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Left Hand of Dorkness
05-03-2009, 05:09 PM
A friend, in explaining his hesitation to follow the recommended vaccination schedule for his child, suggested that he has trouble believing a profession that used to recommend that pregnant women smoke to lower the weight of their child. Is there any truth to this whatsoever? If there is, were these recommendations ever made by a professional medical organization?

kunilou
05-03-2009, 05:21 PM
Don't have a cite but I do know that the former director of the Missouri School Nurses Association was furious because some school nurses didn't discourage pregnant teenage students from smoking. There is a documented relationship between smoking and birthweight and these nurses believed the easier delivery of a small baby outweighed the risks of smoking.

Which might, in some circumstances, be defensible, except that smoking also poses risks to an unborn child.

But that's an apple and orange argument when it comes to vaccination. Your friend may as well oppose vaccinations because doctors used to use leeches.

sinjin
05-03-2009, 05:23 PM
A friend, in explaining his hesitation to follow the recommended vaccination schedule for his child, suggested that he has trouble believing a profession that used to recommend that pregnant women smoke to lower the weight of their child. Is there any truth to this whatsoever? If there is, were these recommendations ever made by a professional medical organization?

Um yes they did recommend this, no cite just recollection. My mother was given amphetamines while pregnant so she would not gain weight. After the kids were born she was also prescribed valium so she would not be stressed out by the kiddies. It was very common in the sixties. "Mother's little helper."

sinjin
05-03-2009, 05:37 PM
NETA: My Dr. always smoked when I went in for exams when I was a kid. It was just a normal thing. Everyone smoked all the time.:eek:

Springtime for Spacers
05-03-2009, 05:43 PM
Don't have a cite but I do know that the former director of the Missouri School Nurses Association was furious because some school nurses didn't discourage pregnant teenage students from smoking. There is a documented relationship between smoking and birthweight and these nurses believed the easier delivery of a small baby outweighed the risks of smoking.

Which might, in some circumstances, be defensible, except that smoking also poses risks to an unborn child.

But that's an apple and orange argument when it comes to vaccination. Your friend may as well oppose vaccinations because doctors used to use leeches.

And low birth weight is a predictor for problems in later life so it's not regarded as desirable any more.

postcards
05-03-2009, 06:03 PM
Your friend may as well oppose vaccinations because doctors used to use leeches.

Used to? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicinal_leech#Today)

Left Hand of Dorkness
05-03-2009, 09:17 PM
Thanks for the anecdotes, folks! Part of my question that's key is whether any professional organization ever recommended this. If not, that's an important distinction. Just as you can find individual doctors who recommend against the standard vaccination schedule, you can find individual doctors who recommended smoking. But the few cites I can find about professional organizations from last century, back to the thirties, suggest that they considered smoking to be unhealthful, and that they objected to the health claims of cigarette companies even then. I have a much harder time believing that professional organizations recommended smoking at any time; it seems much likelier that tobacco companies made this claim, and some stupid individual doctors paid attention to the ads.

kunilou
05-03-2009, 10:59 PM
Used to? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicinal_leech#Today)

In the sense of "let's bleed the patient to get all the bad blood out" not in the sense that they're used today for an actual, verfiable therapeutic benefit.

Lynn Bodoni
05-04-2009, 06:19 AM
Thanks for the anecdotes, folks! Part of my question that's key is whether any professional organization ever recommended this. If not, that's an important distinction. Just as you can find individual doctors who recommend against the standard vaccination schedule, you can find individual doctors who recommended smoking. But the few cites I can find about professional organizations from last century, back to the thirties, suggest that they considered smoking to be unhealthful, and that they objected to the health claims of cigarette companies even then. I have a much harder time believing that professional organizations recommended smoking at any time; it seems much likelier that tobacco companies made this claim, and some stupid individual doctors paid attention to the ads. I don't know if any organization used to recommend it, but many individual doctors did recommend smoking to help control weight and "nervousness", I believe it was called. Pregnant women were discouraged from gaining very much weight at all, and cigarettes might have been recommended as a way to control their weight. Most negative health claims were pooh-poohed, in much the same way as many dismiss the negatives of caffeine consumption now.* Doctors generally didn't worry too much about casual smoking, or what was then considered casual smoking. My grandfather always claimed that smoking had some health benefits, but my grandfather had a lot of Issues, of which smoking was only one.

Semi-hijack: Occasionally I can catch an episode of Perry Mason in the wee early hours, and everyone on the show is smoking like a chimney. I don't know how much of that was product placement and how much was written into the shows to give the actors something to do with their hands, though. I remember, back in the 60s and 70s, the majority of adults smoked, and there were very few places where smoking wasn't allowed.

*I am neither strongly for or against caffeine consumption, and I do drink it occasionally.

badbadrubberpiggy
05-04-2009, 09:49 AM
I don't know if any organization used to recommend it, but many individual doctors did recommend smoking to help control weight and "nervousness", I believe it was called. Pregnant women were discouraged from gaining very much weight at all, and cigarettes might have been recommended as a way to control their weight. Most negative health claims were pooh-poohed, in much the same way as many dismiss the negatives of caffeine consumption now.* Doctors generally didn't worry too much about casual smoking, or what was then considered casual smoking. My grandfather always claimed that smoking had some health benefits, but my grandfather had a lot of Issues, of which smoking was only one.


I recently aquired a baby/pregnancy book that was published in 1945, which supports your post. It didn't recommend starting to smoke if you didn't already, but it said that if you smoke "moderately" (a pack a day, per the book), then don't try to quit because it would be too stressful.

Regarding the pregnancy diet, they discouraged women from eating any more than they would when they were not pregnant. Now, it's recommended to gain 25-35 (total, including the baby & placenta, etc) pounds, assuming you are starting at a healthy weight already. For the average woman that involves eating 200-300 calories more per day earlier in their pregnancy, and up to 500 more a day later on when they baby is larger.


Also, thumb-sucking causes sexual perversion, and you should start taking your child outside after they're about 3 weeks old, so they'll have a nice healthy tan in a few months :D

Keeve
05-04-2009, 10:20 AM
In the sense of "let's bleed the patient to get all the bad blood out" not in the sense that they're used today for an actual, verfiable therapeutic benefit.But getting all the bad blood out WAS an actual, verifiable therapeutic benefit.

Maybe not by today's standards, but by the standards of the day, it most certainly was.

Fotheringay-Phipps
05-04-2009, 10:25 AM
My grandfather always claimed that smoking had some health benefits, but my grandfather had a lot of Issues, of which smoking was only one.Your grandfather may have had a lot of Issues, but he was correct about (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070709171619.htm) smoking (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1444645)

See also (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1101/does-smoking-have-any-health-em-benefits-em)

Annie-Xmas
05-04-2009, 11:35 AM
Read With Love from Karen by Marie Killilea. She was 43 and was referred to a specialist when she got pregnant for the tenth time. Her previous pregnancies had resulted in one healthy child, a child that died soon after birth, a premature child with cerebral palsy, a child that suffered lung trouble soon after birth, and five miscarriages.

After the specialist examined her, he offered her a cigarette and lit it. Mrs. Killilea wa on bed rest through much of her pregnancy, but she was still allowed to smoke.

Mijin
05-04-2009, 11:45 AM
But getting all the bad blood out WAS an actual, verifiable therapeutic benefit.

Maybe not by today's standards, but by the standards of the day, it most certainly was.

No, "bad blood" was a hypothesis about the cause of certain ailments. A verifiable therapeutic benefit would be actually curing the ailment, something which blood-letting rarely did.

Lynn Bodoni
05-04-2009, 12:25 PM
Your grandfather may have had a lot of Issues, but he was correct about (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070709171619.htm) smoking (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1444645)

See also (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1101/does-smoking-have-any-health-em-benefits-em) And Cecil says: At least one scientist thinks smokers are less likely to develop Alzheimer's mainly because they die of smoking-related diseases first. which was certainly the case with my grandfather. He had a whole laundry list of smoking-related diseases and conditions when he died of emphysema. Maybe he would have died of emphysema anyway. But I doubt that he would have died so early. He really didn't have time to develop Alzheimer's.

whiterabbit
05-04-2009, 01:12 PM
I'll have to ask about smoking, but I know when my mom had me in 1976 she was told that by God she was not to gain more than 25 pounds, or else. When my brother came along in 1984 she was told to gain at least 25 pounds, or else.

lee
05-04-2009, 01:18 PM
A friend of mine who is a speaker said that when she was pregnant in the 70s the doctor told her not to quit smoking because it would be too stressful on her body during pregnancy. Her mother was told by the doctor to drink a small beer with breakfast every day when she was pregnant, which might see like bad advice until you look into the vitamins involved.

notfrommensa
05-04-2009, 01:26 PM
Isn't increase longevity the greatest risk to Social Security?

New RJR ad: Save Social Security, Smoke a Cigarette

Lynn Bodoni
05-04-2009, 01:28 PM
I'll have to ask about smoking, but I know when my mom had me in 1976 she was told that by God she was not to gain more than 25 pounds, or else. When my brother came along in 1984 she was told to gain at least 25 pounds, or else. That sounds about right.

It's also very depressing to realize that I had already graduated from high school when you were born.

tumbleddown
05-04-2009, 02:11 PM
A friend of mine who is a speaker said that when she was pregnant in the 70s the doctor told her not to quit smoking because it would be too stressful on her body during pregnancy. Her mother was told by the doctor to drink a small beer with breakfast every day when she was pregnant, which might see like bad advice until you look into the vitamins involved.
Breastfeeding mothers who are having a bit of difficulty are sometimes told to have a glass of a dark beer, because there is something in a dark ale that stimulates milk production. Off hand I can't recall what it is, but it actually works.

TruCelt
05-04-2009, 03:16 PM
My mother was pregnant in the late sixties, and received care at Army hospitals. She was constantly pressured not to gain any weight, and threatened with her name being put on the "Fat Board" a bulletin board which listed all the mothers who had gained more than ten pounds.

I am quite certain that if she had been a smoker, they would have encouraged her to continue it to avoid the wieght gain which often comes with quitting.