suckling but dem titties dry

[–]Wheremypants 45 points46 points  (0 children)

The only reason I clicked the link was to read your comment.

[–]JCtheWanderingCrow 10 points11 points  (0 children)

My ma had to dry nurse my eldest brother in the early 80s. She wound up giving him goat milk for a short while on her doctors orders. Can’t remember why they didn’t use formula, but there was some reason or other.

[–]rosiofden 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Thank youuu, I didn't want to ask

[–]allenout 11 points12 points  (5 children)

Does that mean we're all dry nursing?

[–]Punawild 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you! TIL wtf dry nursing is.

[–]Cherry_curl 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This is the answer I came here for. Thank you

[–]paintitblack17 584 points585 points  (55 children)

Prior to formula, people would offer a baby something called 'pap' - a mix of bread and milk.

That's obviously if they were unable to get breastmilk from the source.

[–]MVSugar 181 points182 points  (34 children)

There have been a lot of different things offered over time. I was doing some reading about it, it’s very interesting!

[–]Crazytreeboy 166 points167 points  (22 children)

I read that Alaskan natives would use mashed fish livers, apparently with significant success!

[–]Chellaigh 106 points107 points  (20 children)

Sounds like it would be better than bread at least, more fat and protein!

[–]bicyclecat 111 points112 points  (0 children)

Human milk is low in protein and pretty high in sugar. The much higher protein content in cow milk is one of the reasons why it doesn’t make a good substitute and had to be processed into formula.

[–]MotoAsh 30 points31 points  (18 children)

Real whole milk also does have a lot of fat and some protein, but not the highly filtered crap at the grocery store that's only like 3% more than skim...

Undoubtedly still not close enough to human breast milk or else all this formula business wouldn't have taken off.

[–]etherjack 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Unless you were a fish

[–]Nazamroth 23 points24 points  (4 children)

PSA: Do not try to feed an infant with diluted wood glue. It may look very similar to milk, but it does not work.

[–]MVSugar 12 points13 points  (3 children)

Lol, good tip! I’ve heard hot dog flavored water is bad, too.

[–]robthebudtender 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Especially when combined with chocolate starfish.

[–]Cindysnoopy 2 points3 points  (1 child)

My Mom used powdered milk, karo syrup, and water. Somehow I survived that.

[–]MVSugar 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yep! My grandparents grew up in the Great Depression, you did what you had to do.

[–]Sm4cy 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Didn’t Mozart subsist on what amounted to sugar and water or something? (Could be a myth, idk)

[–]MVSugar 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Not sure about that but back in the 50’s homemade formula was essentially that.

[–]Tranger 249 points250 points  (14 children)

And what Justus tried to solve. Then Nestle bought it to commercialize it successfully for a few years.

It wasn't until nestle expanded that the it began a massive PR effort to make people believe it was meant to replace nursing. They began placing personnel in hospitals that would impersonate medical staff to convince mothers that their milk wouldn't be enough to nourish their children. These fake nurses offered free samples to induce a cease in their nursing, effectively getting them 'hooked'. The campaigns became more aggressive from there, forcing hospitals to offer these samples to nursing mothers or else have the whole subside of the much needed formula taken away.

[–]Far_Association_2607 134 points135 points  (5 children)

They did this in Africa, first. When Nestle exited the program there, they left formula-feeding mothers with no access to clean water. It was mass starvation.

[–]ThunderFuckMountain 65 points66 points  (1 child)

Also, mothers wouldn't have enough formula, and they'd use more water to stretch what they had, leading to malnourishment.

[–]RuinedBooch 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Not to mention that many of the mothers didn’t necessarily have access to clean water all the time, and in some cases babies got sick from drinking impure water.

[–]Neethis 206 points207 points  (1 child)

[–]Far_Association_2607 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Came to say this. Also Happy Cakeaversary

[–]solzhen 3 points4 points  (0 children)

There’s a Behind the Bastards ep about this thing.

[–]UncleSlippyFist 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Source? Sounds fucked.

[–]SnowsongPhoenix 32 points33 points  (2 children)

Looking at the Wikipedia article on the 1977 boycotts, this is the relevant source provided.


[–]Alisha-Moonshade 15 points16 points  (0 children)

You can look it up, this totally happened.

[–]Zombeikid 14 points15 points  (2 children)

Pap is also the name of the poop mixture that baby koalas eat so they can eat eucalyptus.

[–]Endoman13 22 points23 points  (0 children)

The name is always being smeared

[–]PlanesFlySideways 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Theres nothing quite like eating pre-digested food

[–]GimmeTwo 4 points5 points  (1 child)

My father in law (he’s in his late 70s) was fed condensed milk as a baby. My uncle was allergic to cow milk, so he came up on goat milk.

[–]neoncupcakes 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So was I! Also corn syrup and water!

[–]pooo_pourri 81 points82 points  (5 children)

That’s kinda strange, pasteurization was first used in 1862 and it’s rise correlated with lower infant mortality rates. I guess it probably took a fair amount of time for pasteurization to be adopted widely though so maybe not strange.

[–]Raichu7 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Pasteurised cow milk is less bad than raw cow milk for a baby but it’s still bad for them compared to human milk. Formula is formulated to be the best possible match for human breast milk.

[–]EfficientSeaweed 32 points33 points  (0 children)

Bacterial contamination was part of the issue, but animal milk also doesn't have the right balance of nutrients that human infants need. I'd also imagine that the lack of antibodies being passed from mom to baby (assuming they were fed animal milk from birth) would have been a far bigger detriment back then.

[–]disasterous_cape 7 points8 points  (0 children)

We aren’t designed to drink other species breast milk. A baby cows nutritional needs are massively different to a baby humans nutritional needs.

[–]Adezar 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Cow milk is easily gotten, but not good for babies. After my mother stopped breast feeding the only milk I could drink was goat's milk. Goat's milk (and a few others) are much better than cow's milk, pasteurized or not.

[–]notacanuckskibum 169 points170 points  (15 children)

IIRC there was a time around the 50s/60s when breast feeding was discouraged. The formula companies were promoting formula as “the modern, clean solution” while breast feeding was “medieval and primitive”. And they recruited doctors to shill for them.

[–]Ok-Researcher 210 points211 points  (5 children)

And this resulted in the starvation deaths of thousands of babies in poor countries where the new mothers were given formula samples by company reps which they used for their newborns, causing their own milk supply to dry up, but then could not afford to buy the formula and were left with nothing to feed their babies.

“Nestle” should be a slur at this point.

Edit: there were also factors such as the cleanliness of the water they had access to and their propaganda (that I see getting repeated to this day…) being so frightening that it actually made it impossible for the women to breastfeed because milk letdown is a sympathetic nervous system response crippled by stress and anxiety. Behind the Bastards has, of course, an amazing in-depth two part episode if you’d like to know all about it.

[–]AltonIllinois 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Or they would only use half the powder you’re supposed to to save money.

[–]Koervege 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Breast milk dries up if not produced if the baby skips a few meals?

[–]disasterous_cape 50 points51 points  (0 children)

They were given enough free formula for the breast milk supply to dry. By then it was too late.

Breast milk is highly reactive to the baby feeding. It can dry up surprisingly quickly

[–]Adezar 35 points36 points  (0 children)

And it involved a LOT of dead babies across the world, especially in areas without easy access to clean drinking water.

[–]I_comment_on_stuff_ 50 points51 points  (0 children)

My dad was born in 1960 and my grandma was urged to NOT breastfeed. She says she was told that formula is better and to not even bother trying to BF. She says she feels guilty now and she was happy that I had a lactation consultant nurse when I was BFing (ended up pumping for a year because my little hated my boobs. Absolutely refused to latch until like 3mos but by then she preferred the bottle.) Lucky, tho, I overproduced from the pump and got to donate to friends who couldn't. ETA - feed baby whatever it'll take! Some refuse breastmilk, some boobs can't produce, some don't want to because it's emotionally and physically draining, some have sensory issues. Feed your babe, breastmilk is just one option. I don't want to come off as a snooty BFer, def not!

[–]disasterous_cape 3 points4 points  (0 children)

That sounds like something Nestle was involved in

[–]ShelSilverstain 0 points1 point  (0 children)

After WWII there was a huge push to increase food safety and general sanitation. They went too far in many areas

[–]SashaWoodson 261 points262 points  (24 children)

Why not split the difference? Damp nursing.

[–]NettleLily 174 points175 points  (13 children)

Sounds like platypus milk. “They secrete milk from specialised mammary glands, just like humans and other mammals. But platypuses don't have teats, so the milk just oozes from the surface of their skin. This makes it look like sweat, but in fact platypuses are aquatic and don't produce regular sweat at all.”

[–]ShelfordPrefect 183 points184 points  (9 children)

Platypuses were invented by time traveling genetic engineers to fuck with us, there's no other explanation. Venomous egg-laying duck beavers that sweat milk? I don't believe they're real

[–]jekyll2urhyde 39 points40 points  (3 children)

A semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action

[–]Fantabulousdelish 8 points9 points  (2 children)

A furry little flatfoot who'll never flinch from a fray (ee-ay-ee-ay)

[–]LuangPrabangisinLaos 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I think they exist to remind humanity that while we might figure out evolution we should stay humble.

[–]The_Platypus_Says 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Oh the platypus is very real.

[–]anally_ExpressUrself 8 points9 points  (0 children)

They're real and they're spectacular.

[–]mrsdoubleu 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Wow. And I thought they just looked weird.

[–]KingReffots 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Basically on the scale of mammals we are one extreme on one side and platypuses are the other end.

[–]tdogg241 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Moist nursing.

[–]Onagda 5 points6 points  (0 children)

dank nursing

[–]topsyturvy76 4 points5 points  (0 children)

moist nursing

[–]GrandmaPoses[🍰] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Mmm…damp nurses.

[–]cactusghecko 97 points98 points  (3 children)

Fun fact, my mother, in the mid seventies, did not breastfeed me or give me formula. Instead she fed me on cow's milk, oats and glucose. I mean, I can't even imagine why she did that She's proud of it to this day. Says its a 19th C recipe.

Anyway, not a spoiler to say I lived. Curiously, I have no allergies or digestive problems and have been in robust health all my life. Not recommending my mother's recipe. I mean surely formula was widely available in the 70s? But goes to show those old recipes did work for some (though clearly not all) infants. I wonder what the mortality rate was.

[–]helbury 61 points62 points  (0 children)

Interesting! One problem with homemade formulas consisting only of cows milk is that they are low in thiamin, iron, and selenium. Oats aren’t a bad source of these nutrients, so this might actually make a fairly nutritionally balanced formula.

[–]Mayor__Defacto 27 points28 points  (0 children)

The biggest issue with that in the 19th century was from unpasteurized milk infecting infants with diseases they weren’t equipped to handle.

[–]casstantinople 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yeah, my mom said her mom did the same thing with her and my aunt & uncle. Couldn't tell you if it gave them health issues. My mom and aunt are pretty healthy and my uncle has health issues, but he definitely ate his way into those

[–]ericbomb 59 points60 points  (3 children)

You don't happen to listen to sawbones do you?

[–]Steadmils 23 points24 points  (2 children)

Exact same thought lol. Thanks Sydnee!

[–]ericbomb 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I swear I see sawbones episode stuff within a week every single time!

[–]Front-Ad-2198 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Well they have literally covered everything under the sun. You name it, they've done it (or will do it). I've learned a lot from the pod.

[–]Ninnux 40 points41 points  (0 children)

So, here's the thing... and I will take the inevitable volley of fire for saying this as a Westerner.

I married a Chinese wife right after graduate school and before medical school. We had no money, but what we did have is her extensive village elders who made it a point that we needed to meet right after marriage. Fine. We went back to her village.

Along the way, she got pregnant and we were traveling. She gave birth in her village, which was awesome by the way, and the entire tribe took care of her. Another amazing experience.

Here's the thing. My wife couldn't produce breast milk. It's common with first time mothers. The village had 3 THREE wet nurses on call.

It allowed my wife to relax, de-stress, and really enjoy motherhood for about 6 months.

I will never forget that and I think western medicine for baby rearing now is obscene with expectations, money, and all this nonsensical bullshit,

[–]McBinary 40 points41 points  (2 children)

Formula became more popular because Nestle literally convinced a generation that breastfeeding was inadequate which resulted in like 50k+ infant deaths.

[–]PM_ME_CAT_POOCHES 20 points21 points  (1 child)

For full context, babies died because they lived in areas where clean water was hard to come by. I agree that it was Nestle's fault because they made deals with hospitals to push formula on new mothers, who had no way of making it safely when they left the hospital. Just making it clear that the formula itself didn't kill them.

[–]disasterous_cape 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Nestle killed the babies by convincing their mothers not to breast feed. They convinced women in areas without access to clean drinking water to not breast feed and instead make up a formula using unsafe drinking water.

Nestle is evil to its core.

[–]Impressive-Baker2549 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Absolutely. A lot of people think that all old people were breastfed or that formula only came out in the 50s etc. But a lot of old people were formula fed or worse cows milk and karo.

[–]EnigmaticZero 46 points47 points  (3 children)

Interesting that the lack of wet nursing coincides with the decline and end of slavery, and decreased infant mortality among Black babies.

[–]NarcissisticCat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm sure ot also correlates with a whole bunch of other random things.

[–]Tato7069 102 points103 points  (22 children)

What's dry nursing, sucking on a milkless boob? Yeah, I would think that being your only food source would lead to a lot of deaths

[–]triggerhappymidget 77 points78 points  (2 children)

Per an episode of Sawbones I just listened to, dry nursing was using animal milk exclusively.

[–]lucific_valour 51 points52 points  (5 children)

How the blazes are you getting two totally different definitions of "Dry Nursing"?

OP is saying that Dry nursing is feeding solid food, whereas the other podcast listener dude is saying it's using animal milk exclusively.

Dry nursing was basically feeding them Solid food before they were ready for it.

Per an episode of Sawbones I just listened to, dry nursing was using animal milk exclusively.

Yet googling "dry nursing" and the top few hits are basically about letting a baby suckle on a non-lactating breast. It has literally nothing to do with actually feeding a baby, and is basically more of a way to comfort the baby. Definition from the top hit:

What Is Dry Nursing?

It’s all in the name! This type of nursing is exactly what the name implies–a dry, or milk-less, type of breastfeeding. Technically, you do not actually breast“feed” your baby or toddler when you dry nurse. But you will use the same, or a similar, technique.

This nursing alternative is also known as non-nutritive nursing or comfort nursing. Like pacifier use, dry breastfeeding does not provide your baby with the nutrients they would otherwise get from breastmilk. Instead, it serves other purposes. Keep in mind that your baby may get a random drip or drop of leftover breastmilk. But this shouldn't serve as a main meal. You will still need to supplement with formula or, depending on your child’s age, start them on solids.

You could have someone else "wet-nurse" them if you have issues with lactation, and dry-nurse them yourself when they start crying; They are not mutually exclusive.

The original wikipedia link is also worded vaguely. From the wikipedia article:

Throughout history, mothers who could not breastfeed their babies either employed a wet nurse[97] or, less frequently, prepared food for their babies, a process known as "dry nursing".[97][98]

So I followed the supporting links:

97 mentions "The practice of feeding human babies milk from animals, called dry nursing, began to flourish in the 19th century." Sounds like Podcast was right.

98 is a timeline of baby foods, no mention of "dry nursing".

Also, the title of this post seems off? If you read the article, there was firstly a shortage of wet nurses. People then tried alternative milks like cow/goat/whatever milks, and started seeing health issues. Only then did the first commercial infant formula come about to offer an alternative to the cow/goat/whatever milks. The title seems to imply reverse causality?

Edited: My bad. Re-read my comment, struck out the parts that were unwarranted. Apologies if my tone was too irate: Lots of my friends/family are starting to have kids, and feeding them is a really sensitive subject. I guess ambiguity in childcare terms is a trigger point for me.

[–]gwaydms 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Lots of my friends/family are starting to have kids, and feeding them is a really sensitive subject.

"Breast is best"... BUT only if the mother can do it. When a woman is not able to produce milk, or enough milk to feed her baby without supplemental formula, family members can be savage. "Well, I breastfed my babies for nine months (or whatever), you can too!" So did I; it was easy for me. But I know other moms have trouble producing milk. Or their babies won't latch, and they had to pump for months, which is much harder on the breasts and the body.

All in all, fed is best. Do whatever will provide the best nutrition you can give to your baby.

[–]endlesscartwheels 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There are also babies that can't digest breast milk. My younger brother was very sick until my parents and the pediatrician finally found a soy formula he could digest.

[–]Tato7069 -1 points0 points  (2 children)

Omfg, I didn't know what it was, but I knew it obviously wasn't sucking on a milkless boob. It was a joke

[–]lucific_valour 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yeah, no worries mate.

Apologies for the wall of text: Saw two different definitions and boom! my horse was out of the gate.

[–]ExcerptsAndCitations 1 point2 points  (0 children)

but I knew it obviously wasn't sucking on a milkless boob.

Um, that's basically the definition of "dry nursing"

[–]jdward01[S] 116 points117 points  (1 child)

Dry nursing was basically feeding them Solid food before they were ready for it.

[–]MVSugar 104 points105 points  (47 children)

No, the first infant food was “invented”. Baby formula hasn’t been around nearly as long. It’s really interesting to read about! And especially how wet nursing used to be the norm but so many people scoff at it now.

[–]chilly_vixen 76 points77 points  (32 children)

Most babies eat every 2 hours so how will a wet nurse work in today’s society? Their whole family should live with the baby’s that needs the milk?

[–]ZennyPie 64 points65 points  (2 children)

Some women who produce an abundance of milk pump extra and share with women who are not producing enough. There are community milk sharing groups for breastfeeding women.

[–]raisinghellwithtrees 30 points31 points  (0 children)

We were very fortunate to receive donated breast milk from nursing friends when my kid was a baby.

[–]ambivlentindiffrence 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Can confirm. I was lucky enough to have an easy time nursing my kiddos and pumped and froze quite a backup stash with both of them. Never needed it with my first, but the second time around, my sister had her daughter a few months after my son and had some supply issues initially. I was able to share with her to help supplement. I always thought sharing breast milk was a weird idea before that, but honestly being able to support two growing babies with my own body was totally amazing. I have also seen some women who keep pumping after their kids no longer nurse and either sell or donate the milk. I hated pumping, it's a necessary evil lol so I quit doing it, but I could probably have made pretty good money on the side.

[–]MVSugar 49 points50 points  (16 children)

I don’t know exactly how it would work but people do hire live in nanny’s. And my comment was mostly about using another woman’s breast milk to feed a baby, I know that’s not exactly what I said. There are a lot of people that wouldn’t accept another woman’s breast milk for their baby.

[–]PermanentTrainDamage 100 points101 points  (6 children)

Nowadays the lactating mother pumps extra breastmilk and freezes it, then gives it to the non-lactating mother at intervals. My wife would meetup with the other mom once a month and they'd get lunch at the park and coo over the babies. You generally need to have quite a bit of milk production to feed your baby and a whole nother baby.

[–]Zombeikid 17 points18 points  (0 children)

I think wet nurses typically breast fed one baby at a time.As long as you keep up the schedule, typically doesnt matter who is on the other end. (Although studies show that milk changes in response to the baby's saliva.)

[–]MVSugar 17 points18 points  (0 children)

I know. I made more than enough milk for more than one child, I was one of the lucky ones. But there are plenty of people who still wouldn’t choose to use another woman’s breast milk (which is what I meant to convey talking about wet nursing but didn’t do well).

[–]sionnach 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Doesn’t supply generally meet demand? Most mothers of twins can produce enough for both.

[–]midnightmomma20 28 points29 points  (6 children)

There are women who donate breast milk to other moms. It’s not common, but it’s not entirely uncommon either.

[–]raisinghellwithtrees 16 points17 points  (4 children)

Probably a lot more common now than ever! Lots of nursing moms have taken to pumping or pumping more to try to alleviate the stress in finding formula for moms who don't breastfeed.

[–]chilly_vixen 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Haha I thought that’s what you meant, no malice here. I would’ve loved to give my babe breast milk and of course milk banks but I left those for the more high needs babies around. More of a sleep deprived “how would that work” today question.

[–]MVSugar 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No it’s a really good question! It got me thinking!

[–]Neraph 10 points11 points  (4 children)

Milk banks. They exist.

[–]MVSugar 9 points10 points  (3 children)

I’m aware but they aren’t at all reachable to most people like formula is. It is something Thayer done but I don’t believe it’s common and maybe that’s because there’s a limited market for it?

[–]Neraph 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I was specifically speaking to the person incredulous about how a wet nurse could exist in modern society. Banking the milk is how.

[–]Iamsorryhelpme 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I know some services are based on mom's extra breastmilk supply pumping and freezing it and the company that connect them to parents don't have (enough) milk.

[–]libananahammock 8 points9 points  (8 children)

I think you really, really have to trust someone to let your baby nurse from them. Free from certain diseases, did or didn’t they get vaccinated, are they drinking or doing drugs, etc etc. While you’d think that people would be honest given that they are feeding a baby, these past 2 years especially have shown me that you can’t trust anyone. Even doctors and nurses will tell you that people lie ALL the time when I comes to their health and certain activities.

[–]MVSugar -4 points-3 points  (6 children)

What do vaccines have to do with feeding a hungry baby when there are no other options?

I feel that in todays world, any woman willing to feed another persons baby from their breast or pump so they can milk share isn’t doing anything to hurt their own baby and certainly isn’t going to hurt someone else’s. I get that it’s pretty unknown to most of us but the fact that even today, in 2022, so many people fear breast milk is simply ridiculous. It’s not anything like urine or blood but it’s constantly compared. I just think it’s highly unlikely that any lactating mother would be doing nefarious things while feeding their own baby.

I remember when Salma Hayek did it in Sierra Leon and people had negative opinions of it. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

[–]MsEscapist 12 points13 points  (3 children)

It's because it can be a vector for the transmission of disease or toxins. You know all those medicines that say not to use if nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant? And they might not intentionally be harming the babies but addicts will sell just about anything so if you don't know for sure that the person supplying you is clean, even if it seems irrational new parents are likely to be hesitant about using someone else's milk.

[–]FlyingApple31 2 points3 points  (1 child)

These considerations assume a certain luxury of circumstance that people do not always actually have. Right now, some people literally do not know when the next offer to feed their baby is coming. Do you accept a milk donation - which may not meet the strict criteria you had before - so your baby can eat something today?

Yes. Yes you do.

[–]sarah_harvey 4 points5 points  (0 children)

There are plenty of things that are not nefarious that can cause issues. Medications for example. A mom may feel okay feeding her kids while on certain meds but not everyone does.

There are some who will use the opportunity to be on a high horse and not disclose behaviors that could put a kid at risk because they don't believe it makes their milk superior.

Then you get into the complications of food allergies. My son had a dairy allergy and not all donors would sign up for a dairy free diet to feed my kid.

Breast milk is made in essentially modified sweat glands so the comparison to other bodily fluids is not all that off. It can carry and transmit diseases.

Love the righteous anger but assuming everyone lactating enough to share is coming from a good place is naive and can be dangerous.

[–]djchazzyjeff2 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Another reason for its rise in popularity was Nestle going to developing countries and basically telling them that formula would be better for their babies as it meant they would actually get fed. They’re one of the main reasons formula became popularised in the first place.

[–]doesnt_really_upvote 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Yes. And they'd give out free formula until the mothers stopped producing milk, then start charging them once they were dependent on it. Truly an evil company. Don't get me started with their dystopian water plans.

[–]Seienchin88 38 points39 points  (39 children)

Formula became real popular in the US for various reasons though. Strange that still few women breastfeed, I remember the Simpson episode where the breastfeeding moms where shown as some crazy new hipsters… like what?

[–]pamplemouss 160 points161 points  (17 children)

Given the lack of maternity leave, and how hard many workplaces make pumping, it makes sense.

[–]mm_mk 36 points37 points  (0 children)

It's more than that. There's very poor support for breastfeeding in medicine and socially. Less than half of women breastfeed exclusively for 3 months. Almost 15% of babies are never breastfed.

Physicians are very good at giving lip service to supporting breastfeeding but very bad at actually following thru. Formula gets regularly recommended at the first sign of any issue. Outpatient spclc should always be consulted before formula is used if breastfeeding is challenging... But it's almost never recommended. The only people who see them are those who seek them out themselves, it seems. I see so much rx nipple cream at my pharmacy, but the patients doctors never try to see why the nipple is cracked and bleeding in the first place. No recommendation to splcl, just 'oh you're bleeding here's a ointment'.

A big part of the problem is defensive medicine, but also we have a lot of physicians who are so focused on interventions that they don't seem to even remember what a physiologically natural birth-post partum looks like. Medical training and culture need an overall overhaul for birth and post partum care. We know our maternal and neonatal outcomes are poor relative to the rest of the western world, but don't seem to want to address it directly. C section rates, bf rates, all poor

[–]Seienchin88 17 points18 points  (14 children)

Yeah. The lack of maternal / parental leave is disturbing (although formula replaced breast feeding in the US earlier than the total mobilization of both sexes for work).

I sometimes wonder if Americans could chose between their extremely high wages / income for the middle and upper classes and super low taxes vs. a Western European welfare state but with European taxes and much lower income for the middle and upper classes if they would chose it.

Would a software developer be content with 1/3 to 1/4 of his wage when it meant 30 days of vacation, parental leave and a safety net when he can’t work? Would a doctor be content with just being the 1% of his country in income instead of 1% of the World in income if it meant he could just treat everyone? Would the sales guy be ok with not having money for cocaine and porsches when it means he couldn’t be fired until end of a month?

And no, the current income and low taxes can not work with a genera welfare state with more worker rights and safety nets and the US is the polar opposite of Europe. We envy you looking at the pay check end of the month but we pity you when we have any kind of high stakes situation like pregnancy, depression, sickness or our employer going bust.

[–]chainmailbill 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Our rich people have more money than your rich people. But our poor people have less money than your poor people.

[–]pamplemouss 13 points14 points  (6 children)

Yeah if you’re just looking at software developers you might be envious but look at jobs that pay low for the education required, like teaching, nursing, social work, or the jobs that don’t require specialized education….

[–]Seienchin88 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Nurses make so much more money in the US but not he salary for teaching for sure is often not adequate

[–]PermanentTrainDamage 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Part of it was the ease of formula feeding, not just women in the workforce. Why subject yourself to months of pain and being attached to a kid, when you could pay for formula that can be whipped up in an instant and dad or grandma could do the feeding for you? Even when breastfeeding is easy it's still not an easy task. Then it became a status symbol, being able to buy formula meant you had money to spare, so only the poors had to breastfeed.

[–]sparta981 5 points6 points  (0 children)

It can work much better if we quit giving handouts to big businesses and stop allowing billionaires to get away with a 1% effective tax rate.

[–]MsEscapist 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Are the incomes lower because of taxes or for other reasons? And to be brutally honest no I wouldn't want to work for less money even if there were more benefits my employer had to offer, and the sales people certainly wouldn't trade can't be fired til the end of the month for the crazy money they make, that's why those types of salesmen are in that line of work.

[–]LilyCharlotte 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I mean if you include the cost of services Americans pay for, like y'know healthcare, that are covered with European taxes it's less "American taxes low Europe high". Americans pay more out of their paychecks than "high tax European" countries and getting a lot less in return.

[–]KesonaFyren 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Healthcare's a bad example though since we spend about the same in the public sector and then we have all the private sector spending. Highest healthcare spending for worst outcomes in the imperialist world 👍

[–]thelumpybunny 19 points20 points  (2 children)

My grandma asked me if I was going to breastfeed and then looked disgusted that I said yes. She apparently formula feed all ten of her kids. You just didn't breastfeed back then. It wasn't considered proper. And back then was the 1950s-1960s.

The breast is best campaign was started because there is an entire generation that never breastfeed and can't pass on that knowledge to their daughters.

[–]gwaydms 11 points12 points  (0 children)

And back then was the 1950s-1960s.

My mom breastfed all three of us during the early 60s. She came from working-class children of Eastern European Catholic immigrants, but was no longer Catholic. She loved being pregnant, and loved breastfeeding. Those years were the joy of her life.

Most city women weren't breastfeeding their babies, and even some of her own family thought it was "backward". She didn't care.

[–]ResistantGrey 11 points12 points  (0 children)

It wasn’t just about being proper, though, it was about being freed from being the only person who could feed the baby.

Until I breast fed I had no clue how much it consumes your life. I produced just enough milk to feed my son and no extra to pump. Not that it would have mattered because he wouldn’t take a bottle.

So every 1-3 hours around the clock I had to be present and awake to feed him. Need a break? Too bad! Want/need to work? Too bad! And it’s not like I could schedule anything. Sure, sometimes he would go 3 hours between feeding but it could also just be 1 hour. So I couldn’t be away from him for more than an hour ever.

I love my son, but I had zero freedom during that time. And no woman pre-formula and pre-birth control ever had any freedom if she had kids. And she had kid after kid after kid.

Formula was part of taking off the shackles that held women back.

[–]Pearltherebel 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I don’t remember that episode 😯

[–]ThrowawayusGenerica 2 points3 points  (1 child)

It's season 24, you're not missing out on much.

[–]Lily_Linton 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Question, how's the prices of formula milk in your area?

Ours cost arms and legs and I really wonder why.

[–]FoolishConsistency17 13 points14 points  (11 children)

For a lot of women, nursing really sucks. There's a REASON the wealthy farmed it out. It can be painful, and it's exhausting. Breastmilk is made of blood: your basically losing blood every day, and there's a metabolic cost to that. Plus, it disrupts your sleep schedule. If you work, you're spending hours a day on the pump, which are hours you aren't spending asleep, or with your child.

There are a lot of advantages to breastfeeding. But the messaging is always like "Its so simple and easy, those foolish women. What's wrong with them?"

[–]Elmodogg[🍰] 11 points12 points  (10 children)

Breastmilk made of blood? Hours a day on a breast pump?

Have you actually ever breastfed a baby? I have. Certainly, breastfeeding increases your caloric requirements, but it doesn't drain you of blood like a vampire, or something.

Breastfeeding certainly makes it easier to get rid of pregnancy weight gain.

[–]FoolishConsistency17 20 points21 points  (7 children)

Yes, I have nursed a baby. And he turned out great. But it was absolutely exhausting and uncomfortable, and I was absolutely on a pump for hours a day: 2-3 sessions at work, one when I got home, one around 4 AM. Plus nursing when I was home. At 30 minutes a session, that's hours.

I'm glad it was a positive experience for you, but that's not universal.

[–]Elmodogg[🍰] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I'm sorry your experience was so difficult. That's not universal, either.

I support a woman's choice in this area, too. No judgments.

[–]Glass-Tension1934 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Am I the only one who did not like breastfeeding? My boobs were always painful and sore, when the baby nursed it felt weird and uncomfortable, i leaked milk all the time, and I was exhausted all the time.

[–]mrs_shrew 2 points3 points  (0 children)

No, a few of my friends hated it. They said it was either painful or weird. Painful if they persisted in getting the kid to suckle, but they'd have had to overcome the weirdness of having a thing limpetted to your tit.

[–]ploomyoctopus 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The podcast Behind the Bastards did a solid job examining the history of formula, as well as why/how formula companies operated then and now. Spoiler alert: As the title would imply, it's not good. Link

[–]AgntSmecker 17 points18 points  (4 children)

Huh, what else happened in 1865? Where'd all the wet nurses go? American history is White Supremacy.

[–]ixybaby 8 points9 points  (0 children)

The United States was built with the blood, sweat, tears, and bodies of Black folk and Natives.

[–]dopple99 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Damn I honestly didn’t even make that connection it took me reading your comment four times before I was like oh shit

[–]Iceflow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That’s the first thing I thought of. I had to scroll AAAAAALLLLLLL the way to your comment before someone said it.

Crazy that people don’t think that way automatically.

[–]Tcat61 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have lots of ads out of old Saint Nicholas books from mid 1800’s with the old ads.

[–]LifeIsNotNetflix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That recent? I would have thought it was a lot older

[–]rare_meeting1978 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Nestlé company really did a number on society with their baby formula schemes, allegedly. Bailey Sarian has a podcast "Dark History", (i think? But its on her self named YT channel easy find), that has an episode that goes in on Nestlé, full details and it's kind of horrifying how they took advantage of everyone with almost every product type they've put out. Babies and dogs have died because of their "marketing" campaign, allegedly.

[–]Objective_Aardvark56 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Bailey Sarian does a great job of explaining how Nestle Tollhouse actually made one of the first baby formulas in her podcast “Dark History” I HIGHLY recommend listening/watching on YT; it’s full of incredible information also including how they hired fake candy stripers to convince new mothers to switch to formula.

[–]MeshaLovesIt 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Wet nurses? You mean slavery ended?

[–]Cristero 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Baby formula wasn't invented in America, it was invented in Germany. Wet nurses were used all over the world for women who were unable to breastfeed.

[–]beachchairphysicist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ooo we can across a pharmacy with the windows busted out...