When she first found out I was pregnant, my mom gave me a book she saved from when she was having her first child, Better Homes & Gardens Baby Book from 1963. Here are some of the gems I've found within its pages:
Smoking: "Opinion is divided as to the effects of smoking during pregnancy. If you’re a heavy smoker, doctors advise that you cut down to a great extent, but you needn’t quit entirely." I'm proud to report that I've cut down from 5 packs of cigs a day to just 2 packs.
Drinking: "An alcoholic drink contains between 70 and 160 calories and might be worth eliminating if your doctor is cutting down your caloric intake. Alcoholic drinks add calories but no nourishment to your diet, and may be harmful for other reasons." Well, if it keeps me skinny, I *guess* I'll cut down on my Cuervos while pregnant.
Exercise: "Violent exercise, such as horseback riding, tennis, and square dancing, may be harmful." Oh, man! If only I'd read this months ago! I have been violently square dancing for six months now!
Weight: "As an expectant mother you don’t need any more food than at any other time…It’s true that you’re eating for your baby as well as yourself, yet you mustn’t get fat…The up-to-date doctor therefore “weighs in” his patients when they come for their regular examinations, and in most cases insists that they don’t gain more than 20 pounds." Uh oh. I'm in trouble with this one. I guess I'll have to cut out even more alcohol to slow my weight gain.
Dentistry: "Try to make dental appointments for times other than the period of each month when you would usually be menstruating, as you may be more emotionally upset at those times than generally." Oh, so that's why I keep sobbing uncontrollably in the dentist's chair!
Appearance: "If your appearance is important in your work, you’ll want to quit [by the fifth month], or arrange to work at home after that." Because pregnancy makes you unattractive and fat, and you don't want anyone to have to look at that ungainly belly. Blech!
Diet: "Eat at least three slices of whole-wheat or enriched breads, buttered, every day." Now this is advice I can get behind!
Grandma's Advice: "Grandmothers are especially handy when there's a new baby in the house, although their older ideas on infant care may conflict with the instructions your doctor has given you. Be tactful but frank in telling Grandma that the doctor prefers you do it this way, and that's how you are going to do it." Yeah, mom. I'm not using leeches to heal my baby's fever. That's so 1700s.
Daddy Dearest: "If Father's willing, he might take care of Baby while you're busy fixing dinner or doing some of the household chores." But don't push it, and make sure there's a 5-course dinner on the table!
Dad and Diapers: "With a bit of instruction, any father can give Baby a bottle, or a bath, or learn to change a diaper. Don't be surprised if he objects to changing when there's a stool in the diaper." You mean even a man can learn to change a diaper?! But, again, don't push your luck. Interrupt cooking the 5-course dinner to change the poopy diaper because that would just be unreasonable to expect dad to do that.
I hope this has been as helpful and enlightening for you as it has been for me! (Mom, please forgive me for making fun of your book. I actually really like it. :) )