CHILDBIRTH IN THE 60’S.

I was recently on Facebook and came across a site called Totally Sixties 1960 to 1969 where someone had asked the question; Did men play a big part in childbirth of their partner in 60s like nowadays ?

As someone who has never had any children I am unable to speak from experience but will have to rely on anecdotal evidence from friends and 1960’s sit coms and a vague recollection of the “Doctor in charge films.”

From what I can gather it was not permitted in those days for a man to take any part in the birthing process and indeed was prohibited from entering wherever the birthing may have been taking place.

Unlike todays modern version where the woman giving birth may be found immersed in a birthing pool with his or her partner who would be passing the time during labour by doing a few lengths of the pool to keep themselves amused whilst waiting for the big event; somewhat different from the 1960’s version where the partner would have only been a man and expected to be a married man at that!

I have to say I think I would have been more at home with the more old fashioned way of doing things where the wife would have been taken to hospital and the man would have decamped to the nearest hostelry or even returned home to his “local” with his “mates” to help support him in this difficult and stressful time.

I’m led to believe that these things can take an inordinately long time so the chaps would have had to pace themselves and probably started with a few rounds of beer and depending on the culinary skills of the landlord’s wife there may have been the option of some potato flavoured crisps or a pork pie to sustain them, however should they be lucky enough to be holed up in an up-market pub they may have experienced the delights of a ham and mustard sandwich or even something as exotic as a ploughman’s lunch.

All things being equal some hours later the landlord would have received a call from the hospital with the good news that, “it’s a boy,” which would have triggered the opening of Champagne and the handing out of cigars and a well earned rest for the exhausted men.

Once the happy father had established the visiting hours for the maternity ward for the following day they would be able to settle in for some serious celebrations with a “lock in” until the early hours, perhaps even persuading the landlord’s wife to pop out and fetch a fish supper for the group.

I know when describing these events it does sound like an exhausting experience for these poor men especially compared to his wife who would by now be tucked up in a warm bed in the maternity ward basking in the glow of motherhood but that’s how men sacrificed themselves for the love of a good woman in the 60’s.

Image result for old maternity ward

About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother who had dementia, hence the lack of acting work but shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on Amazon.co.uk and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse.
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6 Responses to CHILDBIRTH IN THE 60’S.

  1. I hope you manage to avoid all the dirty nappies the ladies are now launching in your direction Joe!

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