Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

Categories: History | Society

The task of every decent pregnant woman is to ensure a healthy and happy 9 months of waiting. Even today's expectant mothers find it difficult to understand the variety of contradictory advice on this topic, but the women of the past had even more difficult — they had to follow strange, ridiculous, and sometimes even unhealthy advice, considered at one time a model of common sense.

Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

How do I know if you are pregnant? Now we can buy the simplest pregnancy test in any pharmacy and tell the news to the whole family in a few minutes. But just a couple of decades ago, determining pregnancy was a long and complicated process. When scientists discovered the pregnancy hormone hCG in the early 20th century, they couldn't think of anything better than injecting a woman's urine into immature rabbits or mice. After 5 days, the animal was killed to examine the ovaries. If they were enlarged, the woman could begin to congratulate on the imminent addition to the family.

Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

What is not worth eating? The diet of a pregnant woman was built around the exclusion of what could harm the unborn child. However, as now. However, the potential "pests" have changed a lot. For example, in the XV century, pregnant women were strictly forbidden to eat the head of a rabbit, because it could lead to a harelip in the child, or soft cheeses, because of which the boy could have a small penis. More tips? Of course! For example, do not eat spicy food, because this can make the child blind.

Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

What, on the contrary, should I eat? Medieval healers often advised pregnant women to eat "warm, dry food" (whatever it is...), and also to wash it down with a large amount of red wine. And a beautiful Finnish tradition, which would appeal to most modern expectant mothers, advised eating chocolate to make the child happy. As for the strange food preferences and unexpected irresistible desires of pregnant women — it was believed that they determine the tastes and favorite foods of the unborn child.

Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

What to think about? Victorian doctors believed that the thoughts of a pregnant woman were transmitted to the child. And its future character directly depends on the feelings, emotions and experiences of the mother during pregnancy. In other words, quiet and happy mothers made calm and happy children.

Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

Wear a corset! In the past, there was nothing worse for pregnant women than looking pregnant. The solution to this problem was taken up by clothing manufacturers, who advised all expectant mothers to wear rigid corsets. It was assumed that wearing a corset is good for the child, as it ensures that he is "in the right place". The supporting bandage is actively used in our time, but in those corsets for pregnant women it was quite difficult to sit, eat, and just breathe.

Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

Do I have sex? The answer is obvious — only if you want your child to be born a pervert. John Harvey Kellogg-the inventor of the famous cornflakes-was also a doctor known for his work in the field of sexology. His advice to future parents was extremely strict and unambiguous: no-no! "Sexual activity during pregnancy should be postponed for the benefit of both the child and the mother herself. The harmful effects of the gratification of the passions on the child during the period when his character is being laid down are undoubtedly much stronger than we are accustomed to think. We have no doubt that this is the main reason for the transmission of promiscuous tendencies to the child." In other words, the offspring will certainly become a pervert if mom and dad have sex. In the end, you only need to be patient for 9 months. And then another 18 years or so ... just in case.

Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

Why go outside when you can stay at home and do needlework? Experts in the mid-1950s warned pregnant women against excessive activity, advising rest and relaxation as the best activities for the expectant mother. Staying up late, being in stuffy rooms, and experiencing emotional distress were all considered extremely harmful. Instead, they were supposed to sit by the family hearth, read books, listen to the radio, do needlework, and have intimate conversations. I wonder who?..

Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

If you still went out on the street-follow the fashion for pregnant women! When corsets were finally abolished and women, including pregnant women, were able to sit and breathe normally again, manufacturers of maternity clothing began to make it as "interesting" and "fashionable"as possible. Nevertheless, their main goal remained the same — to hide this very pregnancy for as long as possible. Books for pregnant women of the mid-twentieth century strongly advised expectant mothers to wear blouses and loose-fitting dresses that hide a growing belly, serving as an obvious reminder to the whole world that a woman (oh, horror!) had sex. On the whole, of course, it was better for them to stay at home. Out of harm's way.

Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

Smoke cigarettes! It's hard to believe, but until the second half of the XX century, doctors did not warn pregnant women about the dangers of smoking for the unborn child. On the contrary, in the 40s and 50s, doctors even encouraged the use of certain brands of cigarettes, claiming that they were "healthier" than others. Some went even further, suggesting that smoking cigarettes makes pregnant women calmer and thus benefits the baby.

Tips for pregnant women of the past: from just ridiculous to outright harmful

Don't forget about your husband! Closer to pregnancy resolution, both past and present advice focuses mainly on the birth process and the subsequent recovery of the young mother. However, according to the advice of a certain housewife in 1972, before leaving for the hospital, you should also take care of your husband: "Just make sure that from now on, he always has a supply of clean underwear for the duration of your absence. And if he's home alone, fill the pantry with food that he can handle on his own."

Keywords: History | Women | Society | Advice | Pregnancy

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