Wet nurses are employed when the mother is unable or elects not to nurse the child herself. A wet nurse can help when a nurse dating is unable or unwilling to feed her baby.
20th century, when a mother was unable to breastfeed, a wetnurse was the only way to save the baby’s life. Reasons include the serious or chronic illness of the mother and her treatment which creates a temporary difficulty to nursing. Some women choose not to breastfeed for social reasons. Many of these women were found to be of the upper class. For them, breastfeeding was considered unfashionable, in the sense that it not only prevented these women from being able to wear the fashionable clothing of their time but it was also thought to ruin their figures.