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Breastfeeding in Classic Film


MelissaW.
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Watching Song of Love this morning and struck by the scene where Clara races through a performance so that she can run backstage and breastfeed her baby (complete with a closeup of nursing baby curling its toes in satisfaction!) and wondering if anyone can think of any similar scenes in classic film, where it's obvious that the mother is breastfeeding. 

(I work on a maternity floor and mentioned the scene to the lactation nurses, and they wanted to know if there were other examples, but I was drawing a blank.)

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14 hours ago, MelissaW. said:

Watching Song of Love this morning and struck by the scene where Clara races through a performance so that she can run backstage and breastfeed her baby (complete with a closeup of nursing baby curling its toes in satisfaction!) and wondering if anyone can think of any similar scenes in classic film, where it's obvious that the mother is breastfeeding. 

(I work on a maternity floor and mentioned the scene to the lactation nurses, and they wanted to know if there were other examples, but I was drawing a blank.)

I found that scene interesting, as well. I had never seen the entire film before, so it kind of made me make a "hmmm" face.

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Night Nurse (1931) has some shots of women breastfeeding in the maternity ward.  In A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I believe Joan Blondell's character makes a reference to the fact that she is breastfeeding her baby.   

It's obvious that the nurses are bringing the babies to the mothers to be nursed becaue the mothers are all lying on their sides, and there are no bottles present. The scene of the mother latching on is around 1:27.

 

 

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On 8/5/2018 at 10:50 PM, sewhite2000 said:

I haven't seen Song of Love, but I assume such scenes were incredibly rare what with the Hays Code and all. I assume this scene is done with considerable subtlety?

OH YEAH, and it's a very well done, even funny, scene.

HEPBURN (as Clara Schumann?) is giving a classical piano performance at a crowded hall and the baby is crying offstage the whole time. the crowd doesn't really notice, but she of course does.

she finishes the piano piece to rapturous applause than hauls it offstage, taking only one bow before running with the nanny and the baby to her dressing room where she takes the infant in her arms and the camera's gaze descends to her dress resting on the floor.

between WOMAN OF THE YEAR in 1942 and ADAM'S RIB in 1950- HEPBURN did not make a lot of films that have aged well, but SONG OF LOVE is actually pretty interesting, and Robert Walker and Paul Henreid actually work quite well opposite her.

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