Wednesday, April 19, 2017

#AtoZChallenge Pregnancy during the Baby Boom

It must have been a trip, back then - to see practically every woman, of child bearing age, Pregnant. We've all heard the horrors of pregnancy during the baby-boom years. Some of which are downright, myths, half truths and old wives tales and stuff of early comedy in radio and TV. (remember the birth episode of I Love Lucy)

Perhaps in some rural parts of the US, people did some of what is talked about, but honestly, the people back then were not hicks. They were our MOTHERS!!! And it was our MOTHERS who raised up one of the most influential generations of all time. So there!

 I came across a mommy-blogger who posted about being pregnant in the 1950's and it was so outrageous I just felt I needed to right a wrong. There will always be "stories" about pregnancies passed down in every generation.

  •  There weren't any at home pregnancy tests back in the 50's. In fact, if you were to be tested for pregnancy, a urine sample would be collected and sent to a lab. The urine would be injected into a rabbit, and if the rabbit died, then that would indicate a "positive" test. Thus comes the phrase, "the rabbit done died." 

FACT: The rabbit always died. What funny movies and early TV never mentioned (or perhaps never knew) was that in order for the clinicians to test for the pregnancy the ovaries of a female rabbit had to be removed. The rabbit had to be killed. According to Snoops, in the 1920's, Science found the link between a female rabbit and the hormone hCG in a pregnant woman's urine. Later refinements were made so that it was no longer necessary to "kill the rabbit." It began to be one of those "sayings" that everyone used to refer to a pregnancy. Thanks to Radio and TV back then. Much like today - on Facebook or other social media who latch on to a rumor as truth and they share it - only spreading more gossip and urban legends. Funny how some things, never change. As a animal lover I am relieved that medical science has evolved where, no more animals had to give their lives in order for us to find out if we were pregnant or not. Think about it. How many rabbits had to die during those early years?

 It is TRUE about not having home pregnancy tests. Not until the mid 1980's were they readily available for home use. HOWEVER the markers that indicate pregnancy found in urine and blood, was discovered in 1930! Obstetric ultrasonography was first practiced in the 1960s; the first home test kit for hCG was invented in 1968. The kits went on the market in the United States and Europe in the mid-1970s - 1980's.

1957 Events & Facts MAJOR EVENTS: 

Soviet Union inaugurates the "Space Age" by launching Sputnik I, the world’s first artificial satellite. A month later Sputnik II carries a dog into orbit, making that dog the first living being to enter space. President Eisenhower announces "Eisenhower Doctrine," pledging defense of Miulle Eastern nations against communism
Federal troops ordered to enforce integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas
Israel withdraws from Sinai Peninsula
 European Common Market created
Britain detonates hydrogen bomb;
U.S. conducts first underground nuclear test
Despite record-setting filibuster by Sen. Strom Thurmond, Congress approves the first significant civil rights legislation since the Civil War


  1. I never knew that about the rabbits although I had heard the phrase. One of my favorite television shows deals with the baby boom in London, "Call the Midwife"

    1. I enjoyed that series as well

  2. Why do the test anyway? I mean, you can kind of tell if you are pregnant (tired, etc.) and, if you just wait a while, it eventually becomes obvious. I took like three tests and found out early, then had an ultrasound at eight weeks... so maybe I shouldn't wonder why people weren't patient back then! :-)

    1. maybe they were just anxious to find out...

  3. Never needed any pregnancy test, when I offered my wife a glass of wine at dinner and she turned it down, I knew she was pregnant.

    All those new moms knew what they were doing, and if they had a problem there were all the other new moms and grandmoms to help, and help they did. In today's world I think many new moms don't have the neighbors to help and their mom is not always around the corner. Fortunately there is the internet.

    1. and there are books...


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