Babies Between The Lines; The Buttinski Battles Over ' Hand Feeding '

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Feb 14, 2012
Central Pennsylvania
baby family new loc.jpg

From LoC, this idyllic scene is awfully interesting. For one thing, a brand, New mother is portrayed as a semi-invalid resting by bed, and should be, not tossed back into every day life within 24 hours. Medicine may have progressed in the past 150 years; not noticeably in this area. Other controversies remain the same.

Buttinskis tend to be unchanged through time, by way of intrusive input where a matter is well, none of their business.

' Hand feeding ' one's baby was a huge controversy in the era. Hand feeding, i.e. using bottles to feed infants, was a very bad topic.

Not nursing one's baby was a horrifying prospect to anyone convinced it was a mother's duty. Men weighed in, too, passing judgment on the practice of giving a baby ' pap ' ( Bread, sugar and cow's milk, refined to a thick liquid ) instead of mother's milk. In 2018 we have substitutes and no one is vilified ( mostly ) for using them. It's at least no one's business how a mother decided what to feed her baby.

child pap.JPG

Still a little of this around. Remember being bullied, while expecting the first, on the topic by proponents who came across as judgmental as those 150 years ago. Some of us do not bully well, made my own decision despite outside input. Convoluted feelings myself, on one hand it's obviously beneficial, natural immunities being the reason mine had no sniffles for a good year. On the other? Don't give anyone another reason to bully women. We got this.

Can you imagine?
baby 1865.JPG

Comparing ' hand feeding ' to murder? Goodness.

There are quite a few era photos showing women nursing babies. Have always wondered if these were pointed photos, indicative of this raging argument.

child hand feeding.JPG

child hand feeding2.JPG

Godey's, so frequently a champion of women caved badly too.

No opinion here. Well, I do have a personal opinion but it's only mine- not to be used for one, more reason to tell any other female what to do. Who knew we'd been at this for 150 years?


Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Aug 16, 2015
Thanks for reminding us of 'the way we were'. In every age, there are always 'buttinskis'. One wonders what future generations will think of our common, everyday practices.
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!