Here are some really interesting facts about how parenting has changed in just one generation. A new survey by the Practical Parenting & Pregnancy Magazine finds that there has been a sea change in attitudes to pregnancy and early parenting over the past few decades, with parental behaviour shifting in most aspects: from dieting, discipline, breast feeding, returning to work and the role of the partner.
Drinking alcohol and pregnancy
In the 1970s, 49% of mothers said they drank alcohol during pregnancy. This was down to 33% for those who had a baby born in between 2000-2010.
Of those mothers who did drink, 23% would consume more than 6 units per week (equivalent to 3 glasses of wine). This was still 21% in the 1980s, but by 2000-2010 had dramatically fallen to just 4%.
The time mums spend in hospital after giving birth has plummeted. In the 1970s, 37% of mums stayed in hospital for over a week after giving birth. This had fallen to just 3% by 2010, with 26% of mums going home the same day or just staying overnight.
In the 1970s, 36% of women would stop working more than two months before the birth, a figure that had dropped to just 10% by 2010, with 14% still working a week before and less.
The amount of time mums stick with breastfeeding has altered over the past few decades. In the 1970s 45% of mums breastfed for six months or more, this rocketed to 68% in the eighties, but had fallen back to 56% by the noughties.
A generation ago the vast majority of parents smacked their child - 77% in the 1970s. This was still at 67% in the 1990s, but dramatically fell to 36% of children born in the 2000s.
94% of dads are present at the birth these days, compared to just 58% in the 1970s.
98% changed nappies in the noughties compared to just 68% in the 1970s.
89% bathed their baby in the 2000’s compared to just 62% in the 1970s.
91% put their baby to bed, compared to 70% in the 1970s.
However, it is not all change. The trusty buggy remains the nation’s most recommended piece of equipment through the decades, recommended by 23% of respondents in the 70s and 26% today.