A lot has changed since the 1960s, especially when it comes to postpartum care and this viral photo of vintage “instructions for mothers” proves it.

New mom Micala Gabrielle Henson posted a photo of a piece of paper her grandmother was given at Cabarrus Memorial Hospital in Concord, North Carolina back when her mom was born in 1968 and the instructions are…something else.

“My mom was going through her things and we saw this, its rules in regards to just having a baby,” Henson captioned the picture. “Thank goodness things have changed!”


Among the rules: viewing hours for the babies. Skin-to-skin contact was not prioritized, but mamas could check on their babies through a nursery window between 2:30-3:30 p.m. and again from 7-7:45 p.m.

“Please do not ask to see baby at any other time,” the instructions state.

Not only could you not hang out with your baby much, you also couldn’t nurse them much back then. While many hospitals strongly encourage breastfeeding today, back in 1968 Henson’s mom was advised only to nurse five times in the first 24 hours, and to work up to a maximum of 15 minutes of nursing by day four, because any more than that could make a mother’s nipples sore. But bottle feeding was encouraged and babies were brought to moms four times a day for feeding (but no dads allowed when that was happening).

These days, we know that babies need to nurse a lot more than a few minutes per day, that breastmilk has a ton of benefits and offering formula is no longer the default in maternity wards. We know that skin-to-skin contact is important, both from mom and dad.

It’s funny how looking back helps us understand just how far we’ve come.