Quick, Boil Some Water: The Story of Childbirth in Our Grandmothers' Day

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Bookline and Thinker, 2007 - History - 148 pages
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First person accounts of childbirth during the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Today, we hear stories of over-worked midwives and short-staffed hospitals, but the truth is that childbirth has never been easier. For our grandmothers, pregnancy was a journey into the unknown. Rather than ponder which pushchair to buy or fret over towelling versus disposable nappies, they worried about what lay ahead. Home births were often lonely affairs with the midwife or doctor only visiting when birth was imminent. During hospital births, medical staff rarely gave explanations and would push and prod with little offer of pain relief let alone sympathy. Standard care in labour was the O.B.E. - Oil, Bath and Enema. Nursing staff gave firm rules on how long to stay in bed, how to lie in bed and even when to go to the toilet. And life didn't get much easier after giving birth. Taking care of a home and baby was hard work when there were few washing machines, no disposable nappies and heating came from coal carried in from the back yard.

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