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A 1950’s Manual on Pregnancy for Women

I was gifted these pages from an old manual on pregnancy by my friend and  artist Barbara Wildenboer who works extensively with old books. They’re pretty intriguing as many (but not all) of the wisdoms they impart are no longer facts we hold true or are perhaps just ideologies which have been lost to time. It includes chapters on “Your Looks”, “Your Clothes”, “The Confinement” and more.




The classic 1950’s images are great for all their nostalgia and staged lighting drama. Tips are an interesting blend between factual and helpful (for its time).



The above makes me smile. Apart from the perfect lighting (I wonder how long that baby had to hang there for to get this shot with the technology they had at the time?) it’s totally ironic that “the moment of triumph” includes the male doctor and not the mother who has just laboured to give birth to the child!


The surgical environment, the ominous black gloves, and lastly, the anecdote about how the doctor must protect your child… I find it jarring, even though I know it’s so outdated so many of these kinds of overtones still seem to be present today… wrongly I believe.


“Regaining ones normal figure in the shortest time” seems to be a very important  thing for many women. Is it because society demands that we look a certain way or do we want to regain our pre-mothering body in a youth obsessed society?


Anyway. Apart from a mild feminist rant, I think the illustrations an damages are super nostalgic and mooi.

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