Being pregnant tends to come with a lot of rules. There are a lot of things you are supposed to do (or not do) to make sure your baby is as healthy as possible. The thing is, these special instructions change a lot every time science learns something new, so what was common in one decade is super dangerous in another.
Some of the advice pregnant women were given now seems completely insane, but at the time it was totally normal. I wonder what future generations will think about us! Check out these 10 fascinating pieces of advice from previous generations.
1. Smoking while pregnant is perfectly fine
This is a recent discovery that smoking while pregnant is super dangerous. Even medical textbooks in 1966 claimed that smoking wouldn't harm the baby at all.
2. You have to wear a corset while you're pregnant
Because what every pregnant woman wants is a device squishing their bodies in all kinds of ways. Corsets are dangerous enough for non-pregnant women because they squish your organs, but with a baby in there too it's not the best thing to do by far.
3. Give your baby a butter bath
For the first week advice books in the 1900s claimed you should rub oil, butter or lard onto your baby. After that first week they can have normal baths but doesn't it seem horribly dangerous to grease your baby up when they are so fragile?
4. Don't eat fish heads while pregnant
A book written in the 15th century said that if you eat fish heads your baby would be born with a fish mouth.
5. No discount shopping
No shopping at crowded stores in the 1940s. The Canadian government had a handbook that stated pregnant women "must forgo the pleasure of jostling at the bargain counter."
6. Don't look at a monkey
Apparently this is one that has been around since ancient times that what a woman looks at while she is pregnant affects what the baby will look like. So if you look at too many monkeys your baby will look like a monkey. Would that be so bad?
7. You can control the gender of the baby by when you conceive
If you want a girl, conceive 2-6 days after your period and if you want a boy 9-12 days after. We obviously know now this is very incorrect.
8. Don't lift your arms up while pregnant
This advice is pre-1950s but they thought lifting your arms above your head would cause the baby to strangle on their umbilical cord.
9. Drink a Guinness a day
They claimed that Guinness had a lot of iron in it and would be good for the baby... This is not really true.
10. Don't eat soft cheeses - still applies today but very a VERY different reason
So now people don't eat soft cheese because of listeria, but in the 15th century they avoided soft cheese because if your child was a boy it would affect the size of their penis.