Thankfully, the modern world of childbirth has come a long way. If you don’t think so, just take a look at some of the instructions that new mothers used to be given back in the maternity wards. While some of them might seem “hilarious” now, they were actually considered “modern” medicine in the not-too-distant past.
The instructions resurfaced when Micala Gabrielle Henson’s mother was going through all her old documents, and came upon the piece of paper. After examining it, she remembered them as the set of very precise instructions she’d been handed at the hospital just after giving birth back in 1968.
The bizarre paper is titled, “Instructions for Mothers”, but there is nothing nurturing or maternal about them.
When you have a baby, you expect to be told that the most important thing to do is spend time bonding with your new arrival – not in the 1960s. Instead, just after delivery the baby was taken to the nursery where it would spend its first day in the world away from mom, who could only stare at it from 2:30 – 3:30 pm, and then again from 7:00 – 7:45 pm.
One would think that the mother could spend as much time as she wanted loving her little munchkin, but no, the instruction sheet spells it out very clearly that the hospital couldn’t allow for extra visiting time, and it even went as far as to instruct new moms not to ask to see their baby at any other time.
Mothers did get to spend some time though, nursing their newborns, but even that has very strict parameters. The visits were timed, and the first feeding session would only last a few minutes!
Incredible how strict maternity wards used to be, right?
You may be wondering where the father was in all of this?
While dads of the 60s were much less involved in childbirth than they are today, the hospital made it next to impossible for them to really be involved at all with anything. The instructions are very clear that there are to be no visitors in the room during nursing time, including the father. And to note how serious they are, “father” is even underlined.
Those hospital instructions aren’t playing any games. Instead, the poor dad had to be grateful for the staring hours twice a day through the nursery glass.
If only the hospital had been as strict on smoking in the hospital, as they were about preventing fathers from bonding with their babies. The instructions only prohibit mothers smoking during breastfeeding, but any other time is fair game. Oh, how the world has thankfully changed.
Micala Gabrielle Henson posted the letter onto her Facebook page, and since posting, the reactions have been huge. Over 3,000 people have reacted to it, and 1,000 people have commented on it.
While it is very interesting to look back on a past that once existed 51 years ago, I have to admit, it’s much better the way we live now.