Mother’s Friend:  Hoo-Ha Liniment

Frankly, I am utterly gobsmacked at the notion of toughening up (and simultaneously "making pliable") the vagina prior to childbirth.

Original of second ad here.
     Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 05, 2016
     Category: Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil | Genitals | Pregnancy

External use only?

What else does it toughen up and make pliable?
Posted by crc on 09/05/16 at 07:30 AM
This website has ads that show even more outlandish claims -- it made your baby smarter and better looking!
Posted by ges on 09/05/16 at 10:56 AM
Okay . . . how do I put this delicately but still be plain enough so those who aren't getting it will understand?

The woman applies the oil to her external genitalia. It is soothing and provides a warming sensation. The woman rubs the oil into her skin. She rubs vigorously . . . very vigorously for an average of six to eight minutes. This produces, through a normal biological function, intense, rhythmic contractions of her internal musculature. These contractions are a form of exercise. Muscles which are well-toned from regular exercise are both more pliable and 'tougher' than squishy, under-used muscles.

Regular exercise is often credited, also, with improvement in general attitude. Twice-daily use of this product will ensure the woman is happy and content. A new mother's psychological aspect has a great impact on the health and well-being of her infant. A baby which is healthy is more attractive than one which is sickly, and brain development at this crucial time will not be constrained by its body's need to fight illness.
Posted by Phideaux on 09/06/16 at 02:09 AM
That makes a lot more sense than original, Phideaux. Thanks.
Posted by TheCannyScot on 09/06/16 at 07:06 AM
... than the original ...
Posted by TheCannyScot on 09/06/16 at 07:06 AM
This widely advertised nostrum is put out by the Bradfield Regulator Company, Atlanta, Ga. Some of the claims made for it were:
"Shortens the duration of labor."
"Will assist in the safe and quick delivery."
"Prescribed by many of our best physicians."
"Causes an unusually easy and quick delivery."
"For relief of the suffering incident to child-birth."
Samples taken from the consignment seized were analyzed by the Bureau of Chemistry of the United States Department of Agriculture and found to consist of:
           Oil             Soap (small quantity)
The United States judge naturally declared the stuff misbranded. - [Notice of Judgment, No. 203.]
Source: <i>Nostrums and Quackery</i>, second edition, American Medical Association Press, Chicago, 1912
Posted by Eoin on 09/07/16 at 03:14 PM
The advertising is silly, but the idea behind it is completely mainstream. Google "perineal massage" for more information, but the concept is simply that as pregnancy advances, periodic massage of the perineum (the area of muscle and tissue at the base of the vulva, between that and the anus) helps prepare the area for childbirth. This is the tissue that has to stretch the most for the baby's head to pass through, and the place most likely to tear- and back in the day tears were not uncommon and could be quite severe, going completely through muscle, and causing problems from pain to life threatening complications.

Perineal massage is still recommended to women as a way of both stretching and toughening the area ahead of time, and although a woman *can* do it herself, it's not easy (I've tried) - you don't have a good angle even when you aren't pregnant, and a late-pregnancy belly only makes it harder to reach around. It's better if a partner or midwife does it. Because we're not talking about rubbing the skin like putting on sunblock- it takes some thumb strength, like a Swedish massage, to stretch the muscle out.
Posted by Susan on 09/08/16 at 07:37 PM
Fascinating information and insights, Susan, about which I was ignorant. And well described too. Thanks!
Posted by Paul on 09/08/16 at 08:38 PM
So, let me get this straight Dr. Phideaux, you are prescribing 2 a day orgasms to help prepare for childbirth, is that right?? That's actually not a bad idea in general even when not expecting I guess. 😜
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/09/16 at 08:24 AM
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