11 January 2011

Parenting in the '80s

Mum recently moved house (again) and found some of her parenting booklets and magazines from when my brother and I were born.  She'd like you all to know that she only gave them to me for my amusement, not as legitimate parenting advice. 

Today's information comes from Your Pregnancy, by the Department of Health New Zealand 1985.  My comments are in pretty italics.

Tip 1
When pregnant, you can still carry on with most of your normal activities.  Like doing the laundry.  What a good little housewife you are.

Tip 2
Antenatal classes are offered by maternity hospitals or private organisations such as the Parents Centre.  For parents unable to attend a class, a postal antenatal course is available.  Write to:  The Registrar, Correspondence School, Private Bag, Wellington.

I'm not entirely sure what they're doing here, but I love the slippers on the right!

Tip 3
Smoking and drinking is bad, mmkay?   Mostly.  Try to give up smoking now that you are pregnant.  Perhaps your partner will help you by giving up too.  And try to keep alcohol to a minimum as well.

Tip 4
If you suffer from pregnancy sickness, tea and toast in bed often helps.  Having your husband right in your face while you're eating your dry toast helps as well.

Tip 5
When you first visit your doctor, he will ask lots of questions about your health, illnesses, previous pregnancies etc.  He will then carry out an internal examination to check the womb and judge the age of the baby.  Try to find a doctor slightly less creepy than this one.

Tip 6
Most mothers should have their babies in hospital in case there is a complication during the birth.  Hospitals try to make conditions quiet and relaxed.  They encourage you to have your partner or someone else with you so they can watch you have a staring match.  It's much more interesting than whatever is printing out of that machine.

Tip 7
A partner can give the woman support and love during this time.  For example, he can make her comfortable by massaging her back, helping her change position, giving her sips of water and sponging her face.  He may feel uncomfortable during some of the procedures that are done during labour and delivery, such as an internal examination.  He should feel free to leave while this is happening, and you should feel free to get angry at him for being such a pussy.

Tip 8
Helping yourself with depression:  Talk about your feelings of depression with someone; don't be afraid to say how you feel.  Your partner is closest to you but he may not be very good at listening.  He may even get impatient if you are still depressed after all his efforts.  Other mothers are the most sympathetic and can usually help you dispose of his body.


  1. Lol!! Love the comments!! And the "creepy doctor"?? Looks AWFULLY like the doctor I had with both boys!! :-/

  2. "and you should feel free to get angry at him for being such a pussy."


    seriously glad i wasnt drinking right then...

  3. The only thing missing from that book is the pic of a man in a speedo showering with his labouring wife.

  4. omg... too funny! Thanks for the laugh

  5. Oh my goodness this is FABULOUS!!! Makes me want to see if my Mom has some old pamphlets! Great job!!

  6. I just found your blog via Flikr..and OMG you had me laughing out loud. I just love your commentary on those photos. HILARIOUS! My fav:
    "Try to find a doctor slightly less creepy than this one." ha.