Dr. Mom?

tres generaciones

Apparently, after four generations, prenatal and postnatal instruction still comes from the most trusted source: mom.

Researchers Paula Nicolson and Dr. Rebekah Fox from Royal Holloway, University of London found that new moms, while committed to providing the best for their unborn and newborn children, still went to mom for confirmation of doctor’s advice and for best practice information of their own. The researchers findings were published in the Journal of Health Psychology.

The report details the responses of mothers from the 1970s, 1980s, and 2000s. All the women stated that the advice they received from their mothers was more trustworthy since those women had their best interests at heart. For the moms of the 1970s, most of their pregnancy advice came from their mothers. That changed in the 1980s when doctors supplanted moms as the main source of information. However, in spite of being a greater source of medical guidance, advice from female relations remained the most trusted.

Professor Nicolson says women who understand and appreciate healthy lifestyle choices, (not smoking, exercising moderately, not smoking or drinking alcohol, eating low fat and nutritious meals) will generally be aware of their own health and able to adapt the medical community’s guidelines rather than be constrained by them.

“It is much to the credit of contemporary women that despite the unprecedented pressures from the media, medicine and the ‘pregnancy police’ that they are still able to filter-in the advice that really suits them from all these sources. Each of the three generations found ways to ‘resist’ what they considered inappropriate pressures from advisors and were more likely to follow advice given to them from their mothers and grandmothers even if it went against the medical professions advice,” said Professor Nicolson.

She continued, “Women tend to discuss the advice they are given with the female relatives and this leads to resistance to some types of advice. For example, despite being advised to cut down on caffeine during pregnancy one woman we questioned said she continued to drink tea because her grandmother told her it relieved her morning sickness.”

Women should feel empowered by information, not intimidated. Reassurance from mom can go a long way to increasing a new mother-to-be’s confidence and improving the pregnancy experience all the way around.

Source: Science Daily, University of Royal Holloway London


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