© 2018 by Can't Make This Up History Podcast.

  • CMTU History

Episode 30: You're Doing It Wrong!

Updated: Feb 16



One downfall of living in the Internet age with access to all the world's knowledge is that we also live with access to all the world's advice. Whether an opinion is based on science, tradition, or personal experience, there are countless blogs and experts ready to tell us how to live. This chaos is only compounded when you have children. Those of us who are dads can certainly relate to this, but I think we can agree that moms bare the brunt of it even before their baby is born. Natural birth or epidural? Breastfeeding or formula? Cry-it-out or attachment parenting? Co-sleeping or crib? On today's show, we are going to talk about how this has always been the case to some degree.


Bethany Johnson is a doctoral student focusing on the history of science, technology, and the environment and is part of the research faculty at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She studies how ideas in science, medical technology, and public health have been communicated historically. Bethany is co-author of the book You're Doing It Wrong! Mothering, Media, and Medical Expertise along with Dr. Margaret Quinlan who studies communication within the healthcare system. In You're Doing It Wrong!, Bethany and Margaret describe the changing care mothers and their children have received since the 1800s as well as the medical and parental advice women throughout history have received from the medical profession and the media.


If you are interested in picking up a copy of You're Doing It Wrong! click here and enter 02AAAA17 at checkout.


To support and help produce the show, visit www.patreon.com/CMTUHistory




Key Points in Today's Podcast

Some of the major topics I discuss with Bethany in this episode are:

  • The practice known as Twilight Sleep and how it became a fad birth plan among white, urban socialite mothers in the early 1900s

  • How the invention of the incubator saved lives, but also took power from mothers

  • Mourning practices among Victorian Era mothers who lost their children

  • Ties between the first baby beauty contests and the eugenics movement

  • How social media can help and hinder mothers in acquiring good medical advice

For the Ever Curious

If you are interested in learning more about Bethany Johnson and Margaret Quinlan's ongoing research in this area, visit www.johnsonquinlanresearch.com.

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