Saturday, December 08, 2007




Recent spurious revelations about the harmlessness of binge drinking while pregnant apart, we all know that the best policy for a modern, expectant mother is to retire to bed for the whole nine months, padding the abdomen well with cotton wool. How different it was in 1968, according to the British Medical Association's You and Your Baby part 1.

According to modern advice, liver is a no-no, because of the high concentration of vitamin A. In 1968, mothers-to-be were advised to get as much vitamin A down them as they possibly could, and it was considered that "Foods such as liver and pork contain excellent amounts of vitamins, and also iron, as well as protein, so do try to eat them once or twice a week".

As for drinking, Guinness have a full-page colour advertisement, stressing the medical benefits of stout. Quite right too. I'm guessing that the mothers of most people over 30 drank in moderation through their pregnancies, with no obvious harmful effects on their offspring.

I keep looking for a section advising mothers to cut down to 40 fags a day, or 20 if they're untipped, but I might have to locate a copy of the 1958 edition for that sort of advice.

2 comments:

Matthew Rudd said...

I'm reminded of Mark Hurst's routine about foodstuffs which are bad for you - "You're pregnant? Guinness, really good for you! Got an ulcer? Fried bread!"

Pregnancy, alas, won't befall me. However, I'm of the opinion that Guinness is always good for you. I shall conduct an experiment to this effect on Friday night.

LF Barfe said...

I was sorely tempted by a round of fried bread yesterday afternoon, following a lengthy encounter the previous night with Dublin's finest health drink. As it was, I settled for a number 2 breakfast with black pudding and toast.