Moms Then and Now

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How things have changed! It’s a familiar phrase many of us have heard from our children’s grandmothers. In what ways has being a mom changed? And what aspects of being a mom will never change?
Imagine sitting in a waiting room at the pediatrician’s office holding your brand new baby in your arms, and striking up a conversation with the woman next to you. She, in turn, is cuddling a newborn and humming softly. You start off with the typical banter concerning the babies’ sleeping and eating habits, and as you continue to chat, you can’t help but wonder where she’s from. For instance, when you mention that your obstetrician was also expecting, the woman shakes her head and says, ‘A female obstetrician. Now that’s something. I’ve lived in three states and my OBs were always men. I never met a woman OB-GYN.

OK, that could just be an aberration, but then she mentions that she never had a single ultrasound. Just when you’re beginning to think that things couldn’t get weirder, she tells you that she has no memory of the labor and delivery of her firstborn: She was knocked out cold and woke up to find out she’d had a healthy baby boy. The final shocker comes when she describes feeding her second child rice cereal when he was just four weeks old!

What is wrong with this woman? Is she pulling your leg?

No. She’s the baby’s grandmother, and she’s describing the life of a typical new mom more than 30 years ago.

Congratulations, You’re Pregnant. Let’s Party!


New grandmother Diana says, ‘My friends and I often joke about how things have changed over the years and how did our children ever survive pregnancy and birth? We were given very few guidelines about foods during pregnancy, especially the first three months.’ As strange as it sounds to mothers today, little was understood 30 years ago concerning the physiological relationship between a mother and her growing fetus. Moderate smoking and drinking during pregnancy were commonplace.

‘I have this hilarious and disturbing picture of my mother relaxing with a cigarette when she’s about eight months pregnant with me,’ describes 34-year-old Amy. ‘She’s tapping ashes into a dish that’s resting on her enormous belly.

My, my, how times have changed. Millennium moms not only shun tobacco and alcohol, they avoid soft cheeses, caffeine, aspirin, swordfish, sushi, even hair dye. On the other hand, while our moms ate and drank on the wild side, they tended to take it easy from a physical standpoint, for fear of harming the baby or causing a miscarriage. Now we know that the womb is one secure little cocoon, so moms-to-be are sweating it out on tennis courts, doing aerobics, running, and of course, practicing the uber-popular yoga.

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