health

9 Crazy Things Pregnant Women Were Told To Do Back In The Day

Jessica Catcher by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

Whether they’re expecting their first, second, or fifth child, every parent spends those nine months thinking of little else but the new bundle of joy making their way to their arms.

While that means lots of happy thoughts about decorating a nursery, picking out a name, and registering for all the essentials, most moms and dads also have plenty of worry piling up in their minds that never really seems to go away when it comes to their children. And since you can’t put a baby monitor in the mama’s belly, the anxiety can become overwhelming.

That has lead to some interesting ideas about what a woman should do to make sure she’s giving her kiddo the best chance at being healthy. It’s no shock that today’s medical advancements have made some traditional methods from the past seem bizarre, but the fact that anyone believed even just one of the ideas below is honestly baffling.

Take a look and let us know in the comments if you remember something even crazier that soon-to-be moms were led to believe back in the day.

And don’t forget to SHARE with your loved ones!

1. Stay Cinched In

1. Stay Cinched In

Before modern undergarments, corsets were all women could count on wearing under their outfits — even while pregnant and nursing. These “health-improving” designs might have made them slightly more comfortable, but I doubt any of the expecting moms back in the day were huge fans.

2. Smoke Cigarettes

2. Smoke Cigarettes

Now we have warnings plastered on the side of packs about the adverse effects the nicotine sticks can have on your unborn children, but for years, doctors actually recommended them as a way of keeping the baby’s weight down and keeping mom’s bowel movements regular.

3. Take Chloroform

3. Take Chloroform

Long before epidurals were an option, moms were essentially knocked out with doses of “perfectly healthy” chloroform or ether. Though the hope was to not render them totally unconscious while protecting the baby, the variable in a person’s sensitivity could severely affect a woman during labor.

4. Look At Something Pretty

4. Look At Something Pretty

According to old legends, focusing on something attractive during pregnancy or while giving birth would ensure a beautiful baby. It’s hard to argue with the logic when every mother looks at their child as the most adorable infant on earth, but there’s obviously no scientific basis.

That said, the woman pictured above definitely didn’t have any shortage of gorgeous things to gaze at during her entire pregnancy.

5. Drink Up

5. Drink Up

Doctors used to recommend guzzling some red wine while waiting on your bundle of joy to arrive. Further studies changed over the years and made claims that though a small amount of alcohol would be fine, little ones are better off if the mom abstains.

6. Stay Put

6. Stay Put

Mothers of the past were warned that the bumpy nature of a car ride could have the same effect as climbing up onto a bucking bronco. They were advised that if a lady must travel in her “delicate” condition, she ought to opt for a train.

7. Ignore Cravings

7. Ignore Cravings

Every woman’s body reacts differently to creating a new life, and maintaining a workout regime is definitely a good idea. But in hindsight, this rule seems to have been applied to women by their physicians not out of any actual health concern, but simply to adhere to aesthetic ideals.

8. Avoid All Sunlight

8. Avoid All Sunlight

Obviously, too much sun is bad for everyone, and prolonged exposure to UV rays could be especially harmful to a child in the womb. However, women were essentially led to believe that stepping out into the sunshine for even a moment was unsafe because it would “cook” the baby.

Modern doctors still advise against sunbathing, but stepping out (with sunscreen!) is perfectly fine.

9. Skip Hanky Panky

9. Skip Hanky Panky

Nowadays, doctors might suggest some bedroom action to help induce labor when a kiddo decides to take their time entering the world, but Dr. John Harvey Kellogg strongly warned against any funny business before the baby was out. He believed the child would inherit “libidinous tendencies.”

Did we miss any head-scratching pieces of advice for expectant mothers from way back when? Let us know below and be sure to SHARE with your friends!