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IN History & Culture ON 22 Feb, 2016
We've had a lot of weird things during the Victorian era, be it their shocking trends or post-mortem photography. And to add to the craziness, we bring to you to most bizarre and sick pieces of advice given to pregnant women given during the Victorian era. Many of them will make you laugh your ass off, which some are downright creepy. Be glad we're living in the 21st century!
The worst thing while carrying a baby in the Victorian era was the way you looked. According to the clothing manufacturers and corset manufacturers, the maternity corset kept the baby 'right at the spot'. Though, wearing that a woman couldn't sit, breathe or eat.
And would have a pretty positive impact on the baby. Whoa!
According to John Harvey Kellogg, inventor of Cornflakes, sex during pregnancy was a big NO-NO. "Sexual indulgence during pregnancy may be suspended with decided benefit to both mother and child. The injurious influences upon the child of the gratification of the passions during the period when its character is being formed, is undoubtedly much greater than is usually supposed. We have no doubt that this is a common cause of the transmission of libidinous tendencies to the child."
Life wasn't a pee-stick simple then. Back in the early 20th century, the doctors would isolate the pregnancy hormone hCG from the woman's body and would test for pregnancy injecting her urine into sexually immature mice or rabbits. After five days, they would kill the animal and check whether the rabbit's sexual organs were enlarged. If yes, the woman would be congratulated pregnant.
The Distaff Gospels of the 15th century advised pregnant women not to eat the head of a rabbit (oh God! Rabbits again?) because that would result in a child with a harelip. Also, regular consumption of soft cheese would make your unborn son's penis small. To add to the pile, don't eat spicy food or your fetus would go blind!
Medieval physicians suggested pregnant women to consume "warm, dry foods" and to gulp down large quantities of red wine. Also, pregnancy cravings were considered a sign of the new baby's favorite foods.
Since being pregnant meant THE WOMAN HAD SEX, "free-flowing" blouses and dresses were brought into the market to conceal her baby bump for as long as possible.
Straight from 1972, a woman shares her piece of advice, "Just make sure that, from now on, he always has a sufficient supply of clean laundry to see him through your absence. And if he's going to be home alone, stock the larder now with the kinds of foods he's able to manage."
Calm and quiet moms made calm, quiet babies according to Victorian doctors. The nature of a child heavily depended on the thoughts hovering over the mother's mind.
Pregnant moms were asked to stay at home and stay away from activities as much as possible. "Late hours, stuffy rooms and excitement are not good. In these days of radio, nobody need be bored at their own fireside. Praise the homelier pleasures – books, handicrafts, even the forgotten art of conversation."