Maternity ward rules were very very different in the 1940s
We’re grateful to u/the_unfunny_hump for sharing what they describe as –
This list of Rules for new moms (hospital maternity ward) from the 1940s
Here’s how it looks –
And because that’s not too easy to read, we’ve transcribed it so you don’t miss any of the interesting instructions.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR NEW MOTHERS
In order to protect yours and your baby’s health, keep up order and feeding schedule on time. Please cooperate with us in the following rules;
1. Please refrain from smoking one hour prior to nursing. Also, refrain from smoking during visiting hours visitors are not allowed to smoke on maternity floor.
Do not handle books, magazines, papers, combs or cosmetics, and especially the TELEPHONE, after you have been prepared for the baby and as long as the baby is in your room.
A bell sounds to allow the mother time to prepare for her baby. Be sure to be ready when the baby arrives. A few minutes delay with one mother may mean several babies thrown off schedule with feeding.
To prepare for baby…If you have any sign of a cold, please ask for a mask which will completely cover the nose and mouth, in order to protect your baby.
(DO NOT HANDLE OR TOUCH MASK AFTER THE HANDS ARE CLEANSED WITH ALCOHOL)
Remove top of pajamas or gown from shoulder, open binder and leave the safety pin in the strap of the binder.
Turn on one side and lay in position so the baby will be near the edge, away from the center of the bed which has been contaminated with perspiration and discharge from the mother. Pull up top sheet, so baby will lay on it.
Babies feed on alternate breasts.
Allow the baby to nurse only 3 minutes the first 3 days, gradually increasing to 15 minutes.
Never let the baby’s nursing period exceed 20 minutes at any time.
Be sure to release the nipple before taking from the baby’s mouth by pressing the baby’s cheeks on either side with thumb and index finger.
NO ONE is allowed in room with the mother and baby during a nursing period. NEVER permit visitors to sit on your bed, place their wraps on your bed or smoke in your room AT ANY TIME. Please place wraps on hooks behind door.
The baby is wrapped in a sterile vrapper when taken to breast. The mother is (ASKED NEVER TO UNWRAP OR HANDLE HER BABY.)
Pin your binder after your baby leaves.
The babies will be shown to visitors at observation window between 7:30 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. the FIRST TWO NIGHTS ONLY.
Only 1 (ONE) visitor allowed in the afternoon, or only 1 (ONE) in the evening, this includes the husband.
If your baby is a boy, please decide whether or not you wish to have him circumcised so that the permit can be signed when the birth certificate is filled in by the nurse.
Please name your baby as soon as possible, so as to save time when the birth certificate is made out.
Hospital is not responsible for any money or jewelry.
Please do not eat candy, fresh fruit or milk shakes. It may affect your baby.
Please plan to go home 10:30 – 11:30 A.M. orbetween 1:00 3:00 P.M.
Exceptions are made only by Supervisor.
It’s important to remember they thought these instructions were for the good of the mother and baby – and antibiotic use was in its infancy for the genneral public.
The instructions amused and gobsmacked Reddit users.
I’m going to end all my correspondence like that: please cooperate, thank you.
The baby is wrapped in a sterile wrapper and the mother is to never unwrap or handle her baby
I’m 54 and I am still in my original wrap, as tattered and worn as it is.
My mother was a stickler for rules.
Hurry up and name your baby. Oh and don’t eat fresh fruit.
I almost went home nameless. I was born before ultrasounds were routine and my mother “just knew” I was a boy, so she never considered any girl names. I was 2 hours away from being registered as “Baby Girl” on my birth certificate.
I’m glad your parents found “Angrygnomes” in time
Hey, try not to smoke before handling your baby. AND ABSOLUTELY NO MILKSHAKES.
Fresh fruit was a no-no, but smoking was OK as long as it wasn’t an hour before the baby was fed.
My MIL tried to convince me to do this. “Just feed him every 4 hours and if he’s hungry in between that, too bad!“. Sure Janice, whatever you say.
My mom gave birth in 1949 in one of those “Mrs. Something-or-other Maternity Homes.” She said they went ballistic when my dad brought in a newspaper.
Then at one point they brought her the wrong baby to nurse.
“a person will come through with discharge paper work for both you and baby to sign.”
I have to say I like the one about no one sitting on the bed or placing their wraps on it.
No-one should be subjected to the smell of Taco Bell so shortly after birthing.
I swear up until the 70s or so, medicine was mostly about getting people to shut up and go home rather than genuinely treating any ailments.
And I was always told that kids don’t come with instructions!
Just keep yer cigarette ashes off yer baby while feeding.
No candy, fresh fruit, and milkshakes. ‘It may affect your baby’ like how?
It brings all the boys to the yard.
crapatthethriftstore had a theory.
Maybe… MAYBE this is why Boomers are so strange