If you think that things used to be better in the past, then just take a look at this insane set of instructions new mothers used to be given. You’ll agree that maternity wards have come a long way!
Everyone’s parents have funny stories about when you were a baby.
But while most talk about the “hilarious” incidents, like dad dropping you on your head, Micala Gabrielle Henson’s mother brought something very bizarre up recently.
Henson’s mother was going through all of her old documents, when she came upon something she’d been given at the hospital just after giving birth.
It was a set of precise instructions.
To say that they’re weird by today’s standards is an understatement.
Henson’s mother received the document in 1968.
It’s titled “INSTRUCTION FOR MOTHERS.” But they read more like orders from a prison camp.
When most people have a baby, they want to spend as much time as possible around it. But that wasn’t the case in that hospital in the 60s. Instead, during the baby’s first day in the world, it was taken to a nursery, and the mother could only stare at it from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm and 7 pm to 7:45 pm.
But surely a new mother could spend more time with her baby if she wished?
Wrong. The instructions make it very clear that the hospital couldn’t allow any extra visiting time. It even tells the mothers not to ask anyone to see the baby at any other time.
But of course, the mother did get to spend some time with the baby, to feed it.
Yes, in addition to the viewing times, nurses also took the babies to the mothers for feeding. On the first day, that feeding session is set to last for around seven minutes!
So after the effort of giving birth, a mother could only hold her baby for around seven minutes for the first day of its life. If she wanted to spend more time with it, then tough luck.
But what about the father in all this?
Ok, in the 60s, fathers were typically less involved in the birth of their children than they are nowadays. But there must have been some time that they could have spent around their newborns, right?
The instructions are very clear on this. It says that no visitor can be in the room when a mother is nursing, “including father.” The underlining of “father” shows just how annoyed the hospital must have been at all the dads being selfish enough to actually want to spend some time in their child’s presence.
Instead, the father would have to make do with staring through the nursery glass twice a day.
It’s worth pondering why the rules were so strict about not letting the father into a nursing session.
Was it some sort of modesty issue? Because surely the father seeing the mother’s nipples shouldn’t have been an issue. Presumably, the father had seen them when he and the mother were making the baby.
If only the hospital had been as strict on smoking as preventing fathers from seeing their babies.
The instructions very clearly state the mother shouldn’t smoke when the baby was there for breastfeeding. But any other time was fine!
Luckily, nowadays the rules at hospitals have changed for the better.
Fathers are allowed to not only gaze at their babies from a distance but actually hold them!
And mothers can’t smoke at all, even though it’s technically a really effective way of relieving the stress of childbirth.
Micala Gabrielle Henson posted the letter onto her Facebook page, and the reaction has been huge.
My mom was going through her things and we saw this, it's rules in regards to just having a baby. It gave me a chuckle….
It’s been seen by thousands, perhaps millions of people. Over three thousand people have reacted to it, and over 1,000 have commented on it.
This goes to show how different things were in the not too distant past.
When we look back, we tend to remember things with rose tinted glasses. But in many ways, things are much better nowadays!
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Source: Micala Gabrielle Henson/Facebook