Friday, 26 September 2014

A Must Have for Nursing Mothers

I am very pleased to welcome Doctor Dillingham back to the salon today, fresh from a jaunt home to Edinburgh. Always a most reserved man, he nevertheless knows a thing or two about a thing or two and has shared a glimpse at an intriguing treasure  from Georgian medical history with me today.


Silver nipple shield
http://phisick.com

The rather perfectly formed item pictured above is not, as a salon visitor wrongly guessed, a tea strainer. It is, in fact, a silver nipple shield. This would have been used to ensure the comfort of a nursing woman during months or years of breastfeeding, preventing any unpleasant chafing or soreness and hopefully ensuring that this particular element of motherhood went as smoothly as could be!

This is a beautiful example of a rather wonderful piece of domestic history and one can only imagine that it would have been used in a very fine household. No doubt the lady to whom it belonged was grateful for the respite her silver nipple shield brought, let alone the rather fine craftsmanship that went into creating it!

11 comments:

Sue Bursztynski said...

It looks rather painful to me. I thought when I first saw it that maybe it was to spare the new mother embarrassment when breast feeding in public. Goodness knows, there's still a lot of fuss made about that even today, one female MP being told off for feeding her baby in Parliament meetings!

Catherine Curzon said...

My colonial gentlemen thinks it looks painful too; like a small instrument of torture!

Anonymous said...

Now I wish I wrote in the Georgian era - this would definitely make an appearance! And doesn't look painful to me - cold maybe...

Catherine Curzon said...

Brrr!

Unknown said...

I had to use a nipple shield with one of my children. It looks fine to me. Easy enough to warm up.

Catherine Curzon said...

Opinions seem divided on this one!

Sue Bursztynski said...

I bet yours wasn't made of silver, Fiona!;-)

Regencyresearcher said...

Poor baby sucking on and pressing on silver rather than warm flesh. I do imagine some mothers had sore breasts especially if one infant was barely weaned before another was born to take its place.

Annie Whitehead said...

Reminds me of one of the things I DON'T miss from the time when my babies were babies ...

Catherine Curzon said...

At least it isn't the lead version that became popular later!

Catherine Curzon said...

Ouch!