I was chatting to my Dad today about when my Sis was born in 1960.

(123 Posts)
FredWorms Tue 12-Feb-13 23:55:30

November 1960. My Mum was in labour, he dropped her at the maternity hospital at 10pm and was sent home.

He heard nothing all night (he said he found the dog a great comfort), had a call at 6am the next morning saying my Mum had given birth to a healthy girl, both fine, and he could come in and visit later. He turned up at 8.30am and was sent away "because it was feeding time". He bumped into the family doctor on the way out who sneaked him back in.

The next 2 babies were born at home on the family farm in 1962 and 1965. A very different experience, attitudes were changing very quickly, lovely midwives.

I'm just so shocked that he was sent away at 10pm and was sent away at 8.30am the next morning! Oh, and he was a dairy farmer and probably knew more about birth and lactation than the lot of them put together!

I was born in the 80s and I know my father was sent home.

AmberLeaf Wed 13-Feb-13 15:02:41

I was born in 1974. In hospital.

My dad was there during labour/birth, although he was asked 'why are you here' He said 'because its my baby'

I had to be on hourly obs because I was a big baby and family history of diabetes, because of this they took me to the baby ICU [cant remember what is called, but I still have the card from my cot in there] my Mum was upset as she hadn't seen me for long before they took me up, she demanded they bring me back to her bedside as hourly obs could be done here surely and SHE wanted to breast feed, so they brought me back and Mum got to BF.

Mum was also berated for getting up and doing her hair/putting make up on!

All the nurses referred to her as glamour puss!

She was shaven and given a Daz enema [yes Daz washing powder!]

AmberLeaf Wed 13-Feb-13 15:04:10

*she not SHE!

Megsdaughter Wed 13-Feb-13 15:09:09

When DS1 was born in April 1978, my Ex wasnt allowed in to the birth without seeing a film of a birth first. He didnt go to the film and wasnt allowed in.

By the time I had DS2 in October 1979 he was, although he was useless.

Kendodd Wed 13-Feb-13 15:25:51

A friend of mine had two children about 18- 20 years ago. She was from England and her DH was from Tunisia, they lived in Tunisia at the time. She went to the local hospital where they had midwives to help with the birth, no doctors and no pain killing drugs though, NONE! After she had her baby, all was well and she was taken to the ward where she had to SHARE A BED! with another woman who had also just given birth. They were 'top and tail' ing. Despite all this she still went back to have her second baby there.

MollyNollyNoo Wed 13-Feb-13 15:27:22

Things have improved for single mothers certainly, my aunt was 17 when she gave birth in the 70's, she was dry shaved and given an enema. No one explained what they were doing or why. The attitude was, well you had you fun, now take the consequence. Now they have teams of midwives just for young mothers, it is a world away!

I was born in the 70's and delivered by a midwife who was chewing gum at the time, I came out and she turned me upside down and slapped me on the bum to get me awake/breathing/whatever.

Annunziata Wed 13-Feb-13 15:31:10

My mum came here in the 50s. She didn't speak much English and she was on her own, they wouldn't let anyone come in with her. I can't imagine how terrifying it was for her.

My dad wasn't at any of her 8 births.

Actually, DH was the first man in either family to attend his children's births- that was in 1990!

PommePoire Wed 13-Feb-13 16:31:06

I was born in the early 1970s, in a hospital. My father drove my mother to the hospital at midnight and was immediately sent home. He spent an uneasy night on the bed, lying on top of the sheets, with the cat next to him for company and his shoes on for a quick get away! When the telephone rang in the hall downstairs at precisely eight o'clock in the morning, he leapt out of bed and so startled the cat, that she shot out in front of him and he trod heavily on her tail. He had to drop her at the Vet's on the way to meet his new baby!

My mum says she was allowed two attempts at breast feeding me and then was told that I 'didn't seem to be getting much' and promptly handed a bottle. My mum asked how to hold the feeding bottle etc. and the nurse said 'it's easy' took the bottle and used a needle (which was embedded in a cork and kept in her pocket!) to make the teat hole bigger, handed it back and said 'there you go'! I was brought to my mum at fixed times to be fed.

The area where my parents lived had a large Hindu community and the ward was frequently frisked by nurses looking for illicit (as they saw it) ear piercing needles and honey which they would confiscate! My mother says that her neighbour in the next bed explained that the father of the child would dot honey and ghee on the newborn's tongue as a special welcoming ritual. Given what we're told now about honey and the risk of botulism in under-ones, I wonder if this tradition is common nowadays - can anyone tell me?

A daz enema?? shock Good grief.

TimberTot Wed 13-Feb-13 16:47:17

DM says that when DF took her to hospital for the slightly early arrival of her 3rd and last dc in the mid 70's the midwives asked if she wanted DF to stay (hadn't been allowed with the first 2 dc's births). She hastily pulled the shopping list she had been writing, out of her handbag, got the housekeeping money from her purse and told them "No way, that's the last thing I need right now ! Give him this and tell him to go home straight after doing ths shopping. I'll ring when I'm done."

A few days before our dc1 was born she told dh to just ring them when he was ready after the birth , just to let her know that we were all fine, and that she'd understand if he was a bit shell-shocked by the experience and didn't feel like calling straight away.

Skullnbones Wed 13-Feb-13 16:50:56

My gran was told she had to wear socks to give birth. Not any socks, wool ones. A midwife fetched some for her. She also was "given the baby" to feed. Five minutes on one breast, five minutes on the other and done. And the baby was brought back every two hours to feed. This was a long time ago though.

pourmeanotherglass Wed 13-Feb-13 16:51:11

I was born at home in 1970. Dad was downstairs watching the footy. I think that was quite normal in those days.

PrincessOfChina Wed 13-Feb-13 16:54:31

DP was with me when I gave birth but 90m later (after a 4 day labour and EMCS) he was sent home at 8pm and wasn't allowed back until 12noon the next day. Because men weren't allowed on the ward after 8pm.

DD will be two at the weekend.

AmberLeaf Wed 13-Feb-13 17:06:14

Yes Daz grin

I couldn't believe it when Mum told me that bit!

She said that soapy enemas were what you got. she had her first birth at home and the midwife asked for soap suds, at my birth in hospital they had a box of Daz ready.

'High, hot and a hellava lot' 3Hs enema.

digerd Wed 13-Feb-13 17:22:01

I remember being given one, and told that I couldn't 'go' for 20 minutes. But I couldn't hold it any longer after 10 minutes and begged for the bed pan otherwise I would be doing it on the bed. With lots of 'tutting' she got one for me. Didn't know it was Daz/soap suds.
We weren't allowed up out of bed after birth for 3 days, and had the bed pan brought for us - but couldn't do a wee lying in bed the first time. More 'tutting' from the nurses.

hobnob57 Wed 13-Feb-13 17:23:41

My sister was a screamer and was kept in the linen cupboard on the ward so as not to disturb the other babies in the nursery shock

Mrsrobertduvall Wed 13-Feb-13 17:27:20

I was born on cup final day at 1pm in 1960 and my dad was at the game.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 13-Feb-13 17:27:57

I was born in 1960 and my Dad took my Mum into the maternity hospital at 10pm at night and went home. I was born at 6am and he was allowed to visit later that mornign.

My siblings were born in 1962 and 1968 at home. My father sat downstairs whilst the midwife was with my Mother. The Doctor visited and drank whisky with my Dad!

By 1988 when I had my first the husband/partner's presence was mandatory of course. My DH stayed the full 22 hours I was in labour and even got a parking ticket!

digerd Wed 13-Feb-13 17:39:03

I also got told off for screaming - I even screamed into the gas and air mask as didn't help at all. .

My mother had my brother & I in 1979 and 1984 with the main difference being a routine episiotomy in 1979. I'm not sure if it was still routine in her hospital 5 years later, but she declined it (and didn't tear at all). Other than that she had the option of gas & air, pethadine (or similar) and epidural, although she opted for just the gas & air in the end.

emeraldy Wed 13-Feb-13 18:31:57

Late 1960s while I was being born my dad was at the maternity hospital waiting and 'minding' my sister who was 3 at the time. He was obviously not a very good minder because she remembers wandering about on her own and being shooed away and SLAPPED by a nurse. Imagine that happening nowadays shock

1944girl Wed 13-Feb-13 18:45:57

I gave birth in 1969 and 1972.Both crash ceasarians under GA.I was very ill during the first one.I never saw either of my sons until they were 2 days old but that was normal for babies born by CS in those days.They were kept in SCBU under observation in case of breathing difficulties.No one worried about skin to skin and bonding because these things did not exist.All ceasarian mothers were kept in hospital for 12 days post birth.Uncomplicated births were in for a week for first baby and two days for subsequent ones.My babies were kept in the ward nursery at night-I was not breastfeeding because I was told I was too poorly.I was told to restrict my fluids and both my breasts bound tight with a linen binder.
Husbands/partners were just being allowed in for normal births, there was no question of them being allowed anywhere near an operating theatre.My DH had already stated during my first pregnancy that he did not want to see the birth.He visited me in labour but left at the end of visiting time just before things got complicated.The night my first son was born Miss World finals were on TV.He went to his sisters to watch it on her telly.He then went home to find a note had been pushed through his door by the police saying he had to phone the hospital at once.We had no phone then so he went to the corner shop to ask to use theirs.The hospital just told him to come at once as a emergency had occured.He got there in very quick time and was asked to sit in a waiting room until he was told that I had have to have a very quick ceasarian to save both our lives and me and his baby son were poorly.I have a vague memory of him standing by my bed before I zonked out again.Later he told me he had been taken to SCBU to see our baby who was now recovering.He had to stand in front of a glass window and saw our baby being held by a nurse, he said baby was still bloodstained but breathing.
Second time round he joined merchant navy.Did not come home until our second son was two months old.While I was being taken to theatre I was asked where my DH was as he must come to the hospital I said he is in Japan so they sent a message to his ship.
I trained as a midwife in 1966-67.I could tell some tales.I did my community experience in a very deprived area. Fathers were not allowed near a woman in labour.In hospitals there was a ''Father's Room'' where fathers waited while their wives/partners were giving birth.It stank of cigarette smoke.In the hospital I worked in nobody was allowed to smoke in the bed areas because of the babies, but smoking was allowed in the day rooms where ashtrays were provided.I can remember mothers trying to rush their baby's feeds so they could go for a smoke.Only two visitors were allowed per bed and no visitor, even the father, was allowed to touch the baby.Mothers from the immigrant population would anoint their baby's eyes shortly after birth and this went without any comment.Breast feeding mothers had to draw the curtains around the bed while feeding at all times.After a home delivery it was normal for nearly all the neighbours to come in to admire the baby and ask the mother what sort of time she had.I can remember going into ne house with a midwife to a woman in labour.It was a freezing cold night and none of the bedrooms were heated.The mother was in advanced labour and was bending over near the fieplace moaning in agony.The midwife ordered her bed to brought downstairs out of the freezing bedroom.Her husband and another man who was there dismantled the bed brought it downstairs, assembled it in the living room and we got her into it just in time to deliver a healthy baby.Placentae were wrapped in newspaper and burned on the fire.If there was not a fire, someone in the house was instructed to bury it in the garden if there was one.If no garden or fire we took it away to the council incinerator.In some houses there was no cot for the baby but there was always a pram-the old fashioned coach built type.The baby slept in this even if it had to brought upstairs.Co-sleeping was not allowed.In one house we called the day after the birth to find the mother in bed but washing the older children by using a bucket by the bed while the father sat on a chair smoking.
Sorry if this is long but this is just part of it.I wonder what will be written in 40-50 years time about giving birth now.

Wow 1944girl, that makes fascinating reading. Did you continue to practise as a midwife?

1944girl Wed 13-Feb-13 19:21:21

No NeverQuiteSure I did not continue to practice as a midwife.I had my own two children shortly afterwards and my own experiences of childbirth put me off midwifery completly.I cannot watch any programme on TV about childbirth.I can still write about my children's births though.
I trained as a nurse before midwifery and worked as a nurse until I retired.

babyboomersrock Wed 13-Feb-13 19:22:52

I had my first baby in 1972. I was two weeks "overdue" so was summoned into hospital to be induced. There was no discussion about anything which happened, including frequent internal examinations.

I was shaved (since everyone had body hair back then, it would have been considered extremely weird to shave oneself...it was strictly a medical procedure), given a soapy water enema (agonising...I was stuck on the loo for ages while the midwife knocked at the door telling me to hurry up!) and finally an attempt was made to break my waters. Mine wouldn't break so I was put on a drip and things started fairly soon after that. I was in an open ward where several women were giving birth behind curtains so it was pretty unnerving.

Since the two young nurses/trainee midwives assigned to me were unfamiliar with the drip procedure, they had lots of discussions - over my head - about whether they should "turn it up a bit". They kept turning it up until I had no break between contractions. I felt myself bearing down a bit - only for the midwife to appear and instruct me not to "grunt like that". I obeyed, my bearing-down sensations disappeared and eventually they had to "help baby out" with low forceps. Huge episiotomy - to "prevent prolapse later in life"...oh dear, the irony! - and my 9lb 8oz son arrived.

He was taken away to the nursery after the briefest of cuddles and in the morning the nurse brought him to me with a "he'll be no problem to feed - took his bottle fine!" and a smile. I was livid; I'd told them I was breast-feeding and wanted him left for me to feed. It still makes me furious.

I was allowed to breastfeed as long as I stayed decently behind the curtain and obeyed the rules. They let me feed for 2 minutes each side, then 5, and so on, until the 10 minutes limit was reached.

Needless to say, I ignored much of what they said and luckily he was keen to feed so I breastfed him despite them. With my other 3, I was much more bolshy, and the culture had changed - women were treated slightly better.

As a footnote, I had hated the enema experience so much that I stayed at home until I was in advanced labour with my second baby. The grumpy midwife examined me internally (again, not so much as a by-your-leave) and said "you've waited far too late for an enema!" Oh dear. What a shame.

Oh, and I delivered an over-11-pounder a few years later, with no episiotomy, no forceps, nothing.

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