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'Drink beer while breastfeeding,' 'feed raw eggs to infants' and other antiquated tips show how much we've learned in 50 years

Parenting tips

(NaturalNews) Advances in medicine and scientific understanding over the past 50 years have been groundbreaking. Despite the fact that 50 years is actually not a huge amount of time, if you look back over some of the advice that doctors and scientists used to give to new mothers you will probably be very surprised.

Here are some of the ridiculous tips that mums were told about the best way to raise a baby:

It's good to drink beer when breastfeeding

In the '50s and '60s, medical professionals would often advise new mums to have a glass of beer every day – stout in particular – to help them recuperate and maintain the natural production of breast milk.(1) Whilst this was probably nice for the mothers, it was not so good for the babies.

Nowadays, limiting your alcohol intake while breastfeeding is recommended, as small amounts of alcohol may enter the baby's bloodstream which affects their sleeping and eating habits. Studies have also shown that mothers who drink one alcoholic beverage per day during a baby's first three months are affecting the gross motor development of their child.(2)

Wean your baby on raw egg yolk

Babies in the '50s were being fed all kinds of weird and wonderful things – including boiled tripe and egg yolk. It was recommended that babies be weaned off the breast and onto solids by three or four months of age, and egg yolk was considered a crucial part of this process.

Today, mums are unlikely to be seen feeding their babies tripe and are often warned to be wary of food allergies in their children. Eggs are known to be one of the top eight food allergens, so it is important to know what foods your baby is sensitive to before introducing them into their diet – and many pediatric sources agree that eggs should be introduced only after eight months of age.(3)

A sweaty baby is a happy baby

This is probably already ringing alarm bells. Surprisingly, mothers in the '70s were advised against bathing their babies because it went "against nature." Meanwhile, any skin problems that are nowadays associated with poor hygiene were said to be indicators of fear – of falling, of school, of unhappiness, etc.

Today, it is well known that cleanliness is crucial for both the health and happiness of a baby. Babies who do not have clean hair can be prone to episodes of "cradle cap" – a condition that leads to flaky skin on the scalp and eyebrows.(4)

Luggage racks make wonderful baby hammocks

In the '50s, air travelers with the British Overseas Airway Corporation (BOAC) would have been advised to rest their babies in hammock-style "sky cots" that dangled precariously from the luggage rack.

Today's mothers are more likely to be told to use the government-approved safety restraints and specially designed travel cots whilst flying with children.

New mothers need to look good for their husbands

In the '50s new mums were frequently advised to pay closer attention to their appearance, so that their husbands were not disappointed with how things had changed after the birth of their child.

Whilst mums are still worried about getting rid of their baby weight today, modern man is a little more understanding about the pressures and time constraints that affect mums on a daily basis. Furthermore, raising children is no longer considered to be mostly the job of the mum – with more modern parents taking on equal responsibility (and both looking equally bedraggled in the process!).

Sources included:

1. DailyMail.co.uk

2. BabyCenter.com

3. WholesomeBabyFood.Momtastic.com

4. Livestrong.com

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