Tire-lait, cased, 18th century
This breast reliever is known as a ‘tire-lait’ and is French for 'breast pump'. Mothers used breast pumps, or relievers, to remove their milk. These mothers could not breastfeed their babies. This glass example consists of a cup with a small hole in the top. The nipple was placed in the hole to collect the milk. The milk was then fed to the baby via a bottle. Doctors of the period said babies should be breastfed by the mother if possible, or a wet nurse of ‘good moral character’. Babies during the 1800s might also be fed unboiled cow’s milk, a sugar and water mix from a bottle, or mixtures of milk and sugar with either bread or flour from vessels called pap boats.
- Nursing & Hospital Furnishings
- Object Number:
overall (cup): 96 mm 87 mm, .43kg
overall (case): 105 mm 90 mm,
- furnishing and equipment
- tools & equipment
- On loan from the Wellcome Trust
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.