This Pregnant Mom Of All Boys Wanted A Girl, And Then She Got A Huge Surprise At Her Check-Up

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The past few weeks at the San Diego hospital had all been in preparation for this moment. And when expectant mom Angie finally delivered a healthy baby girl, there were likely to have been overwhelming feelings of relief and joy in the room. But Angie didn’t have time to rest and spend precious moments with her new daughter. You see, there was more in store, as the medical team attending knew all too well.

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Before the birth, Angie and her partner Gino had been the doting parents of two little boys. Then, however, the couple discovered that their brood was about to grow once again. Yes, Angie was pregnant – but little did she and Gino know that nature had a surprise in store for them.

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In the first few weeks, the pregnancy progressed just as doctors might have expected – but that all changed when Angie attended a routine check-up. At that appointment, her doctor Sean Daneshmand told the mom-to-be that she needed some specialist care. In order for her to be monitored, then, she would need to be admitted to hospital.

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Angie’s journey was covered in a video by Sharp HealthCare that was posted to YouTube in 2012. And in the footage, Daneshmand explains why the mother of two had needed further attention, saying, “Unfortunately, at 26 and a half weeks [into the pregnancy], all of a sudden there was a fluid discrepancy… So, that was time to say, ‘Angie, we belong in the hospital now.’”

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Furthermore, Angie’s pregnancy was considered high-risk. Why? Well, she wasn’t expecting just one baby but three. Yes, she was due to give birth to triplets, and with that prospect there were added risk factors that threatened to jeopardize the safety of her unborn infants.

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For instance, multiple pregnancies bring with them a greater chance of premature delivery. According to March of Dimes – a charity that advocates for the wellbeing of mothers and babies alike – in excess of 90 percent of triplets are born before 37 weeks. The average triplet pregnancy, meanwhile, lasts for just 33 weeks.

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And, unfortunately, a baby born before term runs a higher risk of experiencing issues with their health. There’s a likelihood that their vital organs may not be completely developed, for example, or that they may not have the capacity to swallow or suck. A premature child’s immune system may not yet be able to sufficiently respond to infections, either.

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But before Angie and Gino could consider the potential risks that their triplet pregnancy posed, they first had to come to terms with the fact that they were expecting three babies. In the Sharp HealthCare video, Angie admits, “I would wake up in the middle of the night and just kind of shake [Gino] and say, ‘Baby three?’ I mean, really? Three?’”

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The notion that Angie was expecting triplets also seemed difficult for Gino to get his head around. Trying to explain his partner’s pregnancy in the video, he says, “The one that’s by itself is… is it Camilla? Or Daniella?” After a tip-off from Angie, he confirms, “Daniella’s by herself… but I have no clue where she is.”

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Yet Gino shows that he does have some idea where the triplets sit in Angie’s womb. Pointing to each one on camera, he explains, “Daniella’s here… Anabella’s here, and Camilla’s here.” Angie confirms that Gino’s estimations are correct, after which he adds, “I kind of guessed, but I got it.”

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However, because two of Angie and Gino’s babies were sharing a placenta, there was a chance that one of them wouldn’t grow as big as the others. And when doctors spotted a fluid discrepancy, they decided that it was therefore time to act. In Sharp Healthcare’s footage, Angie explains of the findings, “[The medical team] saw that the liquid for Baby B was too low and for C was a little high.”

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As a result, Angie’s doctor had told the expectant mom that it was time for her to be admitted to the hospital. And the news seemingly came as quite a surprise. Revealing what her reaction had been at the time, Angie explains, “I said, ‘Wait! Right now, right now? And [Daneshmand] said, ‘Yeah – right now, right now.”

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So, 27 weeks into her pregnancy, Angie was admitted to the Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns. The healthcare facility claims to deliver a greater number of children than any other in the state, at almost 8,000 infants every year. Naturally, then, staff there are exceptionally skilled at dealing with both pregnant women and their babies.

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The Sharp Mary Birch Hospital is well-equipped to deal with high-risk pregnancies such as Angie’s, too, with its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) deemed to be a world leader. Angie herself would be taken care of by an expert team of doctors, nurses and specialists during her stay at the facility.

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And owing to unexpected complications in her pregnancy, Angie would remain in the hospital for several weeks until the birth of her triplets. This meant, of course, that she had to be away from her beloved husband and boys, but all she could do for now was focus on her unborn babies. “Anything could happen between now and my due date,” she explains in the video.

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Paying tribute to the sacrifice the mom had made, Daneshmund adds on camera, “Angie spends weeks [at the hospital]. This is not easy. She’s got two kids at home. She’s got a husband at home. She’s got a life at home. But she does everything to make sure that these three babies do well. That’s powerful.”

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But being away from home wasn’t the only hardship that Angie had to contend with while she waited for her babies to arrive. During her time in the hospital, she tells Sharp HealthCare, “We hear a lot of stories… You know, of triplets that don’t make it. Especially the identical twins. The body absorbs one of them.”

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And while giving an update in the video, Angie adds, “I was admitted when I was 27 weeks [pregnant], and tomorrow I’ll be 30 weeks.” Still, both she and Gino had seemingly gotten used to the situation. Speaking to Sharp HealthCare, the dad-to-be explains, “The other day, one of the nurses called Angie, and I heard it through the speaker [and said], ‘Are you home?’ It sounded funny, but it is home.”

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Toni Hicks from the Sharp Memorial Hospital’s Perinatal Special Care Unit has also revealed that empathy is key when dealing with women such as Angie. “They’re taken away from everything that’s normal,” she explains in the YouTube clip. “So by telling them, you know, ‘I understand this is really hard for you,’ that’s huge for our patients.”

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And while the experience had presumably been tough at times for Angie, it seems that her time in the hospital did bring about some unexpected bonuses. In one moment from the Sharp HealthCare video, she’s seen lying in bed with Gino sitting by her side. Laughing, Angie then explains, “It’s our date night that we never get at home.”

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Meanwhile, to ensure that Angie was as prepared as possible for what would come after the births, the medical team gave the mom a tour of the NICU at the hospital. In the video, social work supervisor Karen Anderson explains to Angie, “Our goal is for you to see a little bit what the NICU looks like, ’cause it’s pretty likely that the triplets are going to end up there.”

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Triplets often have to be taken to the NICU as they tend not to be carried to full term. Hicks explains further to Sharp Healthcare, saying, “The risk of having a premature baby is that their lungs are not completely developed [and] they could have brain bleeds.” As a result, it was of the utmost importance that Angie and Gino’s infants were looked after well.

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So, while seeing incubated babies in the NICU may have been an eye-opening experience for Angie and Gino, it may also have reassured them that their triplets would be in the best possible place to get whatever assistance they would need. In the footage, Angie says of the unit, “I didn’t see it as a sad place; I saw it as a way of empowering me.”

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Before the time came for Angie to hand over her babies to the NICU, however, her doctors wanted her to get as far through her pregnancy as possible. That being said, they were still expecting an early birth. Daneshmand reveals in the Sharp HealthCare clip, “Right now, our goal is, alright, 32 weeks, 34 weeks. After 34 weeks, it’s icing on the cake.”

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For Angie, her time in the hospital was therefore a bit of a waiting game. Luckily, though, she had people around her who understood her situation. It appeared, for instance, that the perinatal special care team’s Denise Frank had empathy for the mom. “I have four children of my own, and I try to put myself in that bed and remember, you know, what was most important to me,” she says in the Sharp HealthCare video.

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Nonetheless, the doctors were concerned that one of Angie’s babies – Baby B – would be significantly smaller than the other two. In the footage, Daneshmand explains, “Two of the babies are sharing one placenta. So, when that happens, there’s a higher chance of one of the babies not growing very well.”

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But only time would tell how Angie’s triplets would fare, and until they were born, all doctors could do was take things as they came and hope for the best. And Angie was all too aware of the risks she faced. Talking on camera, she reveals, “We could have contractions that we can’t control. We may do an emergency C-section. For us – we don’t count the weeks here, we count the days.”

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Angie continued to rack up the days until she was just over 32 weeks into her pregnancy. Then her labor got underway. In the Sharp HealthCare video, she reveals, “I’m four centimeters dilated already, so it’s time.” Proud dad Gino adds, “Three little stars will be born tonight.”

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Then, when it became clear that the triplets were soon to arrive, Angie’s medical team made all the necessary arrangements to give them the best possible start. Daneshmund reveals, “Angie’s babies are going to be born via Cesarean section because of safety concerns.” That way, the doctors would be able to keep the delivery under control.

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Angie is understandably excited to meet her girls, saying on camera, “As soon as they’re born, I almost feel like it’s a dream, so I just want to touch them or give them a kiss and make sure they’re okay.” But, unfortunately, the expectant mom wouldn’t get to have those first intimate moments with her new arrivals – not right away, at least.

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Speaking ahead of the triplets’ births, Daneshmund explains, “Each of the babies is going to have their own advanced life support team. As soon as Angie’s babies are delivered, they’re passed through a window. There’s a room adjacent to the operating room where the babies are assessed, helped with breathing, stabilized and then transferred to the NICU.”

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The birth of Angie and Gino’s triplets is captured in the Sharp HealthCare video, and in the footage, you can see the tiny babies being handed over to their specialist care teams as their mother lies helpless on the operating table. At one emotional moment, Angie also sheds a tear as she says of the infants, “I didn’t get to see them.”

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Yet even despite her anguish, Angie knows that her babies are in the best possible hands. And after the triplets arrive, their doctors assess them, help with their breathing and stabilize them. Then, after the newborns have received some assistance in opening up their lungs, they are transported to the NICU.

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All the while, Angie and Gino are forced to take a backseat as the team care for their three new daughters, Daniella, Anabella and Camilla. Speaking of the parents’ difficult situation, nurse Alina Harper says in the video, “I really empathize with the parents that have to have their babies and be separated from them.”

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However, that brief separation from their parents is in the triplets’ best interests. Daneshmand explains, “We still have to remember that these babies are still small, and they still are predisposed to other complications and, again, long-term morbidities. But, so far, we’re excited that everything has turned out very well.”

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The video cameras are still rolling, too, as Gino wheels Angie up to the neonatal unit. There, they can meet their babies properly for the very first time. And as she holds one tot close to her chest, the mom simply utters, “It feels so right.” She also wipes a tear from her cheek as she and Gino share in the special moment.

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Then, with one of her babies still held to her chest, Angie explains what has been going through her mind since the birth. “[I had] only a few hours apart from [the triplets], but I really missed them,” she says. “So, it feels good to be reunited.”

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And for staff in the NICU, moments such as these may make their job worthwhile – particularly when they too can get to share in a family’s joy. In the footage, Harper says, “I love to see the initial contact between mommy and baby. I always look for that moment that’s just theirs, that I get to be a part of.”

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Gino too is happy to meet his triplets properly for the first time. And as he holds his daughter Anabella close, seeing her open her eyes appears to delight him. She looks straight up at her father, creating an instant bond, and when Gino describes his emotions at that moment, he says that it is “beautiful… [a] beautiful feeling.”

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So, thanks to the team at Sharp Memorial Hospital, the triplets have had the best possible start in life. And while Angie’s pregnancy may have been far from straightforward, it seems that it was worth it, as it has produced three cherished daughters. The babies’ doting mother admits, “It’s truly a dream come true to have them come into my life.”

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It’s lucky, too, that Angie wasn’t a pregnant woman 50 years ago. After all, both technology and attitudes towards expectant mothers have changed considerably in the last five decades. And those moms-to-be back in the ’50s and early ’60s may have been given some rather strange advice as they waited for their babies to arrive.

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These days, there are many books available that aim to prepare parents for pregnancy and life with a newborn. But imagine if a doctor said you should avoid reading while waiting for your new arrival. Well, it wasn’t long ago that doctors recommended just that, along with all this other advice that, today, just seems bizarre.

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20. Avoid breastfeeding

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Many moms in the 21st century believe that “breast is best.” Indeed, breastfeeding an infant is believed to pass on nutrients from the mother. It also helps build up a baby’s immune system, which defends them from illnesses and infections, as well as supporting their all-round development. That idea, however, is a relatively new one.

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Believe it or not, in the 1950s, breastfeeding was discouraged by many doctors. Despite being the natural way to provide nourishment to a baby and being practiced for millennia, someone suddenly decided it was a bit, well, icky. Instead, healthcare professionals advised new moms to feed their infants formula to avoid spreading germs.

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19. Hands off the baby bump

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Today, it’s understood that babies can feel and hear things in the womb as early as 18 weeks into their development. At around six months, it’s thought they can even respond to those sensations. Rubbing a pregnant belly, then, is believed to help form a bond with a baby. And can even be soothing when it’s unsettled.

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Decades ago, however, the act of rubbing a pregnant belly was thought to have a very different effect. At best, some thought movement against an unborn child would cause some kind of damage, or “spoil” it. Moreover, there was an extreme superstition that the motion would summon evil spirits to substitute the child’s soul with its own.

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18. Crying is good for a baby

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There are many things that make babies cry, and it’s challenging for new moms to work out what the problem is. The important thing to know, however, is that there is probably a very good reason for it. Therefore, a mother isn’t giving in to unreasonable demands by comforting her crying infant.

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However, in bygone times, some believed young lungs needed regular exercise to fully develop. And author Mrs Sydney Frankenburg made this quite clear in her 1946 book, Common Sense In The Nursery. She wrote, “If nature is regularly thwarted by some well-meaning person who picks up the baby and distracts his attention after the first squeak, there is a risk of lungs remaining almost unexpanded.”

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17. Dad’s weren’t allowed in the room during labor

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It can be comforting for a mom giving birth to have her partner by her side in the 21st century. In fact, why not invite the whole family? Maybe throw in a photographer or videographer for good measure. After all, a new baby isn’t something that happens every day, and is an unforgettable moment to be savored.

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In years past, though, mom was on her own. Sure, there were a handful of nurses and a midwife to assist in the delivery, but dad was to keep his distance until a few hours after the baby arrived. It seems that a woman had to prove her strength during labor as some kind of parental rite of passage.

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16. Stay off bumpy roads

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There have long been theories about actions a mom can take to hasten the baby’s arrival at the end of a pregnancy. Things like sex, exercise, acupuncture, raspberry leaf tea and even eating spicy food are said to naturally induce labor. However, despite what you might have heard, taking a drive along a bumpy road isn’t one of them.

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In the ’50s, due and overdue women would convince their husbands to drive them on bumpy roads. Many believed that the bouncing motion would speed up labor. There is, however, no evidence to support the idea, no matter how rough the terrain. But if you happen to enjoy bouncy rides, it won’t do any harm either.

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15. Do not raise your arms

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Women have been known to do extraordinary things while pregnant. For instance, tennis player Serena Williams scored yet another victory at the Australian Open while two months pregnant in 2017. But there was a time when doing something as innocuous as reaching up and grabbing something from the top shelf was considered overdoing it.

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Yup, during the ’50s, raising your arms above shoulder level when pregnant was thought to cause harm to unborn babies. Apparently, the movement might cause the child to shift in the womb, resulting in the umbilical cord becoming wound around its neck. It’s a theory that has, thankfully, long since been debunked.

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14. If you were pregnant, you were advised to stay in bed

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Today, some moderate exercise is actively encouraged during pregnancy. For instance, a brisk walk lasting 30 minutes every day is known to help reduce the less pleasant aspects of being pregnant, and can lead to better quality sleep and and a stable weight. It may also make for an easier labor. But that wasn’t always the way.

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In the 1950s, exercise was actively discouraged for pregnant women. Indeed, they were treated like quite the invalids, instructed to get as much rest as possible and avoid doing anything too… Well, anything at all really. Bed rest was the order of the day, as if pregnancy was some sort of debilitating disease.

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13. Stay out of family bickering

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Family infighting is something we’d surely want to avoid whether pregnant or not. But, even if the conflict doesn’t involve you, the negative atmosphere of a domestic feud can be stressful. Indeed, avoiding stress is a good idea for expectant women whatever the cause. In the 1950s, however, it was believed to have serious consequences.

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Back then, doctors advised pregnant women avoid getting involved in family arguments. They believed that the stress created by such negative exchanges would increase the risk of stillbirths and miscarriages. And while excess tension can be harmful to an unborn child – with high blood pressure linked to premature births – miscarriages and stillbirths are unlikely.

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12. Baths were forbidden

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Seemingly at the opposite end of the spectrum, baths were also off the agenda for expectant moms in the 1950s. Today, you might think that bathing is a good way to relax and relieve any unwanted stress. It’s also possible that a good, long soak will ease some of the inevitable aches and pains of pregnancy.

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However, it was once thought that bathing could cause harm to a fetus. Doctors, therefore, strongly recommended that pregnant women avoid having a soak. They thought it was possible for water to seep into the uterus and damage the growing baby. But, of course, we now know that it can’t and it won’t.

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11. Don’t eat spicy foods

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Then, of course, there’s spicy food. Some believe that consuming it can induce labor if a pregnant woman is close to, or beyond, her due date. However, although consuming a hot curry might have some effect on those who have shown the first signs of labor, there’s no solid evidence to back-up that idea.

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But for past generations, spicy meals were off the menu entirely. In fact, doctors recommended that all foods with too much flavor be avoided. It was believed that hot dishes in particular could harm the baby, causing blindness, early labor or even miscarriage. This, of course, has since been entirely debunked.

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10. In fact, don’t eat anything

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You’ve probably heard of the concept of “eating for two” in relation to pregnancy. However, it’s not recommended to pile on the pounds if you’re expecting a child. The extra mass can, in fact, cause complications such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. But there was another reason previous generations were encouraged to keep their weight down.

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An issue of McCall’s Magazine published in 1956 recommended a stringent diet for pregnant women to promote a slender figure. Today, however, advice is better informed. And although it’s not a food free-for-all, women who in their second trimester are encouraged to increase their calorie intake by 15 to 20 percent for a healthy pregnancy.

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9. Smoking and drinking was encouraged

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As you can see, being pregnant in the 1950s wasn’t a huge amount of fun. It was a time when women faced numerous restrictions on food and activities while expecting. However, some things that physicians recommended back then we now can cause harm to a developing fetus. Believe it or not, smoking and drinking alcohol were actively encouraged during pregnancy.

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Moreover, it wasn’t unusual for expectant mothers to be offered a drink during routine checkups, all while the doctor puffed away on a cigarette during the appointment. Professionals believed that smoking and drinking actually helped reduce stress and generated a more relaxing pregnancy. It’s very different today, of course. Simply: don’t do either while pregnant.

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8. Don’t get a haircut

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Of course, the arrival of a new baby takes a lot of preparation. Which means that pampering herself might not be very up on a mom-to-be’s agenda. But, in another frankly bizarre advice gem from decades ago, such indulgences were not encouraged anyway. And women were particularly discouraged from having haircuts while pregnant.

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Back then, it was thought that having a haircut, even a trim, while pregnant might harm the baby’s eyesight. Worse still, some believed a child’s life would be shortened or they’d suffer developmental problems. It sounds ridiculous now and, indeed, there’s no risk whatsoever. Nevertheless, it’s still not recommended to dye your hair while pregnant.

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7. Don’t go to sports events

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It’s already been established that pregnant women in the 1950s were discouraged from taking part in any physical activities. But they were also advised against attending sporting events even as passive observers. Online magazine Mental Floss once described a guidance manual from the 1940 and ’50s which made that very suggestion.

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Sports events can be the source of extreme emotions, both high and low. For instance, the elation felt when your football team scores a touchdown stands in stark contrast with the disappointment of walking away as the losing team. The emotion of sporting events, then, was believed to be too much for pregnant women. And, therefore, they must not attend.

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6. Don’t look at animals

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If you thought 1950s’ pregnancy advice couldn’t get any weirder, you’re in for a shock. To any mom, their child is probably the most beautiful in the world. But woe betide any expectant mother if they happen to cross paths with an animal while pregnant. Why? Because simply looking at it was thought to bring dire consequences.

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If a woman saw an unattractive creature during her pregnancy, it’s thought there would be negative effects. At best, people believed your child would pop out resembling that animal, and, at worst, would adopt some of its behaviors. However, while children are prone to be curious explorers, this theory is otherwise complete nonsense.

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5. Stay away from funerals

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So far, much of the advice for pregnant women in the 1950s revolved around theories with no basis in medical research. And here’s another one: Expectant moms should not go to funerals. Now, attending this most solemn of gatherings is surely something no one wants to do, but the reasoning is, well, odd.

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Some thought that pregnant women attending funerals opened themselves up to bad luck. Others suggested being present at those services left expectant moms vulnerable to evil spirits. These entities might then infiltrate the fetus and sacrifice it, causing a stillbirth or miscarriage. However, we now know that to be absolute nonsense.

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4. No reading allowed

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Pregnancy advice in the 1950s clearly relied heavily on superstition rather than any scientific fact. However, it’s at least possible to argue that some pursuits it advised against could bring bad luck. But, for others, as well as a lack of tangible reasoning, it’s hard to find any imperceptible risks. Take reading, for example.

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Previous generations of women were actively discouraged from reading while pregnant. As with attending sporting events, any sudden plot twists or over-stimulating story lines in a novel might cause too much excitement or anguish, thus causing harm to the baby. All of which means there wasn’t a huge amount for expectant moms to do during the ‘50s. Except smoke and drink, that is.

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3. The full moon effect

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The Moon can have a powerful influence on what happens on Earth. For instance, we know that it affects the ocean and its tides. And some animals can behave erratically when it’s full. But there was a time when people believed there was a lunar influence over when a baby was born.

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Indeed, maternity wards would prepare for increased activity whenever there was a full moon in the 1950s. It was thought that the celestial event could somehow induce labor in women close to their due dates. But, like everything else on this list, there’s no scientific evidence whatsoever to support the theory.

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2. Don’t utter the words “pregnant” or “pregnancy”

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It seems that just about any leisure pursuit was ruled out for pregnant women in the 1950s. Therefore, it might have been tempting for an expectant mom not to tell anyone she was pregnant at all. In fact, since the words “pregnant” and “pregnancy” were taboo anyway, it was a tricky subject to broach.

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Attitudes toward pregnancy have, clearly, changed a lot over the years. In the 1950s, however, women were encouraged to hide their bumps. And maternity clothes were designed to do just that, as if having a baby were a dirty secret. Today, thankfully, the occasion is a source of celebration, with parties like gender reveals and baby showers.

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1. Keep a knife under the pillow to reduce labor time

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Giving birth, however “easy” it comes for the mother, is never fun. The agony of labor can be excruciating. And although pain relief medications have advanced over the decades, it’s unlikely that a woman will feel nothing at all. But in the 1950s, there was a novel way to, shall we say, cut labor time.

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Back then, doctors thought that sleeping with a knife under the pillow would decrease the pain felt during labor. And size mattered, with larger blades having a better effect, as did the length of time it lived on the bed. It’s nonsense, of course. So if you ever find yourself in the delivery room, just huff away at the gas and think of the bundle of joy you’ll have when it’s over.

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