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1950 Video: Labor and Childbirth

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By Jill


Key quotes:

Soon your doctor arrives to take charge of things.

Feel free to ask for it, but, by all means, leave the decision in your doctor’s hands.

Try to keep you mind free of worry and hurry. You can rely on your doctor and his helpers, you know. They’ve brought a lot of babies into the world.

This is hard work, of course, and you need to rest between each contraction. You won’t be alone in your work—your doctor will be working, too.

And when you doctor says congratulations, you did a fine job, he really means it.



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Reader Comments (38)

This is the year I was born. And I have to say that this is not how my mother remembers my birth! She was given demerol and scopolamine. It did not make her forget-and it did give her hallucinations! She remembers being in pain, having terrifying hallucinations, and being strapped down. Then, when I was ready to be born, the delivery room was occupied, so the nurses held her legs closed! Once it was free, she was given gas to anaesthetize her for the birth. For my sister she had what the British call "gas and air" for labor, which she though was much better. But she was still put out for the birth. What a shame, to miss that.

There are some good things about this film, such as the "there is no need to hurry," with reference to pushing. The assumption of vaginal birth.

This film was awfully unrealistic about the discomfort of labor. And can you imagine getting in bed when your contractions are ten minutes apart, for a first labor? You'd be there forever!

Susan Peterson

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Peterson

Jill-- WHERE did you find this?!?!?! I was fascinated at how many things were still like that in in 1972.73,74 etc... The setting, the atmosphere, the approach of the doctor... AND the equipment! unbelievable! I'm a little surprised we didn't see the leather hand straps on that marvelous delivery table! I wonder who actually developed this and exactly how was it shown to mothers? I can only imagine it was a reel to reel tape--> projected theater style to a group setting back in those days. Wow! Thanks for a trip down memory lane..... If any of your readers want to see what I remember from the 70's .... http://obnurse35yrs.wordpress.com/my-1st-birth-event/ Read on...

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStorkStories

Such soothing music. This woman looked like she was really craving a cigarette.

This movie BADLY needs a Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment. "Ab-DOH-men!"

"Useful things...and things to make you pretty!" Though a bed jacket is kind of cool.

But while you're contracting...keep ironing, woman! And put on some lipstick!

Your husband will take care of the money part, like a man should.

But hey, they acknowledge the role of anxiety on your muscles and talk about normal and natural.

Just lay down and knit.

I wonder what medications they gave then? Funny that they did so by mouth.

Interesting theories on how breathing helped the uterus if you did it right--as opposed to moving around. They even describe the transition feeling that the baby will not make it out.

It's strangely low-key and soothing compared to the modern approach of mentioning dead babies at every opportunity.

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteremjaybee

It's incredibly condescending and of course not ideal, but compared to current "average" hospital practices it's practically birth-friendly.

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjodie

The quality of the film is like many of the science films we were shown when I was in elementary school. And yes, they were reel to reel, shown on a "film projector."
Susan Peterson

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Peterson

I'm pretty sure that Emjaybee and I are in the youngest age range that would remember the clack-clack-clack-clack of projectors and the mid-hour reel change. Anyone younger got VHS or Betamax.

I second Stork Stories' recommendation to visit her site and stories of L&D back in the day.

November 1, 2010 | Registered CommenterJill

How women EVER had babies before doctors came along, I'll never know.

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonkey Mama

Monkey Mama, you can rely on your doctor and his helpers, you know. They’ve brought a lot of babies into the world.

November 1, 2010 | Registered CommenterJill

Hey, laying in bed, knitting and reading, with someone feeding me happy pills during labor sounds pretty good to me! LOL
I did think it was cool how they talked about relaxing to allow the uterus to do it's work.
Did everyone really pronounce abdomen like that back then????

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWrangler Mama
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