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Smoking Seem To Do Your Baby No Harm According to 1951 Better Homes and Garden Baby Book

better homes and gardens smoking
Photo: John Riggs
My wife has this older-than-old baby book from Better Homes and Gardens that originally came out in 1951. During this time, when cigarette ads were on TV and in your cartoons, smoking was just a part of daily life. When you’re bringing life into this world, however, this baby book was your go-to book. It was the ‘What to Expect when You’re Expecting’ of the 1950’s. You’d think smoking at all would be bad for your baby as it’s bad for you, but this old book said if you have a smoke in moderation, you and your baby will be fine. WTH?!

“A cigarette now and then would seem to do no harm.”

-via Better Homes and Gardens Baby Book circa 1951

It does go on to say that if you’re heavy smoker you shouldn’t cut down significantly, but then goes on to say that “you needn’t quit” – Again, WTH?! Yes, you needn’t quit unless advised by your doctor. How about as advised by your unborn child, you should quit.

The rest talk about liquor control and it says you should advise your doctor on that topic as well. I like how this book from the 50s has you asking your doctor for pretty much anything when some basic common sense tells you what you already know the answer to.

The rest of the page talks about intercourse and there’s not much to report on that, but I did want to share this.

better homes and gardens intercourse
Photo: John Riggs

The bit about how you should refrain from sex during your last bit of pregnancy. I think today’s doctors are all for sex in the final days leading into your due date to induce labor. Maybe you should consult your doctor on that.

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