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Advice For Moms

This year is the 70th anniversary of American Baby Magazine. Judy Nolte, Editor-in-Chief, looks back on some of the advice the magazine gave now, and then.

A lot has changed in 70 years. "Then, women were being preached to as if they were these sort of poor little creatures who didn't know so much and had to be taken care of by the men in the world - that's not true today," says Nolte.

For example, in the March 1964 issue, the magazine advised women that they were better off not knowing much about labor and delivery. "The less you know, the less you will think about, so relax," it stated. It advised women to let doctors handle the details and not to worry about anything. Of course today, things are completely opposite. "Women are very empowered," says Nolte. "They ask the doctor questions, they go to classes, and the whole idea is the more you know, the better the experience will be for you."

Today, even husbands are educated about the birthing process. Not so years ago. In January of 1967, American Baby Magazine advised that the father is "more of a novelty. He is only seen in the evenings and weekends." Of course today, dads play a key role as parents. If men aren't seen much today, it's because they're working long hours at the office instead of taking a lesser roll as a parent. But most dads today are extremely involved with their family, rather than taking a back seat to mom's parenting and discipline.

Another issue discussed years ago was post-partum depression. However, the advice to treat it was a little non-conventional by today's standards. The magazine advised taking time for yourself by doing activities like reading, experimenting with makeup or making a cocktail dress. Today, of course, post-partum depression is taken more seriously and treated with prescription drugs and therapy. "See a psychiatrist or talk to somebody - don't keep it to yourself... It can be very serious," says Nolte.

American Baby Magazine even addressed beauty and fitness 70 years ago. In June of 1965, it advised women who were trying to get their pre-pregnancy figure back to put down their girdle and keep their stomach in using their own muscles. However, they weren't referring to doing a few extra crunches at the gym. "Then, it was basically just hold in your stomach," says Nolte. "This article went on to say no matter... how many little babies you give birth to, don't worry - your stomach muscles will come back into shape if you just sit and hold them tight." Today, of course, doctors advise women to eat well and work out to get their figure back.

For more information on American Baby Magazine, as well as today's parenting advice, click here to visit
By Erin Petrun