I was chatting to my Dad today about when my Sis was born in 1960.

(123 Posts)
FredWorms Tue 12-Feb-13 23:55:30

November 1960. My Mum was in labour, he dropped her at the maternity hospital at 10pm and was sent home.

He heard nothing all night (he said he found the dog a great comfort), had a call at 6am the next morning saying my Mum had given birth to a healthy girl, both fine, and he could come in and visit later. He turned up at 8.30am and was sent away "because it was feeding time". He bumped into the family doctor on the way out who sneaked him back in.

The next 2 babies were born at home on the family farm in 1962 and 1965. A very different experience, attitudes were changing very quickly, lovely midwives.

I'm just so shocked that he was sent away at 10pm and was sent away at 8.30am the next morning! Oh, and he was a dairy farmer and probably knew more about birth and lactation than the lot of them put together!

MammaCici Thu 14-Feb-13 10:18:37

When I was born in 1974 in Dublin my Dad was sent home. My mum was strapped into stirrups with bright spot lights directed at her, ready for examination. Then there was an emergency elsewhere and they forgot about my mum for a couple of hours. She was alone, in immense pain and very hot and dehydrated from the lights when they found her. It was her toughest birth experience. I can only imagine how dreadful it was. I was her third and last child. After me she found a doctor who fitted a coil for her. In 1970s Catholic Ireland that was a big deal!
My eldest sister was born in 1969 London. Mammy said the nursing staff were nicer in London compared to Dublin. But in London when she asked about breastfeeding she was told "women like you can't breastfeed". My poor mother believed it. I'm so glad breastfeeding is better understood now. I'm expecting my #2 and I breastfed my first born for 2 years. I'll always cherish the wonderful memories and bonding we experienced. There were hurdles to be passed early on but I hope to do it all again with #2.

EmilyAlice Thu 14-Feb-13 11:00:29

Had forgotten that I too was told that I "was too brainy to breastfeed"??
Also remembered the fury of a friend of mine when the hospital had made all kinds of mistakes at her delivery, that they then wrote to apologise to her husband "for the treatment of your wife whilst in our care." This was in the mid-seventies.

digerd Thu 14-Feb-13 11:26:18

I remember asking GP for the Pill before I was married and he said he wasn't allowed as it would encourage the girls to become < horror of horrors> Promiscuous. It was only for < respectable> married women. That was in the late 60s .

InTheoryBut Thu 14-Feb-13 11:42:08

I'm always amazed that my dad was present and actively involved in my and my sister's births - 1964,1966 and 1968. This was a in a small maternity hospital in our local town. And Mum breastfed us all until we were nearly one, which i think was unusual at the time. Neither of them had even slightly hippy tendencies, in fact both are/were rather sensible Conservative types (God bless my lovely dad in his dreadful 70s suits, with my poor mum having to host executive business dinner parties a la Abigail grin). My grandmother had all 8 of her children at home, and was hugely anti-hospitals and doctors, right up until she died aged 98.

MammaCici Thu 14-Feb-13 11:42:54

I've just remembered, I have DSs placenta carefully wrapped and in the deep freeze since Oct 2010. I planned to bury it and plant a fruit tree or bush over it. I may as well wait until the second one comes in May and plant them beside each other.

I shall have to ask my mum if my placenta is buried in the garden. They had a gas fire so it wouldn't have been burnt.

It is amazing to think about how much ante-natal and childbirth practices have changed since I was born in the late sixties. My mum had seven children. 2 CS, a set of twins (she was X-rayed to confirm this), a prem baby, an overdue baby and a home birth with me. Even that wasn't straightforward as I was an undiagnosed breech and the midwife had to turn me during delivery. I kept trying to turn back, so the MW held on to my shoulders while my mum pushed me out. shock

Trumpton Thu 14-Feb-13 13:57:08

My great granny was told no more children after no 3 . Grandad was born 1899 . " That was the end of their married life as Great grandad loved her too much to risk losing her " separate rooms from then onwards.

I know my mother was granny-reared as her mother suffered from post pural psychosis and was hospitalised for 45 years until her death .
My mother knew nothing about birth control at all and had 3 babies in 4 years . My brother was conceived before her periods restarted see my above post about that pregnancy.

All 3 of her children had aLOT of info about birth control !!

1944girl Thu 14-Feb-13 18:58:24

My mother's cousin, born in 1920 at home, was given up for dead by the doctor who delivered her by forceps in a very difficult birth.A neighbour who was present at the birth was told to ''get the body out of the room before the mother sees her''.As the lady carried her out she felt her move,rushed her downstairs and dropped a few drops of whiskey in the baby's mouth.This baby survived till old age, despite permanant facial injuries and a speech defect caused by her traumatic birth.
My father and his sister were premature twins, born at home in 1918.They were supposed to be so small the midwife placed them together in the same cot and told my grandmother they would not see the next day.They saw many days, both lived to old age and brought up families.My grandmother, at the time of the twins birth, had one child aged 13 months and two years after the twins had another baby, making four children in three years.

Four children in three years shock

And no cbeebies either!

LaVolcan Thu 14-Feb-13 19:25:05

My grandmother took three days having my mother in 1921. Things weren't going well, so she had to be taken to Jessops hospital. I don't have any details of the birth but my Mum was assumed to have been stillborn and was put to one side whilst they tidied up Granny. After a while Mum made a little snuffling noise, and the Doctor, 'an Indian Gentleman', said 'Ah, that's better'. Mum lived to nearly 88 despite the difficult start. Granny later had twins in 1929, but all this was shrouded in mystery - we think they were premature, one might have been still born, but we think one was alive, but was left to die because 'it wouldn't amount to much.' Mum only found out that she had had a couple of brothers from a school friend, many months later. Granny never talked about it, so we never found out any more details. It was all very sad.

PicaK Thu 14-Feb-13 21:01:42

My dad wanted to stay with my mum for the birth but it wasn't allowed (1973) and they actually had some porters come and escort him out when he refused to go.

My mum had an awful birth and I ended up being taken away. She still hadn't seen me after 2 days and only after she threw a crying fit did they bring the baby to her.

It seems so barbaric now.

FredWorms Tue 19-Feb-13 21:59:02

So many sad stories, and that's just the ones we know about. There must have been so much hidden grief.
I know that during my birth in the 1960s my Mother grabbed the midwife's hand, who promptly slapped her away and said "now then, we don't want any of that".

ct148 Fri 01-Mar-13 16:09:13

Love this thread! Fascinating.
But keep reading about people having enemas...probably a really stupid question but what's that? Or is it better that I don't know?!
After reading all this I'm surprised anyone had children!
Have people always had pain relief in labour, or is that relatively new?

LittleBoxes Fri 01-Mar-13 16:11:05

My mum still has the TELEGRAM sent from her mum at the hospital to her dad to say she'd been born (in 1947). I've no idea why it was done by telegram. Need to delve a bit next time I see her.

LittleBoxes Fri 01-Mar-13 16:11:43

Actually, thinking about it, it must have been because they didn't have a phone!

CailinDana Fri 01-Mar-13 16:34:52

Ct an enema is a preparation put in you rectum to make you poo. It used to be done as standard because it was believed to help labour and for cleanliness.

PixelAteMyFace Fri 01-Mar-13 17:43:07

I had DS1 in 1980, and was shaved and given an enema shortly after arriving at the hospital. I hadn`t expected either, and both were carried out in silence and with no explanation.
The most horrendous part was that I was made to poo (semi-reclined) in a bedpan held by the nurse who had pumped the soapy water into me - I still cringe when I think of the loud bubbly noises that accompanied my performance!

CailinDana Fri 01-Mar-13 18:22:06

Wow pixel, were you in labour at that stage?

1944girl Fri 01-Mar-13 18:39:54

When I was a student midwife in the late 60s and soap and water enemas were given as routine to women in early labour.The soap was green slimy stinking stuff which you diluted with warm water then poured into the patient via a funnel attached to a long rubber tube which was inserted into the rectum.
Soap and water enemas were also used on the general wards before any patient had an operation,''to clear out the bowel''.It was usually the job of the most junior student nurse to administer them-as well I very much remember!

PixelAteMyFace Fri 01-Mar-13 18:41:15

Yes, I went to hospital when I was getting contractions every 10 mins IIRC. The effect of the enema was practically immediate, apparently in those days it was vital to cleanse the intestines before proceeding!

PixelAteMyFace Fri 01-Mar-13 18:44:13

I hadn`t realised until reading this thread that enemas and episiotomies are no longer automatic!

One of the key roles of the NCT in the early stages was campaigning against routine shaving, enemas etc

Xenia Fri 01-Mar-13 19:36:20

I think my mother's grandmother became an unofficial village midwife (and she had a lot of children herself too). My mother was one of the first NCT members and had me in hospital but insisted on coming straight home and the rest at home. My father was a doctor so more involved I would assume than other fathers in those days. It wasn't all bad then in all births/families.

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