Naturally, as this became common knowledge (and some poor woman died), twilight sleep lost its popularity, vanishing completely by the middle of the 20th century. It’s a good thing it didn’t last until the days of dads taping the birth — otherwise it would have spontaneously invented the found footage horror genre.
Old-Timey Parenting Books Were Full Of Dangerous Nonsense
Having kids is hella hard. They’re the most complicated animals in the world to raise, but their operating manual is never included. That’s why, over the centuries, an entire industry has been built around informing new parents how to deal with their stinking, screaming bundles of joy. Ironically, these guides had some teething problems of their own.
During the 19th century, many guides for new mothers were published containing a lot of, to put it politely, fucking batshit crazy guesswork. Do you want a healthy baby? Better align their sleeping position due north so that they’re in sync with “great electrical currents … coursing in one direction around the globe.” That way, according to 1878’s The Physical Life Of Woman, those currents can synergize with your baby’s central nervous system and supercharge them to the max.
And you don’t want your babies to become ugly, right? Searchlights On Health: The Science Of Eugenics had an easy answer: Don’t think about uggos. A pregnant woman should banish all thoughts of the ugly “or those marked by any deformity or disease.” How do you not think of something just mentioned in what you’re reading? Good question. Also, if you’re a pregnant woman and you’re reading this, good luck with your hideous child.