Viral Post Shares Hospital's 'Instructions For Mothers' From 1968 -- And It's Wild

by Cassandra Stone
Image via Facebook/Micala Gabrielle Henson

Even the dads were banned from the hospital room during breastfeeding back then

Oh, how times have changed! Especially when it comes to having a baby. One woman’s Facebook post is going viral because it shows just how very much things have changed in that area. And when you read the feeding instructions for new moms and babies from the ’60s, your eyes might just bulge out of your head.

Micala Gabrielle Henson said her mom was cleaning out some of her things when she stumbled across her old hospital instructions from 1968. “It gave me a chuckle,” she writes. “How things have changed! This is from 1968! How cool! Thank goodness things have changed, I can’t imagine!”

First of all, let’s unpack the time slots when parents are actually allowed to see their baby: “Babies are on display in the nursery window from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 to 7:45 p.m. Please do not ask to see baby at any other time.”

Image via Micala Gabrielle Henson

Uhhh, what.

After describing the “feeding periods” — which are, uh, incredibly spaced out for a freshly born, breastfeeding baby — they strictly instruct that no one else is allowed on the floor or in the room during nursing times, “including the father.”

Now for the nursing instructions, which are the truly wild part of all of this because newborns love to eat. A LOT. My own boobs were bloody before the end of the first day of my daughter’s life, so I cannot even fathom how any of these “rules” make sense.

“During the first twenty-four hours, allow baby to nurse 5 minutes only.” Uhh…is that, like, five minutes at a time? Or just five minutes for the whole day? Either way, WILD.

For the second and third days, babies were to nurse for a whole seven minutes. By the fourth and fifth days, the babies were able to graduate to a whopping 10-15 minutes. “If baby nurses longer, it may cause the nipples to become sore.”


Since these are written in a manner that suggests all of these rules are for the hospital only, it’s even crazier to think about moms (who deliver without complication or C-section) staying in the hospital that long. Thanks to insurance companies, most of us are kicked out almost as soon as we’re all cleaned up! Though it’s definitely nice to be home rather than at a hospital, just imagine having that level rest and care for multiple days in a row.

One of the funniest parts of the whole thing are the instructions for what not to eat if you’re nursing. Here’s what they prohibited new moms from snacking on back in 1968: chocolate candy, raw apples, cabbage, nuts, strawberries, cherries, onions, or green coconut cake. Regular ol’ brown coconut cake was probably okay, though. LOL.

As for hospital bottle feeding, it seems nurses were always ready with some formula for the babies. Which is good, considering five minutes’ worth of breastmilk wasn’t exactly fulfilling any nutritional requirements!

“I just thought it was a very cool piece of history,” Henson tells Scary Mommy. She says the initial form was handed out to new moms from a hospital in Concord, North Carolina. “I also thought it was hilarious and crazy!”

Times really have changed — probably for the better, in this case.