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.
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.