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Pregnancy advice in 1979?

(265 Posts)
catsofa Mon 25-Aug-14 14:22:51

I'm pregnant and my mum is no longer with us, so I'm going to miss out on hearing about her own pregnancy with me.

I'd like to read/hear about what advice was given to pregnant women at the time in the UK, 1978/79. Was anyone here pregnant then? Know anywhere I could find any old books or information?

stargirl1701 Mon 25-Aug-14 14:30:00

My mum was pg with me in 77. She had low iron levels in the third trimester and the doctor advised a half pint of stout a day!

She was shaved and given an enema before giving birth to me. I slept in a nursery at the hospital and she saw me every 4 hours. She tried to bf but it didn't work out. My Dad was not allowed to be with her in labour.

My 'car seat' was a carrycot in the back of the car - no seatbelts to strap it in. I was weaned onto solids at 12 weeks - rusk and milk.

My DM is dead too. Long before I had DD1. These are things she told me.

kittyvet Mon 25-Aug-14 14:54:13

My mum had me and my sister at home in 76 and 77. She doesn't remember much about it but for one of the pregnancies was ordered to have bed rest by the doctor for about the last month. The family legend is that my dad missed my sisters birth because he went to get a cup of tea! Only to be coming back up the stairs and the elderly midwife holding my sister by her legs screaming to get the doctor because the cord had been wrapped around her neck!!!
Looking forward to a less dramatic start for my own baby I hope!!!

callamia Mon 25-Aug-14 15:06:20

Same as Stargirl, I was born in 81. I was taken away for overnights so my mum could rest (she doesn't know what/if I was fed during that time).

A small bottle stout per day for iron too. My friend was born in the early seventies, and his mother was told by midwives that formula milk was better because it was 'scientific'. She'd breastfed her first baby without incident, so she thought she's do the same with the second, but this midwife told her that she was being a bad mother for risking making her baby hungry and weak. She breastfed him - he's six foot two and Cambridge educated - can't have been all bad.

I've got a lovely book here somewhere called 'From here to maternity' that was written in the 80s, I'll have a look at that for any more helpful advice.

wawabear Mon 25-Aug-14 15:56:12

Have a look at this.... www.carrieelle.com/2013/03/pregnancy-advice-1970.html

It's pure gold!

I was born in 79 and my mum swears that her doctor told her not to give up smoking when she was pregnant as it would keep her stress levels down. Personally my view now is that my mother was rather selfish and put her own stress levels before mine which I remind myself every time I have to take my inhaler!

squizita Mon 25-Aug-14 16:43:08

My mum had me in 78. She was NOT treated like an object during birth and was in NCT. Apparently trying natural birth was the new big feminist thing, however because it was political and there wasn't much coping stuff (hypnotherapy, birth pools...) it all sounded a bit scary. Women judging each other, bad tears ... because the expertise wasn't there yet.

My mum was in hospital a month before for blood pressure (silly women... can't self monitor at home/go to GP) and the minimum stay after was 5 days.
In the end she had an epidural (VI of twins) and had to justify it with some peers! shock

By the time she had her last in the 80s she felt everything a bit more "sensible" not polarised.
But by then she liked being kept in a few days as her house was full of marauding children haha!

squizita Mon 25-Aug-14 16:48:23

... oh and BFIng was advised but not supported. Ie do it... and if you can't bad luck.

And Guinness was considered a health drink!

Admiraltea Mon 25-Aug-14 16:53:43

My brother was born in late 70's was a breech and planned caesarean, the scar is HUGE. My mum had to drink guinness and eat pilchards for iron levels.

Brother was put in carry cot on back seat, often left in car with windows down if he'd fallen asleep, also pushed out of front door and left "for fresh air".

As only boy after several girls he wore a lot of trousers, shirts, jumpers that were hand me downs, he had lovely curly hair that we were forever putting clips and bows in and our dad used to go mad.

I remember taking him to the park on my own when he was a very little baby and leaving him under a tree while I went on the swings.

He survived!!!

Christelle2207 Mon 25-Aug-14 16:58:33

I was born in 78. My mother claims it wasn't the "done thing" to breastfeed if you could afford formula, so she never even tried! Not sure how true that is. She says she was given tablets to make her milk dry up.

bonzo77 Mon 25-Aug-14 17:03:03

I was born in 1977. My mum was advised that a few drinks were ok. But not to drink so much she fell down stairs. She had a pretty unpleasant birth with me (epidural, high forceps, 2 weeks in hospital). She had my middle brother privately under a famous obstetrician who advocated natural birth. Apparently DB "fell out". hmm

I was born in 1979. My dad wasn't at the birth. She stayed in hospital for a week after birth. She delivered all 9lb 14oz of me without pain relief because nobody told her how to use the gas and air.
When my gran came to visit she was worried when my mum gavee to her to hold because visitors weren't supposed to hold babies.
My mum asked my gran what the hospital were going to do take me off her? grin

I was born in '84 (so a little later) and my mum was also told not to stop smoking. They said her blood pressure would be affected and 'no one wants a big baby when it's your first'.

Needless to say i was titchy when born and almost had to be given growth hormones as a kid.
Dad? In the pub, getting ratarsed, as my mum had a horrific labour.

LavenderFox Mon 25-Aug-14 17:53:15

My mother smoked like a chimney and nobody seemed to comment in any way. My birth was induced on my due date with syntocinon drip which according to my mum was quick and painless! She had a routine episiotomy and got to hold me for a little bit before the nursery nurses took me to the glass-walled nursery. She got instructed how to do the triangle-fold on terry nappies and how to clean my cord with some kind of industrial smelling chemical.... I am too young though to have had whisky rubbed on my gums etc so times were getting more modern....

TheOnlySeven Mon 25-Aug-14 18:05:22

My sister was born in '78, my mum was advised to put whiskey in her bottle to make her sleep better hmm

squizita Mon 25-Aug-14 19:08:34

My mum remembers pampers being "the new thjng" and was most put out when they leaked.
She switched back to terries! Mind you I have bought re use able nappies including terries so some things come full circle.

Pregnantagain7 Mon 25-Aug-14 19:13:38

I was born in 77 and I have picture of my mum breast feeding me in hospital with a cigarette burning in the ashtray next to her. You could smoke on the postnatal ward!

I was born in 1978 (first child). My mum did NCT which was seen as a fairly 'hippy' thing to do. My dad was there when I was born, which seemed still not to be the norm at the time.

Mum had to stay in hospital for a week after the birth, no complications this was just standard practise.

My MIL was pg in the 1970s and remembers being told that she had to eat 'an egg and an orange' every day of her pregnancy. Which she dutifully did until she was sick of the sight of eggs grin

sweetkitty Mon 25-Aug-14 19:20:43

Mine is hysterical born 1975, mother smoked and drank throughout pregnancy, fell downstairs and had a placental abruption the next day, rushed to hospital where my Dad was told neither of us would survive.

Apparently she was given 9 pints of blood and I was whisked away to Special Care and she was too weak to see me for 3 days after my birth. She stayed in for 10 days which was the norm, me for 6 weeks. Upon my release I was fed potatoes a mince and slept for 18 hours a day. I was 6 weeks premmie so equivalent of weaning a newborn!! If I wasn't being fed food it was mashed up rusk in a bottle.

How I survived I do not know, I actually do believe my mother had PND and never really bonded with me hmm

Familyguyfan Mon 25-Aug-14 19:25:00

I was born in the late 1970s. My mother was an 'old' mum at 34 and was referred to a special baby hospital because of it. While giving birth the matron slapped the lady in the next delivery suite for screaming and upsetting the other patients! Mum breastfed and I had terrible colic, no medicine just struggle through. Weaned at 12 weeks.

I'm really sorry you are missing your mum. It must be very hard.

I was born in 77 and was a emergency section. Apparently mum was well overdue and they tried inducing, but it didn't work so she had emergency section.

She didn't see me for 24hrs as she had a ga. She has no idea what I was fed for those 24hrs and hadn't even occurred to her til I asked. I was taken to her for feeds and them back to the nursery away from her so she could rest. Fathers weren't present at the birth and only popped in for visiting hours. She was in hospital for 10 days. The norm in the 70's.

My brother born in 80's was planned section. But due to high Bp she was in hospital for 3wks before the birth on bed rest and then 10 days after the birth so she was away for over a month.

So so different now.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 25-Aug-14 19:49:28

I was born in 72 and my sister in 73. We were both breech and my Mum laboured for 38 hours with me and 40 hours with my sister. She was told both times a c-section would be a waste of their resources.
We were both then delivered with forceps and we were then 'cot nursed' (not held) for the first 24 hours.
Needless to say breast feeding failed and she was told never to tell us so as not to project her failure on to usconfused.
This all only came out when I was found to have hypogalatia that is likely to be genetic and my mum probably had it.

WaffleWiffle Mon 25-Aug-14 19:51:58

My Mum was 32 years old when she had me in 1976. On her maternity notes it said geriatric mother

BilboTheAlmighty Mon 25-Aug-14 20:24:35

My Mum was 32 years old when she had me in 1976. On her maternity notes it said geriatric mother

Oh my, I'm happy I'm only 31 grin

WaffleWiffle Mon 25-Aug-14 20:26:47

I'm going to be 38 when this baby I am pregnant with makes and appearance.

But evidently 38 years ago 32 was very old for a mother.

WidowWadman Mon 25-Aug-14 20:40:15

My mum kept a pregnancy magazine from each of her pregnancies in 1965, 1976 and 1979 (in Germany).

In one of the was an ad for a pram specifically designed for front sleepers. Women were advised to not drink more than a liter of liquid a day ("Don't forget, juicy fruit and soups count too!") to avoid fluid retention.

In one of them was also a picture of a woman completely off her face on whatever grinning deliriously whilst flat on her back, legs in stirrups.

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