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Updated: May 16, 2010 17:53 IST

Moms-to-be think ‘their mothers know best’

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A new study by University of London has found that modern women are more likely to take a mixture of advice - but are still more likely to follow family wisdom rather than the advice from doctors.
AP A new study by University of London has found that modern women are more likely to take a mixture of advice - but are still more likely to follow family wisdom rather than the advice from doctors.

Many may find it surprising, but moms-to-be think that their own mothers know better than their doctors when it comes to health advice, say scientists.

A new study by University of London has found that modern women are more likely to take a mixture of advice - but are still more likely to follow family wisdom rather than the advice from doctors.

For their study, the scientists talked to women who gave birth in the 1970s, 1980s and the 2000s. They talked about pregnancy and childbirth advice to seven women who gave birth in the 1970s and 12 of their daughters who had babies in the 2000s.

The team then also analysed interviews on the same topic which had been carried out with 24 women in the 1980s.

The 1970s women were most likely to take advice from family members, the ‘BBC News’ reported.

But researchers found women who had babies between 2000 and 2010 had to evaluate a wide range of information from doctors, midwives, books, magazines and, latterly, the Internet -- as well as that from their families.

In these women, it tended to be family advice that won out -- particularly if a mother-to-be was dealing with a specific symptom.

Professor Paula Nicolson from Royal Holloway College, University of London, who led the study, said, “When it comes to the crunch - if women feel sick for example - they will take their mother’s or their grandmother’s advice. They would not necessarily recognise how important it was to them, but it would override the science.”

She added, “Taking all the guidelines too seriously leads to anxieties. Lack of self-confidence also can lead to worry about ‘doing the wrong thing’ which is potentially more harmful than taking the odd glass of wine or eating soft cheese.”

Keywords: pregnancyhealth


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