"Being Pregnant" 50 Years Agoemily
I just got back from spending a long weekend up in Michigan where I clocked in some quality time with both my mom and grandma. While hanging out, of course we talked about pregnancy, labor and delivery, and life with a newborn.
One thing I took away from the conversations is that pregnancy has really changed over the years. Some of the things my grandma was reminiscing about seriously blew my mind.
Wow, times have changed. Mostly, for the better, I believe.
10 ways being pregnant has changed in the past 50 (or so) years:
1. Seeing two pink lines didn’t exist. That’s right, women would just wait for a missed period, then call the doctor for an exam.
2. Feel like indulging in an adult beverage? No worries, nobody thought twice if a pregnant woman wanted a drink or two. And the same went for lighting up and smoking…
3. Most women who were pregnant were cared for with “kid gloves” and prescribed lots of bed rest. Too much activity might wrap the umbilical cord around the unborn baby’s neck.
4. Sitting on cold things like park benches and cold stoops were thought to cause hemorrhoids.
5. Expecting women didn’t go to funerals.
6. In public, the proper phrases to use were “with child” or “expecting”, opposed to “pregnant or pregnancy”.
7.In your hospital bag, you packed a weeks worth of night gowns. Because that’s how long you were going to be admitted.
8. Women labored and delivered on their own. Husbands and other family members waited in a different room until after the baby was born and you were cleaned up.
9. Typically, women were knocked out completely with drugs while they labored.
10. And finally, once you’ve been discharged and come home, you’re mother or mother-in-law would move in and stay with you for weeks so they could take care of the baby while you rested and regained your strength.
Oh baby, my how times have changed…