Just One Nipple!

On November 28, 2010 by Eden M. Kennedy

This is a page from a magazine my mother received when she left the hospital with her first child in 1953. The drawing accompanies an article called “So You Can’t Afford a Nurse!” I don’t know anyone who brought an actual nurse home with her baby, did that used to be a thing you did? For normal, healthy babies? It sounds like a thing that Modern, Scientific People would have done when faced with the medical anomaly that is a helpless, pre-verbal human. And God forbid you’d put your own unsterilized nipple in its mouth.

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11 Responses to “Just One Nipple!”

  • I know the first time I boiled my nipple was a disaster.

  • I hated when I dropped my nipple on the floor. Babies can be so judgmental.

  • I probably should have mentioned that I breast fed.

  • My FIL was born in 1951, and his mother’s wealthy MIL (got all that?) paid for a “practical nurse” to stay with the family for the first month (and then some). She apparently did everything that needed doing, baby-wise and housework-wise, and my FIL’s mother was miserable because she wasn’t even allowed out of bed for the first couple of weeks.

  • It’s still done. Many Caribbean nannies start their careers as so called “baby nurses.” When Brangelina came home with those twins (did that really happen, or did People just say it did?) they had a baby nurse. Midnight diaper changes, bring baby to mom (if breastfeeding) for midnight feedings (or any feedings for that matter),… remember all that stuff you did, stumbling around in a stupor with a MyBreastFriend strapped to your waist? That’s what baby nurses do. B/c Heidi didn’t get runway-ready in 6 wks or whatever by losing sleep, you know. Probably not a fun job, but you do learn the mechanics of taking care of a baby, the pay is not bad from what I hear, and, since you’re working 24/7, room and board is naturally part of the deal…..

  • I had my son in May 2009 and while my mom and MIL were around, my husband and I did it all by ourselves. (Note from my name that I live in a small New England town.)

    Recently a college friend, who lives in NYC, posted on Facebook to find out if any of her friends had used baby nurses. I was the only one, out of a dozen or more, who hadn’t or didn’t know someone who had. None of my “new mommy” friends even had their mothers come stay with them at the start. I mean, holy jeepers, people! Women gave birth on the freakin’ Oregon Trail!

  • Did that sound judgmental?

  • Whoa. Just had a weird memory resurface of helping my mom (or somebody, maybe my aunt?) poke holes in a nipple with a pin. This would have been in the Seventies. I think I am officially old.

  • That reminds me… I need to use the word “picayune” more often.

  • A friend of mine hired a night nurse for the first couple of months, and it seems like money well-spent. My friend still did all the feeding, etc. but the nurse would bring the baby to her in bed for nighttime feedings, clean her up, etc. Definitely helped with the sleep deprivation.

  • That daddy-o’s haircut is so square.