Retro Pregnancy Advice: 1960s | 1970s | 1980s
Pregnancy Trends Come and Go, But Bad Advice Never Goes Out of Style
Think pregnant women are on the receiving end of a lot of bad advice today? That's nothing new. Moms-to-be have always been magnets for wacky advice from friends, relatives, doctors, nurses, and well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning strangers. Here's a quick snapshot of some of the advice moms have received in pregnancy and parenting advice books over the past 50 years.
What Do Mothers Know About Having Babies Anyway?
"Once your friends and relatives become aware of the fact that you are pregnant, you will be the recipient of all sorts of advice and suggestions from them. While this advice will be offered with the best of intentions and from the kindliest of motives, pay no attention to it at all. No matter how many babies your Aunt Minnie had, this has no bearing on you nor does it establish her as an authority. It is often difficult not to listen, but you should politely indicate that you get your advice from your doctor. Listening to the horrendous tales of your friends' obstetrical experiences is apt to be an upsetting pastime."
- Frederick H. Goodrich, Preparing for Childbirth: A Manual for Expectant Parents. London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1967.
Obstetrical Time Machine
"In simpler times, an aura of security and even sanctity surrounded the physician and instilled in his patients great confidence in his authority, optimism about his treatment, and a bond of mutual respect born of having lived through moments of stress together. This era encouraged the physician to be authoritative and even paternalistic in his relations with his patients, for all too often he saw this demeanor as a critical means of psycho-emotional support when the treatment offered had pragmatic evidence of value only, without substantial scientific support. In the sophisticated urban and suburban society that is now the environment in which most of our population lives and works, this security about health matters is needed more than ever, but it can no longer be derived solely from the physician's image as a healer. Even the obstetrician who was more frequently the object of devotion and love of his patients because he shared with them and supported them in the highest expression of their femininity, the dramatic, romantic moment of childbirth, has found himself cast more often now in the role of teacher than of medicine man."
- Sheldon H. Cherry, MD. Understanding Pregnancy and Childbirth. New York, Bantam Books, 1983.
Motherhood Never Goes Out of Style - Retro Motherhood Finds
Check out these vintage pieces of mom and baby ephemera which I found listed at Etsy.com -- a fun place to scout for vintage and retro motherhood collectibles, from the antique to the atomic era.
Note: A few of the items listed below come from my own tiny little corner of Etsy.
- Canadian Mother and Child
A vintage motherhood guide.
- Better Homes and Gardens Baby Book
Vintage motherhood advice from Better Homes and Gardens.
- Vintage 60s Misses Maternity Tops Simplicity Sewing Pattern Size 12
Vintage maternity fashion.
- Vintage 11968 Simplicity Pattern 7558 Maternity Dress
Vintage maternity fashion.
- 1925 Telegram - Birth Announcement - Vintage Ephemera - Unique Baby Gift for Baby Boy
A baby birth announcement, via telegram.
- Baby Needs New Shoes - Baby Girl Ephemera
Baby girl collectible items.
- 100 Year Old Real Photo Postcard - Baby Announcement
A real photo postcard announcing the birth of a baby born 100 years ago this March.
- 8 Vintage Baby Announcements
It's a Boy!
- Rock-A-Bye Baby Vintage Ephemera Pendant
A pendant made from a vintage baby image.
- One Vintage Inspired Hand Antiqued and Painted Brass Mother Charm
A vintage mother charm.
Labor? What Labor?
"Some mothers wish to be conscious when the baby is born while others prefer to have an anesthetic. Whether or not an anesthetic is necessary and what kind of anesthetic are things your doctor will decide. Your safety and that of your baby are his responsibility. You should discuss this matter with him ahead of time so you will know what to expect."
- The Canadian Mother and Child. Ottawa: Department of National Health and Welfare Canada, 3rd edition, 4th printing, 1970. (Book was rewritten in 1967)
Don't Forget About Hubby....
"Just make sure that, from now on, he always has a sufficient supply of clean laundry to see him through your absence. And if he's going to be home alone, stock the larder now with the kinds of foods he's able to manage."
- Marcia Morton. Pregnancy Notebook: A Month-by-Month Guide Covering All Those Non-Medical Things the Doctor Doesn't Tell You. New York: Workman Publishing Inc., 1972.
Advice Unlimited - More sources of deliciously awful vintage pregnancy and baby advice.
- Dionne Quintuplets
The infamous story of the exploitation of the Dionne Quintuplets.
- Pregnancy and Childbirth for the Historical Author
A history of pregnancy and childbirth compiled by regency romance novelist Elena Greene. Greene has included a fabulous list of books that delve into the history of pregnancy, particularly the history of midwifery and obstetrics.
- Retro Baby Advice
If you enjoyed this lens, you won't want to miss our sister lens. (You wouldn't be thinking of raising that baby without the benefit of more deliciously awful advice, would you?)
Think You Know Your Mama(s)? Test Your Knowledge Here - by Ann Douglas
A retro motherhood quiz -- just in time for Mother's Day. Prepared by bestselling pregnancy and parenting author, Ann Douglas.
- The Ultimate Mother's Day Quiz
Ready to test your knowledge of all things maternal? This special mothers’ day quiz focuses on famous mothers from all walks of life: TV moms, movie star moms, inventor moms, and more. But don’t make the mistake of assuming that all of the mothers fe
Pregnancy Books by Ann Douglas
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