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Res.3.1 Group of women resident in the same block of corporation flats, female interviewers, 1 May 1961

Identifier: EUA IN1/ACU/S3/4/2/3/1

Scope and Contents

Topics discussed include: Breast feeding; generational differences in child rearing; sexual relationships and sex education; neighbour relations.

One INTVEE thinks there are not enough schools by which the INTVER thinks she means Catholic schools. All INTVEEs agreed there was pressure to breast feed, although all thought it was the exception with the main reason for not breast feeding being embarrassment. They thought they were more prudish about this than the older generation and one INTVEE is quoted as saying, "They seemed embarrassed about legs and we're embarrassed about breasts". Three out of the five INTVEEs had at least one really strict parent. Only two out of five confided in their mothers, none of them had been told the facts of life by them. One said when she started menstruation all her mother said was, "you're a woman now, watch yourself with the boys", but she never knew what for. They didn't know how the were going tell their own children. Most hospitals now have the newborn babies beside mothers, the Western is the only one that doesn't. Best to have babies at home, not be wakened up at 5 for a cup of tea. One doctor had been strict about staying in bed after the birth - 10-14 days. In hospital they like you to get up on the second day. Great pressure to breast feed in the Western, they insist on it. One INTVEE thought they did better on cows milk than on national dried milk. The younger INTVEE thought breastfeeding was too much work and too much embarrassment. Two INTVEEs thought breastfeeding was easier and you were not so tied down. Some were believers in putting a raw egg in the last bottle og the day to make them sleep right through. One INTVEE thought regular feeding was not necessarily the right thing to do; they wouldn't wake a baby to feed it but only feed when it cried. The district nurse had told one INTVEE to feed regularly but the doctor had said to feed on demand. One had been told "babies only cry for three things - wet, wind and hunger. If he's not wet and you've made sure there's no wind, then feed him". One INTVEE thought secondary school was the right time to learn the facts of life, another said tell them when they are young and then there is no fuss. Their mothers told them nothing about sex. Two of them hadn't known how the baby would be born when they were pregnant. "We are all working class, but there are different classes within the working class".


  • Other: 1 May 1961

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7 Sheets


Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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