5 Things You (probably) Didn’t Know about the History of Breastfeeding

August was Breastfeeding Awareness Month, so we spent that time really diving into what breastfeeding has looked like for not just mothers today, but for our grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and even before that! We put together the 5 facts that blew our minds the most throughout breastfeeding history. We also included some facts about pumping + formula feeding- because breastfeeding is not for everyone (and that’s okay!) Take a peek, you might learn something new!


  1. One huge component to the history of breastfeeding is wet nurses! A wet nurse was an occupation of a woman breastfeeding another woman's child. There were wings at the hospital full of wet nurses. Royals often found breastfeeding distasteful, so they had wet nurses. They were around until the 1920s. (Time Magazine)

2. During ancient times, mothers used animal milk as an alternative. Bottle feeding was also used during that time period. They used vessels but eventually it evolved into pap boats and then to glass bottles! (Listverse)

3. Infant companies started producing and selling baby formula in the US during 1869. Nestle had the first formula that was artificial in the country! Unfortunately, the types of formulas out during that time were not ideal and needed a LOT of improvements before it reached today’s standards. (Lilu)

4. Pumping started in the 1890s but was used in the case of a premature baby who was too weak to suck. They would pump and then feed with a spoon or cup. Pumping we know today is new and has become common due to the fact that so many women work! (Time Magazine)

5. In 2018, it FINALLY became legal for women to breastfeed in public in all 50 states! How crazy is that??

We hope you enjoyed learning a few facts about the history of breastfeeding- something so many of us hold near and dear. Along with it came the invention of formula feeding, which has improved SO many lives in its history. Fed truly is best!



Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published