When it comes to taking care of newborn babies, each generation has its own guidelines on how best to do it. Every generation also has its own worries and concerns. These change over time. And they seem weird when you look back on them.
One woman, Micala Gabrielle Henson, posted a photo of a list of instructions for mothers from 1968 on Facebook. Her post went viral because people couldn’t believe some of the things written in the vintage guidelines for taking care of newborns. Micala herself stated that she was impressed by how much things have changed in just over 50 years!
Among the things that really caught our attention is the fact that people could smoke in hospitals, but they were told not to do so next to babies. Nowadays, well, do we even need to tell you that smoking anywhere in hospitals is a bad idea?
A vintage note from 1968 meant for mothers who just gave birth to newborns has some peculiar rules
Micala told Bored Panda that when she first saw the note, she was in shock. “I felt so bad for the previous generations of babies. I couldn’t help but think, ‘No wonder breastfeeding didn’t work out, they were barely given a chance to make it work.’ And some of the things were just silly, like the green coconut cake and no sitting on the sheets and how limited father was able to be in the room to see the baby.”
“Everything has changed pretty much. It seems like back then there wasn’t much of a chance to be successful in breastfeeding. They had set times for when the baby could be with mother for feeding which was very limited. What if they had trouble latching or baby wasn’t hungry then or awake then,” Micala said. “Also, they limited the amount of time baby could nurse, 5 minutes, then 7 minutes, then 10 minutes. That’s crazy. My babe was pretty much always feeding.”
Micala believes that nowadays hospitals and staff try to help strengthen the bond between mothers and babies. “Which is great, that’s just what baby wants. I think they will continue to do research to grow the bond and strengthen it as a whole family, mother, baby, father, siblings.”
Micala Gabrielle Henson posted the photo of the instructions on Facebook and it went viral
Also, the rule regarding visitors has changed quite radically. Though I still remember that my dad wasn’t allowed to see my sister for several days when she was born (and that was just a bit over two decades ago).
What’s more, newborns were separated from their mothers in the past: moms were allowed minimal interaction with them. Nowadays, if the child is healthy, moms can spend as much time with them as they want. In the 21st century, the name of the game is “rooming in”: keeping the baby in the same room as the parents as much as possible.
Nowadays, the rule about feeding the baby only during strict windows of time has been relaxed in favor of giving the newborn milk anytime it’s hungry.
The team at Bored Panda was also very surprised to see the list of banned foods for moms to eat, including apples and onions. Not to mention the peculiar “green cocoanut cake” that seems to have an extra ‘a’ in its ‘coconut.’ Unless we’re talking about actual cocoa ‘nuts’ aka cocoa beans.
However, one thing to keep in mind if you’re breastfeeding is that some foods may alter your milk: so avoid spicy foods, as well as consuming too much coffee. If in doubt, consult your doctor!
Old advice might be bad advice
Bored Panda also spoke with Vilnius-based doctor V.J. to hear her opinion about how much instructions for mothers have changed over the years. In her opinion, parents shouldn’t rely on old-timey tips and tricks because plenty of them can be harmful to the child’s development.
“According to the newest recommendations, the child should be breastfed exclusively with its mother’s milk, even without any water. The child should feed as much as it wants, but not less often than every 3 hours. This should continue until it is 6 months old. That’s when you should start introducing new products into the child’s diet one by one, starting with vegetables,” the doctor explained to us.
“When it comes to contact between a child and its mother, skin-to-skin contact, keeping the child close, and breastfeeding strengthens the emotional connection between them. What’s more, it helps with the production of breastmilk,” she added.
We’d love to hear how the rules for mothers who just gave birth have changed in hospitals if any of you dear Pandas are parents. So drop us a comment about that below. Or share your opinion about the note from 1968 if you don’t have kids yet but plan on having them (and your grandma told us to ask you when that’ll happen because she really wants grandkids)!