mother dies soon after birth

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mother dies soon after birth

Postby k8landers » 11 Jun 2010, 00:04

While researching my Great Grandmother's birth, I realized that her mother passed away when she was 14 days old.

This was 1883 in Capestrano. They were farmers. Her father passed away by the time she married in 1903, but I haven't looked between 1887 and 1903 to see when.

What normally happened in this circumstance?

Any thoughts, stories, ideas would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance!

katie
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Re: mother dies soon after birth

Postby oilman19 » 11 Jun 2010, 00:42

Hi Katie,

I read the post on your previous thread about your great grandmother. It brought to mind a similar occurrence in my family.
My maternal grandmother died of the Spanish flu in 1918 in the U.S. My mother was 10 months old. Her father was an illiterate farmer with 3 sons and a daughter. I'm not aware of the timing, but my mother ended up in an orphanage to be brought up by the nuns.
I know this is not the same because your ancestor's experience occurred in Italy. What I don't know is whether there was some Italian tradition attached to such a death of the mother, or whether this was a decision of necessity. It appears that the nuns customarily ran the orphanages (I know Carmine or Peter will correct me if I am wrong). I'm not aware of any Italian law that necessitated putting a baby girl in an orphanage.
I suspect this subject matter will produce a very interesting thread.

Jim
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Re: mother dies soon after birth

Postby k8landers » 11 Jun 2010, 00:58

Thank you.

My GGF (her husband) was abandoned at birth and raised by someone else which brought up the subject of nursing. I probably wouldn't have thought about it otherwise. It's not like now where there is formula - someone had to be around to nurse the baby.
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Re: mother dies soon after birth

Postby oilman19 » 11 Jun 2010, 01:03

Do babies still need to be nursed at 10 months? I can't remember,

Jim
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Re: mother dies soon after birth

Postby k8landers » 11 Jun 2010, 14:11

If I had to guess, I would guess that mothers nursed as long as possible - at least past one year.
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Re: mother dies soon after birth

Postby oilman19 » 11 Jun 2010, 14:38

I'm curious about the orphanages and the nuns. Since it happened here (for my mother) and abroad (for your ancestor), I wonder if there is any connection for raising baby girls without a mother. Was this a culture thing or simply a necessity? :?:
I'm sure someone knows.

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Re: mother dies soon after birth

Postby DeFilippis78 » 11 Jun 2010, 15:12

I would guess it was necessity. Even as far back as roman times when children were abandoned, they hired woman to nurse the children. Even if they didnt adopt them or take them as their own, they at least made sure they were nursed. Supposedly it was like a job. Woman who were capable of breast feeding would show up , nurse the child then go back home for extra money. At least thats what Ive read in some history books.

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Re: mother dies soon after birth

Postby Squigy » 12 Jun 2010, 10:07

Also, if I am not mistaken, sometimes the child would be put in the care of a family where the mother had recently lost a child. The woman would nurse the child and take care of it. Sometimes the family would take the child in as their own, and sometimes others weren't so caring. I know this is true with foundlings, but I am not sure about orphans (I would think it would be).
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Re: mother dies soon after birth

Postby k8landers » 12 Jun 2010, 12:31

Her last name was common at that time - Di Loreto - in Capestrano. There were 2,3, or 4 births each year.

Would an aunit / cousin / other family member help? Or was placement usually outside the family?
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Re: mother dies soon after birth

Postby Squigy » 12 Jun 2010, 14:56

k8landers wrote:Her last name was common at that time - Di Loreto - in Capestrano. There were 2,3, or 4 births each year.

Would an aunit / cousin / other family member help? Or was placement usually outside the family?


I believe it depends on whether a relative had the means to take care of the child or not. Sometimes I'm sure it was just easier to just put the child in the care of a wetnurse. But this is just a guess. Every case is different.
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