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For those who birthed in the 70's or 80's


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#1 frizzle

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

I am curious. For those members who now have adult kids and gave birth in the 80's or 90's (even 70's if there's anyone here, the more the merrier) who was in the room with you? And how long were you given to clean up etc before the onslaught of visitors?

I was born in 1974 and I know my father went to work while Mum was in labour and went back to the hospital after I arrived. By the time my eldest sister birthed in the late 1980's everyone and his dog popped in to see her in the delivery suite. It's still a sore point with her and we were discussing it the other day. I never knew that she was the last to hold her own baby as my mother and her MIL muscled in while she was in recovery after an emergency c-sec and held her baby before she did.

I was at the hospital last week as I am due any day now and witnessed a family trying to get into the delivery suite and adament their daughter had invited them into the delivery room. The midwife told me it happens often and that that particular mum had in no way invited them in as I was discussing how it was my worst nightmare, turns out it was the other woman's too.

So what has changed? Why the expectation from some grandparents to attend the birth invited or not or get straight into the suite as soon as the baby is out when it wasn't the done thing a generation or two ago? I don't understand it.

*disclaimer* I know it's not all grandparents


#2 Feral_Pooks

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:09 PM

It's strange, isn't it? Personally, I chose to be very open with my family about the fact that we would invite them to come, otherwise they were not welcome yet. After the birth, we invited them to come for a minute to meet him, then they could come for a proper visit the next day, which they did- My family and DP's came into the delivery suite, but I did not let go of DS. They came and kissed me, and kissed DS on the forehead, and that was it. At a birth where I was support person, their family sat outside the delivery area with insistence of the staff as they did not accept the mother's no, and more than once they came barging in to say hi. It was off, really off.

Eta. Mum had me in the 80s and her mum sat in the waiting room and was taken in to see me as she was still being stitched up, and it was uncomfortable for everyone.

Edited by Pooks_fembo, 27 February 2013 - 05:10 PM.


#3 Drowninginferal

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:14 PM

This is exactly why we told no one I was in labour.

#4 HRH Countrymel

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:23 PM

I was born in 71' - at dinner time in a small country hospital.

As Mum was a 'mature' second time mother the midwife asked her if she would be ok on her own for a minute while they rushed off to try and organise the evening meal rush.

They forgot about her.

About half an hour later someone remembered and came rushing back in full of apologies.  At that point they rang my Dad!

Mum would recount the tale as one of pure joy.  She had a whole 1/2 hour of just she and sticky little me, was able to get me on the breast and have a blissful one on one bonding time.

The normal practice at that time was to whisk the babies away, was off all their protective vernix, swaddle then tightly and leave the mother to rest. Returning them at the 'set feeding time'.

As a result she waited to be called when my nephew's were born.


#5 ThreeLittleLambs

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:25 PM

I just asked my mother (who had me in the late eighties) and she said only one person was allowed .

Even after she had me the midwife didn't let others in the labour suite and apparently wasn't happy to have the baby (me lol) passed around to family members in the maternity ward.

Not that it's relevant but Mum said she was a bisch :-/

#6 frizzle

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:25 PM

QUOTE (thestylemanual @ 27/02/2013, 06:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is exactly why we told no one I was in labour.


Oh for sure. My mum has a shocking track record for doing this. I didn't tell them with my first, I had monitoring a few days ago and had told her I would call her when I was out but no, my phone kept going off  rolleyes.gif  she just doesn't listen.

#7 Paddlepop

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:28 PM

My mum gave birth 3 times in the 1970s: my 2 elder brothers and myself. She only had medical staff present for the birth. I'm pretty sure that she has said that Dad went to work each time, and certainly didn't wait around at the hospital. For my birth, he didn't know until nighttime that I had been born that morning. There is no way that Mum would have allowed anyone in until she was showered and dressed. She is a complete prude and hates having any attention on her. Actually she has said that she couldn't imagine anything worse than having Dad there while she was in labour. It just wasn't the done thing for her generation.

Babies didn't room in, they were all sent to the nursery unless it was time to feed.

I only had my DH and medical staff with me when I had DD 3 years ago. Mum and Dad live 5 hours away, so there was no point them driving all that way to just be hanging around waiting for me to give birth, recover and get out of hospital. Plus Dad is self-employed so if he isn't working he isn't making money. At my request no family at all visited me in hospital and waited until I had been home for about 2 days. They were all happy with that, and still saw DD when she was less than a week old.

#8 L&E

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

My mum was my support person at my first birth in 2001 as I was a single mother. I remember her telling me she was so jealous of my birth centre birth, as with all of hers (1975-1980) began with a shave and enema, and she was made to lay on the bed for the entire labour & delivery. My dad was invited to support at my birth (the last, and the only one this was offered at). Unfortunately by the time he had returned to the hospital after dropping my older siblings off at a relatives house I had already been born, so mum did it alone again.

#9 Soontobegran

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:35 PM

I had my babies in the 80's and it was rare to have anyone other than the partner in the delivery suite but very normal to have entire families waiting in the waiting room to come in as soon as the couple invited them in. Often this was immediately and often it was after a bit of a clean up.
When I started midwifery in the late 70's the partner was often camped in the waiting room too. original.gif

To invite all and sundry into the delivery suite is a fairly recent occurance over the last decade but most  delivery suites still have some rules and regulations on the number of people in the room during labour and delivery but will accommodate the wishes of the couple after the birth with regards to allowing visitors in.

There is no right or wrong. There are some who believe the time is intensely private, there are others wanting to share with their loved ones immediately......whatever works for you.

#10 #YKG

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:36 PM

I was born in 85 during a nurses strike so the only person other then my parents was the OB literally no nurse, my nanna was at home with my sisters.

My mum tells me often inwas born through a nurses strike and didn't see a single nurse until I was 2 days old.

#11 Copper and May

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:38 PM

[quote name='Paddlepop' date='27/02/2013, 06:28 PM' post='15360684']
My mum gave birth 3 times in the 1970s: my 2 elder brothers and myself. She only had medical staff present for the birth. I'm pretty sure that she has said that Dad went to work each time, and certainly didn't wait around at the hospital. For my birth, he didn't know until nighttime that I had been born that morning. There is no way that Mum would have allowed anyone in until she was showered and dressed. She is a complete prude and hates having any attention on her. Actually she has said that she couldn't imagine anything worse than having Dad there while she was in labour. It just wasn't the done thing for her generation.

Babies didn't room in, they were all sent to the nursery unless it was time to feed.

I could have written this, only I had one in 1966, the second in 1969 and the last one in 1970, when it was just coming in that husband's could be there. Like your mum, I didn't want the earthy, primordial exercise of having a baby, viewed by anyone but the medical staff.

#12 MarigoldMadge

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:40 PM

I was born at about 3am in 1972, in a private Melbourne hospital.

Mum had been dropped off by dad at the first twinge, and was there for about 40 hours before I was born.

My dad received a telephone call at 8.00 am sharp, informed of my birth, picked up his mum and his PIL and came in to visit mum and I. There are pictures, mum is wearing her best nightie, makeup, hair styled etc.

Mum had 4 nights, dad went to work and came for an hour each day. Didn't really hold or change me etc until I came home!

By the time my last brother was born in 83 dad attendance at birth was the norm, mum arrived at hospital 40 mins before delivery, dad was involved in the birth etc and they were home in 2 days...

Dad says my birth was his favourite... wink.gif

#13 Tarantara

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:40 PM

Mum had 3 of us in a large catholic hospital. Dad insisted on being at each birth, even though he was apparently strongly encouraged to stay away, particularly for my birth (the earliest, in 1973, involving much forceps and stitching).

Everyone else seemed to stay away till a respectable time had elapsed.

When I gave birth, the pethidine caused me to invite my parents in to pay me a visit about half way through. They then left for a nearby motel and didn't show up for a good 8 or 9 hours after the birth.

Edited by Jillian_10, 27 February 2013 - 05:44 PM.


#14 MarigoldMadge

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:42 PM

Sorry double post

Edited by haras1972, 27 February 2013 - 05:44 PM.


#15 FiveAus

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:47 PM

I had three of mine in the 80's and the last one in 1994.
My husband was with me for the first three, and no one came into the labour ward. For the first one, we didn't tell anyone I was in labour; for the second and third, family were required to mind the existing kids (and I didn't want them anywhere near the hospital) and for the fourth one, husband was overseas so I had my sister and sister-in-law with me but still no visitors in the delivery room.

The hospital I had my kids in doesn't exist anymore and it was quite old-fashioned in it's outlook regarding visitors to the maternity ward. During the 80's, there were visiting hours in the afternoon and evening and these were strictly monitored. Husbands and children could visit at any time, and if a baby was sick and in special care, grandparents could also visit.....but not general family and friends,

By the time I had my last, the rules were more relaxed and visiting hours were all day, aside from 2 hours after lunch when no one was allowed on the ward......and I loved those 2 hours because I got to nap!

But in the labour ward/birthing room (as it was called in the 90's), just birth partners came in and I don't know anyone who had visitors immediately after the birth. I would not have wanted them there. Its a time for the new mum and baby to bond and I loved those first few hours.


#16 bebe99

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:48 PM

I was born in 83, and my dad was expected to be a very involved "birth partner". However, I think I recall my mum saying that that was quite a new thing, and that not too long before, men weren't in the delivery suite.

As for my own delivery, I had an emergency c-section and when I came out of recovery my husband was holding our daughter and my mum was a bit miffed that he wouldn't let her have a cuddle until I had because I should hold her first. I'm surprised he thought of that actually, as we hadn't talked about anything like that, and didn't have any plans beyond a natural delivery.

#17 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:02 PM

I was born in 71 and Mum often tells me that Dad dropped her off and went to the speedway!! he wouldn't have been allowed in the room anyway.  I believe he saw me the next day and visited each night after work for an hour.  He never changed my nappy at all, not even once home.
I had my first in 1989, I was allowed my Mum, sister and dh in the room while labouring but ended up having a c-sect so only dh then.  I staye din hospital for 10 days after my first, I think 5-7 days was the standard time for hospital after a c-sect and I had a PPH and blood transfusions so stayed 10.  
With my last baby (16 months old now)  I was in for 48 hrs after a c-sect.

#18 frizzle

Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:17 PM

QUOTE (soontobegran @ 27/02/2013, 06:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is no right or wrong. There are some who believe the time is intensely private, there are others wanting to share with their loved ones immediately......whatever works for you.


Oh for sure. I guess it seems odd to me that there's somewhat of an expectation with some families (including my own)  that they will be there come what may. I think the only wrong is when the poor mum to be has to fight off the crowd or deal with cranky families who crack the sads when she doesn't want them in the room. I would think the midwives have enough to do without being crowd control too. Especially when most of our mums had a private experience. Perhaps they think things/times have changed more than they have?

Lifehacker I laughed at your dad going to the speedway. I can imagine mine doing something like that.

#19 Snot stew

Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

i was born in 1979 in a small hospital in NZ.  Apparently mum caused a major ruckus amongst the medical staff because not only did she insist that my dad be present for the entire labour and birth, she insisted on birthing without drugs, and then (shock horror) she refused to allow them to take me to the nursery, and co slept with me during the 5 days she had in hospital.  

By the time my brother was born in 1983 these were all pretty much common practice (except perhaps for the co sleeping).



#20 Soontobegran

Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:36 PM

I remember my dad taking my mother in labour to hospital in the bus as we had no car back then.
He dropped her off and came home with a bag of mum's clothes which were all wet and told us that it was raining down town at the hospital. I may have been young (9) but I wasn't stupid, we were in the midst of one of the worst droughts in Gippsland's history however it was only years later that I realised that she had ruptured her membranes on the bus. wink.gif
Dad had been home only ten minutes when the phone rang to tell him that we had a new baby but the buses had stopped running by this time and he couldn't afford a cab so he didn't meet our baby brother until the next morning.

We all went down in the afternoon and were only allowed to say hello to mum through the open window of the ward, our brother we didn't meet until 7 days later when they came home......Times have changed somewhat. original.gif

#21 Feral Madam Mim

Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:51 PM

Man I wish I had birthed my lot back then, I had my DH and my mother at my first birth, she was kicked out when I started pushing and annoyingly called EVERYONE, so by the time DS1 was born my entire family was there, I even had my sister yell through the delivery room door to hurry up (DS1 had been born but I was still getting cleaned up etc, so no one had been invited in), then when I was taken to my room they all rushed in before I had a chance to get comfortable. I thought I had learned my lesson with DD and DS2 and told EVERYONE that they were not allowed down until I called, 2 hours after they were born I called my mother only and told her she could come see us, she then called EVERYONE and they all showed up together, right when my pain relief stopped working too  mad.gif  (they were c-section), I ofcourse then heard how my sister was never in this much pain when she had her c-sections, gee mum maybe that's because HER PAIN RELIEF WORKED!

Edited by mad madam mim, 27 February 2013 - 06:52 PM.


#22 mantilla

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:04 PM

My eldest was born 1982 (in NZ) & after the obligatory (sp) shave & enema laboured on in my small room with husband in corner reading newspaper.  I had my waters broken by my GP about breakfast time, then labour progressed quite quickly from then.  My husband was able to stay with me, our son was taken away pretty much straight away, wrapped tightly like a mummy & then was in a main nursery, brought to me for feeding.  I struggled to BF him, so unbeknown to me was being given supplement feeds - so really the little minx just had to tolerate his desperate mum for so long ... then back to the nursery for a good swig on a bottle!!  Visitors were only able to come in at particular times which had a down side as I felt very alone & unsupported with this new baby, DH had gone back to work.  
And when I had been born in the late 1950's, my Mum laboured alone, had a general anaesthetic, stayed in bed for days & days - but was encouraged to breastfeed.  My MIL bottlefed both of her chn & was horrifed when I insisted on trying to BF ours.

#23 #YKG

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:18 PM

Ok question a few pp's mentioned shave & enima, what was the purpose? Im assuming the shaving was of the bikini region but why? Do they still do it now?

#24 frizzle

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:22 PM

They don't shave you these days. But yeah, why? Imagine having itchy re growth on top if everything else  ohmy.gif

#25 podg

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:25 PM

I was born in '71 and my brother in '72.

My Dad went to work during both labours, and Mum can't fathom why she'd want him - another person in the room to consider and look after.

She remembers the compulsory 7 day stay, the blanket 'no kids in the hospital' rule and waving in tears to 15 month old me out the window as that was as close as she could get. She also remembers sitting in a pool of blood and clots, ringing the bell and being admonished - first for disturbing dinner service (then left in the pool of blood till service was over) and then for not informing them of the extent of her bleeding. huh.gif

Babies were kept in the nursery and not brought for feeds until feeding time, crying or not.




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