Found this from Pregnant Chicken on my facebook newsfeed this morning, excerpts from medical texts RE: pregnancy and parenting from the 1800s. It's quite interesting. Here is the full article and below are some of my favorites (emphasis mine).
But no tragedy was as great as failing to become pregnant... The first step, of course, was to remove women's selfish fears about dying (childbirth being the top cause of death for women in the late 19th century).
We hope to offer in these pages suggestions which will afford to such wives assurance of safety and so great a mitigation of suffering as will lead them to choose the slight inconveniences of normal pregnancy and physiological childbirth rather than the dismal comfort of a childless old age and the increased liability to disease, which is likely to result from a childless life. [Ladies' Guide in Health and Disease, John Kellogg]
B.G. Jefferis, in his popular Searchlights on Health: The Science of Eugenics (1920) gets even more to the point. Childless people are deplorable.
What is more deplorable and pitiable than an old couple childless? Young people dislike the care and confinement of children and prefer society and social entertainments and thereby do great injustice and injury to their health. Having children under proper circumstances never ruins the health and happiness of any woman. In fact, womanhood is incomplete without them. She may have a dozen or more, and still have better health than before marriage. [Searchlights on Health: The Science of Eugenics, B.G. Jefferis]
So if we have children we're likely to die but if we don't our lives are meaningless and empty. What a choice.
Symptoms of Pregnancy
A depraved appetite is another of the common symptoms... The woman eats enormously, for her, and still is always hungry. This craving will sometimes compel her to get up at midnight to eat. She may desire only certain kinds of food, or, perhaps, drink. If she refuses to satisfy this craving for particular kinds of food, the thought of it will haunt her day and night. [West]
A certain mother while pregnant longed for gin, which could not be gotten; and her child cried incessantly for six weeks till gin was given it, which it eagerly clutched and drank with ravenous greediness, stopped crying and became healthy. [Jefferis]
If only I had read this when I was craving that margarita this summer. Maybe I should try tequila shots with Baby Haa next time she's fussy?
Sex in pregnancy
You really shouldn't need to be told this, but in case you are of a particularly base nature and need reminding, sexual congress during pregnancy is a bad idea. It will make your child grow up to be a pervert, for one thing.
Sexual indulgence during pregnancy may be suspended with decided benefit to both mother and child. The injurious influences upon the child of the gratification of the passions during the period when its character is being formed, is undoubtedly much greater than is usually supposed. We have no doubt that this is a common cause of the transmission of libidinous tendencies to the child. [Kellogg]
It would also increase the discomfort and illness suffered by the mother. Even dogs know that.
Morning Sickness is the most common and is the result of an irritation in the womb, caused by some derangement, and it is greatly irritated by the habit of indulging in sexual gratification during pregnancy. If people would imitate the lower animals and reserve the vital forces of the mother for the benefit of her unborn child, it would be a great boon to humanity. [Jefferis]
Don't fuck or you'll end up with a pervert. And I guess I know why I had such shitty morning sickness.
My takeaway? Not much has changed between now and the 1800s regarding the concern trolling and conflicting advice given to pregnant women.