Breastfeeding, it’s nothing new. It was Hera’s breastmilk that made Hercules invincible. Where did babies get milk from in the ancient times? They got it from their mother or from a wet nurse. A wet nurse is a woman who is capable of producing breastmilk and who breastfeeds another woman’s baby in the case that mother cannot produce any milk or cannot breastfeed for any other special reason(s). There was no such thing as formula, so the alternative route to feed baby was the use of a wet nurse.
The first liquid form of infant formula was created in 1865 by chemist Justus von Liebig. Eighteen years later in 1883, there were 27 brands of infant food. The formula provided fat but lacked essential vitamins, minerals and protein, that babies need. In the 1940’s and 1950’s, physicians promoted the use of infant formula and the infant formula companies invested greatly into promoting their product to the public. As a result of infant formula promotion, there was a steady decline in breastfeeding. Infant formula was seen as safe, convenient and just as good as breast milk. But it was originally created to feed babies whose mothers could not breastfeed.