A Hot Bath & Gin? Really?

I was just watching Upstairs Downstairs (English period drama, set in 1930's) and a young female character who just found out she was pregnant said, '...So I will have gin and a hot bath. Isn't that what all young girls in trouble do?'

Now, I understand she was trying to abort the baby, but why would a hot bath and gin be so effective? Seems strange to me.

Also, was this actually common practice for women?

Thanks in advance :)

4 Answers

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  • Orange
    Lv 6
    8 years ago
    Favourite answer

    The combination was thought to cause a miscarriage.

    There is some truth in it. Hot baths can cause miscarriage or birth defects. It's rare and they need to be really hot but it can increase your core body temperature, interrupting the growth of the embryo or foetus. The same can happen with a high fever.

    Gin has no special properties which cause miscarriage. Lots of women consumed way too much of it (which is why it was called 'mothers ruin') and no doubt did miscarry as a result, leading other women to assume it would be a good way of ending a pregnancy.

    Alcohol has to be consumed in moderate to large quantities to cause birth defects and miscarriage. There is no proof at all from countless studies that small amounts such as one or two drinks would do any harm.

  • 4 years ago

    Yes. The flavour of gin comes from it's infusion with juniper berries. Juniper berries contain a compound called thuzone, which stimulates uterine contraction and can cause miscarriage.

  • 8 years ago

    no, it would never have worked although it was a common belief. The series is set in the bad old days before abortion was legal. If you saw the rest of the story, the woman went to a backstreet abortionist and was very ill; in reality she would probably have died from an infection.

    be very grateful for the 21st century; contraception and the right to abortion.

  • Dory
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Yes. it was common practise and that is why gin is known as 'mothers ruin'. I don't know if it was affective or not.

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