Thursday, June 10, 2010

What to Expect When You Are Expecting - The Great Depression Edition

We've all seen this book:

Women of the 1930s had a much different book to guide them through their pregnancies.

Published in 1937, this comprehensive guide offered 384 illustrations and 724 pages to help prepare nurses and expectant mothers for parenthood.

Women then could choose a delivery at a friendly, comforting hospital -

or even their own kitchens, where enameled pans waited on the floor for emergencies.

Whatever the choice of venue, the person handling the emerging baby had to be sure to wear insulated gloves able to buffer at least 500 volts of electricity.

As delivery time approached, it was essential to induce a quick labor with castor oil, quinine, and the insertion of an inflatable "Voorhies bag" into the cervix.

The delivery? That was not be be seen nor remembered. All you needed was your choice of dream juice:

When the mother woke up after the birth, it was time to start breast feeding. However, this feeding was only optimal if the breasts were absolutely perpendicular to the torso. This could accomplished with a roll of tape and an easy wrapping procedure.

If breast feeding was too difficult, the bottle-fed child had a variety of implements to take its nutrition safely and easily, including a lead nipple cover.

The post delivery period often involved many problems with excessive bleeding. Several pages of this manual are devoted to the analysis and care of this problem. Even if the fist method didn't work as an emergency tampon, you can see from the text at the top of the facing page that blood transfusions could be fun and interesting, especially if you received blood from someone with a personality type different than your own.

And we can all learn from our mistakes. Babies should not be put out to sun in pure wool, but in a blend of wool and cotton.


tracy said...

I think no one has been posting comments to this one because it's so deeply disturbing. Especially that fisting image.

leslie said...

The elbow-deep fisting, I mean, "tampon," is just the tool I need to convince my kids that sex is something they best avoid. Thanks, LazyMF!