Corsets are practically suicidal in normal condition. But back in the past, pregnant woman were encouraged to wear corsets during pregnancy too! Because apparently, they were 'health improving' designs.
Yup, you read that right. Doctors advised woman back then to smoke cigarettes in order to keep the baby's weight down and keeping the mother's bowel movements regular.
What epidural is to women now, chloroform was that to mothers back in the past. The expectant mothers were given a 'healthy dose' of chloroform to aid in delivery. But the sensitivity that ranged from patient to patient made it lethal in some aspects.
There's actually a legend that says that if woman look at something beautiful during the pregnancy and during birth, it will ensure a beautiful baby. But obviously, there's no scientific basis to this. Every child is beautiful to its mother after all.
Mothers were told that traveling by car during pregnancy was equivalent to that of climbing a rocky mountain. The doctors strictly advised pregnant women to travel only by train.
Pregnant women were strongly advised not to step out into the sunlight at all! Not even for a moment. It was lead to believe that stepping out in sunlight would 'cook the baby.'
Today doctors advise some bedroom action to induce labor especially when the kid is taking its sweet time to be born. But Dr. John Harvey Kellogg strongly warned against any funny business before the baby was out. He believed the child would inherit "libidinous tendencies."