We got the chance to hear a personal testimony from an 82-year-old woman who had four children many years ago. What we learned might surprise you, especially the men’s role (or lack thereof) in the birthing process.
When the time came for the couple to finally have their much-anticipated child, the father would drop off his pregnant partner at the front lobby of the hospital. The mother was whisked away to the delivery room and the father stayed in the waiting room until a nurse came to fetch him.
At this time, mothers were not allowed to have anyone in the delivery room during birth, not even the fathers! When the baby was born the nurse would go out into the waiting room and alert the father. Even then he could only see the baby from behind a glass window. The father never held the baby until the couple brought their new child home!
New mothers would stay in the hospital for five to six days after giving birth. During this time the baby was not allowed to be in the room when there were visitors. Relatives nowadays would not be happy about that! The baby was on display behind a glass window with all of the other newborns in the hospital.
There were also no epidurals for pain relief. Instead, before birth the doctors gave mothers nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to calm them and ease the pain before birth.
Mothers never knew their child’s sex until the baby was born!
When the woman we spoke with had her fourth baby, she went to the hospital while her husband was at work and had the baby all alone. They didn’t have cell phones so someone had to go to the father’s workplace and tell him the baby was born!
Though birthing is never a breeze, it sounds like we have it easy now compared to 50 years ago! Hearing the testimony of mothers before us can help put things in perspective. Ask your mother, grandmother, or any elderly woman you know how it was for them to give birth so many years ago, and be amazed at the stories they tell.