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Mom Accidentally Finds Baby Care Instructions From 1968, Shows How Much Life Has Changed (Interview With Professional)
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.
Mom Accidentally Finds Baby Care Instructions From 1968, Shows How Much Life Has Changed (Interview With Professional)
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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?

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!

Bored Panda 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)!

Comments (76)
Yvette Desmarais
Mothers who just gave birth to newborns? What other age children do women give birth to?
Donna Rakowiecki
It was rare for mothers to breast-feed back then so babies were bottle-fed in the middle of the night by nurses so as not to disturb the mothers if you go back further in time back in to the 1800s late 1800s and early 1900s they still had to put pennies on their bellybuttons
Karen Johnston
I understand this is different thinking than now, but I don't see it as being all that awful. It seems like they were looking out for the mom's well being as well as the baby's. I had twins 20 years ago. I had also had a C-section, and my sciatic nerve went out because I was so huge. I loved my babies, but I needed rest. So, I asked for them to stay in the nursery. I knew I had plenty of time to bond with them once I went home. I actually had a nurse call DCFS on me, and they sent a social worker over to talk to me. Mind you, I was 40! And my twins were born via invitro fertilization. I think I knew what I was in for. By the way, both lovely kids, 20, smart, going to school, and we have a wonderful relationship.
Nia Loves Art
I feel like things have gone too far in the other direction. Some hospitals won’t allow mothers to get a break by putting their baby in the nursery, and force mothers to breastfeed by not giving formula unless “medically necessary.”
Cori
When oldest was born (he'll be 6 in April) I got very sick with partial HELLP syndrome. I struggled to maintain consciousness and required a blood transfusion. Needless to say, I was physically and emotionally exhausted. Even so, when my nurse tried to take my son to the nursery in the middle of the night so I could rest, I sobbed and said that would make me a bad mother. God bless that wonderful woman. She patted my shoulder and said 'oh, sweetheart you're not a bad mother at all. You're just very, very tired.' She was right. I had never been more tired in my entire life.
Suzi Gauthier
Why not green coconut cake? Is regular coconut cake ok?
A
This is similar to stories my mom told me about having me in 1973. She said every couple of hours, a nurse would push a cart with those clear bassinet things on it down the hall with all the babies in it. She would hand them out to their mothers for feeding. After they were fed, the cart came back and the babies were collected and taken back to the nursery. Regarding what you can't eat while breastfeeding, if I ate chocolate, one of my babies would be so distressed. The other two were fine, but I realized quickly that one couldn't tolerate the milk if I ate chocolate. Another one would have the grossest diapers if I ate curry. You learn pretty quickly what to avoid when you're breasfeeding!
Leo Domitrix
Oh for pity's sake... My mom was an RN in that time period, and also that's when she had her kids. Breast-feeding was not the norm then, and smoking in public was, and clean linens daily was a luxury, and so forth and so on. Believe me, when I was visiting a friend and my newest godson a few years ago, I was shocked they had to remind people to wash their hands after changing a diaper! (who needs a reminder?!) And the cloth-vs-disposable diaper debate ... Yikes! And yet, we survive!
Seabeast
I was surprised by the response from the woman who gave birth in 1979. One of my nephews was born that year and my brother was definitely in the delivery room. I guess it depends on where you live.
Random Panda
It's a little strange to me how if a baby has trouble latching, they would jump straight to giving them formula, even if the mom has enough breastmilk. My mom had that issue with me when I was born and they found a pump for her (not easy at that time), so I was still fed breastmilk instead of formula. Of course, when my mom was finally home, the first chance she got to be on her own she simply skipped one feeding and the latching problem was solved.
Victoria Swift
I had a baby three weeks ago. The nurses still offer to take the baby to the nursery. They did it for me on the second night. I stayed three days. Visitors were also restricted because of flu season.
Christine M Quigley
Having worked as a perinatal RN for many years, I remember when the nursery nurses acted as if the babies were theirs. In the early 70's, more women were starting to breast feed, but in the NYC area, it was not the norm. I had a lot of push back from my ex's family when I attempted to nurse my now 46 yr.old son. It was brutal. The medical thinking at the time was very archaic- like birth was a disease. Thank God I saw a totally different side of maternity nursing when I moved to Colorado. It was like a breath of fresh air.
pebs
Come on, it's not so terrible, smoking was forbidden in the presence of the baby!
Michelle Orwin
I was quite fascinated by how things were done in the past. As someone mentioned in the comments, when a mother was essentially knocked out (not actually but she couldn't remember anything about the birth because of the drug) was called 'Twilight Sleep'
Leigh C.
Just 18 years ago my daughter waa born and there was strict rules for teen parents and unwed mothers at one of 2 Christian based hospitals in my city. Dad cannot hold mother's hand during the birth. No screaming and crying loudly during labour at any time. A social worker has to be alerted regardless if the parents are otherwise stable. Baby has to be breastfed for at least 15 min shortly after the first bath. Mother cannot wash the baby. That is left up to staff in the nursery. Baby can be left in the room from 7am to 7pm but then has to be in the nursery and brought to the mother every 2 hours for feeding. Baby MUST be fed every 2 hours for 45 min regardless if baby is hungry or nit and must be woken and be forced to attach to the nipple properly. A nurse will force this if mother cannot do it or refuses. All diaper changes must be analyzed and recorded on frequency. Colour and consistency of poop must be recorded. Anything deemed abnormal will be scrutinized by a s.w.
Monty Glue
I was born in the late 1950s and my family doctor delivered me. I never met a pediatrician until I worked at a hospital as an adult. Working on a computer in the nursery I saw a newborn covered in meconium (stuff from the birth). That baby girl had her eyes open and nshe watched me work and kept smiling at me. I was freaked out! That child was so beautiful, to this day I wonder about her and how her life turned out.
Lilsomms
I just gave birth a week and half ago, and not only was my husband in the room, he kept me hydrated, brought my snacks, cheered me on, and did skin to skin with our daughter. Nuts and coconut are both great for lactation and providing good fat through breast milk, the midwives performed the majority of tests on the new baby while she was either on me or my husband, and I nursed for the first time for over 30 minutes. Times really have changed folks.
Steve
Keep in mind that penicillin was only 40 yo. Science based medicine itself was basically a toddler taking its first steps (I'd say we're just getting out of the tweens now). Despite all that, doctors and nurses were righteous heros and science was making miracles happen. Anti-vaxers and alt-medders, take the hint.
Lynda Momalo
What they don't say here is that you used to be allowed to stay in the hospital for nearly a week to recuperate. When I had my kids (one mid 80s, one 15 years later) they more or less threw me out the next afternoon. (The clock started on your stay the second you came in -- long labor? too bad, you only get 24 hours total.)
Marlene Ricker
When I had my first baby in 1969, I told my doctor I was worried because I didn't know anything about babies. He told me "Don't worry, you learn fast." Best advice I was ever given!
Picture Queen
I saw in my cousins baby book (born in the 50's) that the doctor instructed my Auntie to feed him 2 teaspoons of orange juice daily and if he has an upset tummy to give him a teaspoon of 7-Up. She was also supposed to put him outside every day in the buggy for at least 20 minutes and in the winter he was to lay in front of an open window.
Susan Riley
This was still true in late August, 1970.
Lea Springstead
What is green cocoanut cake?
Ronda Schmidt
My first in 1984. I was the first one to use the birthing room in our hospital. Had him at 6 pm Friday home at 9 am Saturday. No meds there was nothing even offered.
Your Daily Dose Of Lesbian
"Do not consume green coconut cake"... ok? LOLS
Leigh C.
And baby is not to be held outside the room. You have to keep it in the cart. Baby cannot be laid down on the bed. If a young mother cannot or will not do everything as ordered there's risk of the baby being apprehended. If the parents are indigenous social workers will use cultural discrimination to find an excuse to take a baby immediately after birth.
kurisutofu
"PLEASE COOPERATE" ... That looks scary.
Monilip
You can can eat everything, event spicy food, while breasfeeding. O guess soke things did not changes, there are still breasfeeding myths.
John C
So is this where I'm supposed to mirror the responses I see here on BoredPanda from many (many) women, and get all pissed off about the sexist rules against the father being present during breastfeeding? If I were to be consistent with the boilerplate feminist response, I would ignore how much time has passed, ignore how far we've come, and just rant about this blatant male oppression.
BlahBlah
And leftists want such rules to come back!
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