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A Little Gem I Found

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While scrounging around my parent’s house, I found the 1966 edition of De Lee’s Obstetrics for Nurses.  Interesting reading and frightening pictures.  Here are a few tidbits:

  • The introduction praises the fact that “99% of whites and 85% nonwhites now give birth in hospitals” while the next paragraph expresses fear at the scarcity of OBs and the “coming avalanche of babies.”
  • There is pointedly no mention of midwives and those mostly “nonwhites” who give birth outside of hospitals do so “unattended.”
  • Aside from the rising birth rate, the other great problem is infant mortality.  It is a “stinging realization that 15 countries have lower infant mortality than the United States.”  (ahem, we have slipped still lower on the list) 
  • “Most mothers complete their families by age 30.”
  • “It is the nurse who is the constant attendant of the woman in labor.”
  • I found it interesting that gentian violet was the only treatment mentioned for yeast infection during pregnancy.  How could the poor pharmaceutical company make any money if that was still prescribed? 
  • The ideal weight gain is 15-20 lbs and each pregnant mom must closely monitor her water and salt intake. 

I’m sure I’ll add more morsels of De Lee as I skim along.  The best part is reading my mom’s notes in the margins. 


One response »

  1. It’s so interesting to read old books like that. Somewhere I have a couple of old books about how to raise a baby and they give some unusual advice. I haven’t had time to sit down and read them all the way through.


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