Pregnancy and contraceptive advice has evolved drastically over the past few decades. With all the research we now have on reproductive wellness, looking back at what these shocking vintage ads had to say to women will make you cringe.
From the late 19th to mid 20th centuries, many company ads encouraged pregnant women to drink and wear baby-bumping-hiding corsets as part of their journey to becoming a mother. On the other hand, ads for birth control suggested that if women don’t use their products, their husbands will leave them.
Keep scrolling to find out how these companies tried—and at the time, presumably succeeded—in convincing women to practice acts that we know are extremely dangerous today. These shocking vintage ads will not disappoint.
1. A Little Every Now and Then Won’t Hurt
This 1983 ad by Seagram, famous for its ginger ale and whiskey, advises mothers to drink in moderation. At the time, research on the effects of alcohol intake on pregnant women and their yet-to-be-born children was still in progress. Seagram noted this and took advantage of this period of uncertainty, encouraging expecting mothers to drink every once in a while to “celebrate” their children.
2. Don’t Forget to Hide That Baby Bump
This tiny vintage ad from Berthe May urges expecting mothers to “preserve a normal appearance” with their unique maternity corset. Although the corset conveniently allows its users to “dress as usual,” its purpose to make pregnant women look “normal” is questionably offensive in the least.