There were a lot of rules and suggestions that applied to pregnant women back then which still seems to be applicable to pregnant women today.
For instance, baby car seat safety rules were really strict back in the early 2000's. The hospital or the police had to check to see if your infant car seat was installed properly. If it wasn't, it had to be installed properly before you could take your baby home from the hospital. I actually paid for someone to install my infant car seats from a baby merchandise shop that was close to my home back then. They offered that service which was great.
However, one thing that I can say is that the safety regulations among infant car seats, cribs and other baby toys and furniture has changed drastically between now and then. And, even though a lof the pregnancy rules from back then still apply today- there were also many differences as far as that goes. So let's find out about 20 things that pregnant moms did back in just less than two decades ago that they don't- or are not recommended to do today (or don’t do today even if it has nothing to do with pregnancy-related rules)!
20 Stayed Out In The Sun
Back in the early 2000's and prior to that, pregnant moms had no worries about staying out in the sun for long periods of time as long as they put on their sunscreen. Because I had gotten pregnant during the summer with both of my pregnancies and gave birth in the following spring, that was not even something I had thought about. Additionally, I do not live near any beaches.
However, according to Livestrong, pregnant women are advised not to stay out in the sun for prolonged periods of time. And, getting a sunburn is not the only concern. Studies have found that long-term sun exposure can cause degradation of folic acid which is an important building block for the unborn baby. That means you don't want to stay out in the sun for more than a half hour a day, even with sun protection!
19 Concealed The Bump With Maternity Clothes
As you know, pregnant moms had to conceal the fact that they were pregnant for centuries. And, this attitude even stuck around in the early 2000's. That is why all of the maternity clothes I bought were baggy so the bump would be hidden. However, according to WhatToExpect, by the latter part of the 2000's, bumps were exposed more.
An example of that was when M.I.A. performed onstage at the 2009 Grammy Awards when she was nine-months-pregnant and wore revealing maternity fashion. That said, pregnant moms were not flaunting their bumps too much until after that point. Today, you have some moms who want to hide their bumps but more often than not, that is not the case.
18 Avoided Peanuts And Nuts
Back in the early 2000's pregnant moms were advised not to eat peanuts and nuts in general until the third trimester because the unborn baby would end up developing a peanut or nut allergy. And that is why I also stayed away from peanuts and nuts while I was pregnant until the very end.
However, according to BabyCentre UK, a study was done in 2009 indicating that unless you are allergic to nuts or peanuts yourself, eating nuts and peanuts was safe to eat during pregnancy. There is no concrete evidence that shows any link between nuts eaten during pregnancy and allergies. Moms who are not allergic to peanuts and nuts can enjoy having a few of those while pregnant without the need to worry about the baby developing an allergy.
17 No Genetic Screening
Back in the early 2000's, there was some genetic screening that pregnant women were advised to have based on their ethnicity. For instance, if mom was of Ashkenazi Jewish or of French-Canadian descent, then she was advised to be screened for the Tay-Sachs gene back then. Also, if mom was Caucasian, then she was advised to get tested for the gene that is responsible for cystic fibrosis. Or if mom was African-American, then she was advised to be screened for the sickle cell disorder gene.
However, nowadays, all moms are being advised to be screened for more genetic issues that could be passed down which could be problematic or even fatal to the baby. And according to Time Magazine, even today genetic screening is not happening often enough as there is still a lot of room for improvement in that area.
16 Scrapbooks - Not Blogs
Back in the early 2000's, and prior to that, pregnant moms always made sure that they had pregnancy scrapbooks to note the unborn baby's milestones- and how it affected mom! In my What To Expect pregnancy book, there was an area at the back which was meant for note-taking for that reason. I took well advantage of that.
And even though, according to Webdesigner Depot, blogs have been around since the late 90's, very few people really got into the blogging thing until the later part of the 2000's. That is when you saw moms starting to blog about their pregnancies which were starting to replace scrapbooks. And today, you will see all of that throughout social media. Things really have changed a lot over the course of nearly two decades. However, some moms may still journal the traditional way by choice.
15 Avoided Seafood All Together
I remember when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter in August of 2001, I was terrified of eating fish and other seafood because of the high mercury levels. It was a known fact that mercury levels were high in plenty of types of fish back then. The only type of fish that I was told that was safe to eat was salmon and I had salmon a few times a week.
However, according to MomJunction, it has been found that salmon is not the only safe type of fish to eat. It is perfectly fine to eat shrimp and trout as well because the mercury levels are low in those types of fish. The types of fish to stay away from are orange roughy, tuna steaks, shark meat, swordfish and King mackerel. But most of the other fish are safe to eat during pregnancy.
14 Eating For 2 Was The Norm
Plenty of pregnant women back nearly two decades ago took the "eating for two" quite literally. They believed that because they were pregnant, they would be allowed to eat as much as they wanted. The fact of the matter is, that belief was incredibly dangerous.
And, according to Shape, pregnant women are supposed to only increase their caloric intake by 300 calories as of the second trimester and then around 400 in the third trimester. That is hardly eating for two. If you literally eat for two, you will increase your chances of developing gestational diabetes or preeclampsia due to uncontrollable weight gain. And, removing the baby weight after the baby is born even without developing those complications will be even harder to do!
13 Kept Quiet About The Dark Cloud
Back in the early 2000's and earlier than that, having depression was something that very few people spoke about. That is why the stigma towards depression and mental illness was there. The only reason it is not as bad is that more and more people are talking about mental illness and depression.
And, pregnant women were supposed to be happy! They were not allowed to be depressed, which was why so many women back then who experienced depression during pregnancy suffered in silence. According to Healthline, they stated that The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and The American Psychiatric Association (APA) said that about 14 to 23 percent of pregnant women will experience depression. And, there is no shame in asking for help if that happens to be you. In fact, you must ask for help and not keep quiet about it like pregnant women did nearly 20 years ago who experienced the same thing.
12 Sacrificed Their Careers For The Baby
A woman had to make a choice nearly two decades ago or earlier than that whether or not they wanted to have kids or focus on their careers. And it was believed that women could only have one or the other. That is why so many women back then waited until they were in their late 30's to start a family- or if they had their kids at the best time fertility-wise in their 20's, then they would have to give up their career dreams.
However, according to Financial Samurai, many women have found that they don't need to give up their careers to have a family anymore. Some women still do but the majority do not. In fact, according to the same source, you only need to give up two to five years of your career life to raise a family. And even then, it is not necessary. Plenty of companies offer telecommuting jobs for working moms so they can work and raise their kids- which is something that was not an option in the early 2000's.
11 Waited Until The 12th Week To Announce
Even though there are no rules for the timing in regards to announcing a pregnancy, back in the early 2000's and before that, many pregnant moms waited 12 weeks to let their friends, coworkers, and family members know that they were expecting. I did as well! However, I announced after I had my first 10-week ultrasound with my daughter and with a heartbeat there, so I announced my pregnancy a little sooner than most other women did back then.
However, according to Belly Belly, pregnant moms should not feel the need to wait that long to announce that they are pregnant. Firstly, their employer needs to know so mat leave can be prepared, and if the unthinkable does happen- then, they will not have to suffer alone and have support from others. Many pregnant moms today are sharing as soon as they find out that they are pregnant on social media- and others have waited even longer than 12 weeks to make that announcement.
10 Underestimated The Importance Of Folic Acid
Pregnant women were most definitely advised to take folic acid in the early 2000's because even back then it was known it would help prevent neural tube defects in the unborn baby. However, back then, the other benefits of taking folic acid were not known like they are today.
And, according to BabyCentre UK, not only does folic acid help prevent neural tube defects in the unborn baby, but it also helps prevent certain types of anemias in mom. That was not known back then, but it is now! And studies are even being conducted about the possibility of folic acid reducing the risk of autism as well.
9 Gave Up Caffeine Entirely
Many pregnant women back in the day, just a few decades ago anyway avoided coffee like the plague because they were told that caffeine is dangerous to the unborn baby. I also stayed away from coffee. However, according to MomJunction, moms don't have to completely give up their java each morning.
If they stick to no more than 200 mg of caffeine a day which is no more than two cups of coffee, then there is no real risk. So that means many pregnant moms are having a cup of coffee a day nowadays without needing to worry. And, the kicker is that I did eat chocolate during my pregnancies and nothing happened! So I actually did consume a little caffeine without even thinking about it.
8 Communicated Through Online Forums
When I was pregnant, I used to go on pregnancy-related forums or those Yahoo groups that many others used to communicate with one another on my big clunky desktop computer. Because in the early 2000's (and the late 90's) that was the only way to communicate with others through the internet. There was no Facebook or Twitter back then. Even MySpace was not around that early in the 2000's.
However, as TheGuardian stated, Facebook was created in 2004 by Mr. Zuckerberg which only was a thing among the university community. And, Facebook did not go beyond the university communities until September 2006. And in early 2007, many people including myself joined Facebook and today, it is the most popular place where people are in touch with one another.
In the early 2000's, pregnant moms hung out on forums, whereas today, pregnant moms hang out on Facebook.
7 Radishes Were Not Off-Limits
I actually stayed away from radishes when I was pregnant because it gave me heartburn that went on for a long time. However, back in the early 2000's, pregnant women were not told that eating radishes were off-limits unless it made them sick or gave them awful heartburn like it did to me.
However, according to MomJunction, radishes can carry E.Coli or Salmonella which can cause miscarriages, stillbirths or premature delivery. It is, therefore, best to keep away from this potent vegetable since it can be quite risky for pregnant moms to eat- even if the odds are in your favor that you would be okay if you ate one. But it is not worth the risk.
6 Processed Junk Food Was A Thing
I knew enough when I was pregnant not to go crazy with eating fast food and candy, but I did indulge every now and then and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, back when I was pregnant, I knew of other pregnant moms that constantly went out to get McDonald's meals, and ate candies and pastries. Therefore, many moms back then ate a lot of processed junk food too often.
However, according to MomJunction, it is fine to eat an unhealthy meal or snack once a week while you are pregnant. However, expecting moms must never get into the habit of eating processed junk food daily. It can increase the chances of gestational diabetes, worsen pregnancy sickness, can increase the odds of preeclampsia and increase the chance of their unborn babies developing metabolic syndrome. It is not worth it.
5 And Don't Forget About The Raw Cabbage And Lettuce
Since there was enough knowledge back in the early 2000's around about how important it is to eat healthy during pregnancy, it was never a concern back then that healthy vegetables like cabbage and lettuce would be problematic. Therefore, many pregnant women back then and before that ate plenty of salads which included raw cabbage and lettuce.
However, according to MomJunction, raw cabbage, and lettuce can potentially carry harmful bacteria such as listeria and salmonella. That can cause a miscarriage, stillbirth, or a premature birth. However, if you are pregnant and have a craving for some cabbage borscht soup, then that is not a problem. The cabbage is cooked well so enjoy!
4 No Concerns Over Canned Food
I could not tell you how many times I had a craving for Campbell's canned tomato soup during my pregnancies. It was incredibly the best and I surprisingly did not get heartburn from it. However, nowadays, that would not be recommended for pregnant women to eat.
Not just the canned tomato soup, but canned food in general. According to MomJunction, the lining of canned foods can contain Bisphenol A (BPA) which can cause many serious health problems for the unborn baby. It can have a negative impact on the baby's endocrine system. Not to mention, some canned food that you have could have expired which means harmful bacteria could be lingering there. Let's not even talk about botulism which can be bad for anyone, pregnant or not! It is best to chuck all canned foods once you find out that you are pregnant. It is not good for you or your unborn baby.
3 Moms Enjoyed Bacon Way Too Much
I enjoyed these bacon and cheese covered bagels once in a great while when I was pregnant with my daughter that I used to buy from the local bagel shop. And, I did not eat it too often because I knew how fattening they were, to begin with. However, back then, there was nothing said about the dangers of eating bacon during pregnancy.
However, according to MomJunction, bacon has nitrates and that can cause fetal abnormalities if too much of it is consumed. The same goes for deli meats and hot dogs. Though, I remember even back then it was known that deli meats and hot dogs could carry listeria so I microwaved deli meats and avoided hot dogs while I was pregnant. But it was not known how dangerous they were because of the nitrates it carried. Knowing that gives you more of a reason to keep away from all of it today!
2 Two Words: Street Foods
If a pregnant mom back in the early 2000's had a craving for cotton candy or a soft pretzel from a street vendor, then there was no issue about not giving in to the craving. However, according to MomJunction, it is not advisable for pregnant moms to buy food from street vendors at all.
That is because street food can be tainted with harmful bacteria which could be dangerous for mom and the unborn baby. Their suggestion is that if you have a craving for cotton candy or a soft pretzel, learn to make it at home! And, remember, those foods are considered to be junk foods. You can enjoy it but in moderation!
1 Not Concerned About Taking Too Many Vitamins
Pregnant moms were advised in the early 2000's and even before that how important it was to take prenatal vitamins and folic acid. However, the one thing that was not known was how dangerous that taking too many vitamins could possibly be for mom and the unborn baby.
According to MomJunction, if you are pregnant and you take an excess of vitamins, especially if they are fat-soluble, it can be stored in your liver and fat. Therefore, there would be harmful effects on the unborn baby. If you are concerned about not getting enough vitamins, you can find natural ways to make sure you get enough.
Sources: Momjunction.com, Livestrong.com, WhatToExpect.com, Babycentre.co.uk, Time.com, Webdesignerdepot.com, Shape.com, Healthline.com, Financialsamurai.com, Bellybelly.com.au, TheGuardian.com