Whatever complaints you've got about your hospital birth experience, just be glad you didn't roll up to the labour-and-delivery unit 40 years ago!
A woman recently shared a hospital-issued "Instruction For Mothers" sheet from 1968 on Facebook, and it'll make any millennial mum shudder.
"My mom was going through her things and we say this – it's rules in regards to just having a baby," Micala Gabrielle Henson wrote in a caption alongside a copy of the paper from a North Carolina-based facility. "It gave me a chuckle. How things have changed!"
Although the goal of the document, issued by the hospital's nursing department, is to "safeguard you and your baby," the list of rules would cause mass outrage if mandated today.
For starters, the form provides narrow specific time slots for when parents are actually allowed to see their newborn. "Babies are on display at the nursery window from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 to 7:45 p.m.," it reads. "Do not ask to see baby at any other time."
Even the feedings are woefully spaced out, and if you're a doting dad, well, sorry: "No visitor is allowed . . . in the room during nursing periods, including the father." (Note how "father" is underlined for stern effect!)
In today's pro-breastfeeding climate, the entire section devoted to nursing limits is astounding. It's honestly hard to keep reading after the first rule, which states that "during the first 24 hours, allow baby to nurse for five minutes only." What?!
Days 2 and 3 come with a whopping seven minutes of breastfeeding time, and only by day five are babies allowed to nurse for 10 to 15 minutes, max. Why? "If baby nurses longer, it may cause the nipple to become sore." Gee, thanks, Dr. Obvious, but we'll deal.
A particularly notable section of the instructions is an all-caps list of the banned foods for a new mum to eat, which include chocolate candy (how dare you!), apples, cabbage, nuts, strawberries, cherries, onions, and an oddly specific "green cocoanut cake."
And, good luck if you have any objections. After the final section on formula feeding (because those poor babies are surely starving with their five minutes' worth of breast milk), there's another all-caps demand: "PLEASE CO-OPERATE. THANK YOU."
You are not welcome, 1968. Not welcome at all.