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Susan Adcox

Pregnancy Then and Now

By January 3, 2012

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Remember maternity slacks and skirts that had a hole cut out for the belly? They were worn, of course, with a long, full maternity "smock." The stretchy panel eventually replaced the cut-out, but I had both types of maternity "bottoms" during my child-bearing years.

I was reminded of these outfits at a Christmas party where a guest who looked almost ready to deliver was dressed in a snug outfit that showed every inch of her baby bump. Speaking of which, "baby bump" has turned up on the list of words to be banished in 2012. Since 1977, personnel at Lake Superior State University have compiled a list of words and phrases that people find annoying, and "baby bump" was beat out only by "amazing."

"Baby bump" doesn't annoy me, although some of the celebrities sporting baby bumps do. In fact, I prefer "baby bump" to most pregnancy euphemisms, including old chestnuts like "bun in the oven." I definitely don't miss old-style maternity clothes, and I think it's cool that pregnancy doesn't have to be hidden any more.

Readers, have you noticed other differences between pregnancy then and now? What do you think of the changes? If you would leave a comment below, that would be amazing.

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January 3, 2012 at 11:39 am
(1) Webgrandma says:

I do think “baby bump” is a little irritating, and I’m not sure why – it’s a pretty good description of what the thing is.

I’m with you on the maternity clothes. I never understood why being pregnant meant you needed little peter pan collars and lace edging. The clothes are much nicer for the most part these days.

Pet peeve though – I really don’t want to see bare pregnant bellies in pictures. Not so attractive, girls, and I kind of imagine your kids won’t enjoy looking at these pictures later on.

January 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm
(2) Grandma Kc says:

One of the changes I have really noticed is the rush by many doctors to induce labor or to do C-sections. I understand both if the baby or Mom is in trouble but that doesn’t seem to be the usual reason. Due dates seem to be set in stone and if you go one day over — let’s induce! I for one, went 4 weeks past by supposed due date. I think the date was wrong and I’m very glad the doctor decided to “wait until she was ready”.

January 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm
(3) grandparents says:

Agreed, Grandma Kc. I know that there are hazards associated with post-term pregnancy, but induction also carries risks. The two need to be carefully weighed.

January 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm
(4) kimberly says:

Trends fascinate me. For so long it seemed that everyone knew what they were having the minute the ultrasound could reveal gender. Now people are choosing not to know, even though they still have the ultrasound, or taking the results to the bakery, having a cake made blue or pink- depending, then a party to slice into the cake and reveal to everyone at once the baby’s gender. Ahhh, to each his own I suppose.

January 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm
(5) Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs says:

Push presents are something new that annoys me to no end. It’s further proof that kids nowadays want to be rewarded for everything they do. Just reward should be the precious pink or blue bundle, not a diamond or, as in my daughter’s case, a membership to Weight Watchers. (Although the WW membership really did wonders for her typical post-partum depression so I shouldn’t begrudge her that.)

Another thing is 3D ultrasounds. There’s much to be said about the delayed gratification of seeing whose nose and chin and ears and more the baby inherited.

I sound like a crabby old grandma, so I’ll end there.

January 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm
(6) grandparents says:

Oh, my. I am really out of it. I had to look up push presents. As for the ultrasounds, I’m all for them for their therapeutic worth, but I liked it more when the baby’s gender was a surprise. Happily, my children agree, and we knew the gender of only one of my seven grandchildren.

January 4, 2012 at 4:45 am
(7) granny annie says:

I love it all! Freedom of pregnancy and pregnancy issues are the biggest part of “You’ve come a long way baby”. Women are now making the rules of child bearing instead of staying hidden at home until the bun pops out of the oven.

January 4, 2012 at 8:15 am
(8) Robin Reaugh Dorko says:

I can’t decide how I feel about all the ultrasounds. Learning early of problems (or no-problems) is great. And it is easier to plan when the gender is known. But I keep wondering–are we sure there is no risk to the baby? And what about the mystery and miracle?

January 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm
(9) Sally Wendkos Olds says:

I like “baby bump,” I like bare pregnant bellies, and I like the tight-fitting tops that show the mom’s belly-button which has popped out as her baby has grown inside her. This is all so much healthier than the attitudes when I was pregnant 50 years ago. It all honors the beauty of the pregnant woman and puts to rest the old feelings that expectant moms should try to hide their pregnancy as long as possible.

Thanks for this post!

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