History of Childbirth

History of Childbirth : Fertility, Pregnancy and Birth in Early Modern Europe

3.76 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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This is a study of the complex system of practices, beliefs and taboos which surrounded conception and childbirth in early modern Europe. The book describes the activities and attitudes of the midwives and mothers, and the sufferings they had to endure. In this pre-industrial setting, the emphasis on nature, and heredity and continuity led to a repudiation of barren women and malformed babies, and a preference for male children. The book explores the role of the Church, and herbalists and alchemists.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 164 x 218 x 32mm | 799.99g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • French
  • Illustrated
  • Illustrated edition
  • 5 figures, 9 photographs
  • 0745606776
  • 9780745606774

Table of contents

Part 1 The rhythms of the Earth - the Mother of all things: man, the earth and the cosmos; daughter, wife and mother; what if no child appears?; the cycle of life. Part 2 Pregnancy - a time of hope, suffering and anxiety: the body in pregnancy; the experience of pregnancy. Part 3 The women giving birth: the society of birth; hastening the hour of deliverance. Part 4 Between mother and child: birth - a double liberation; suffering to give life; stages in delivery; the placenta - double of the child; the governance of mother and child. Part 5 The socialization of the child: welcoming the new baby; socializing the child - giving a name. Part 6 The divagations of nature: the falling of the flower; the unripe fruit; unnatural delivery; death, the greatest aberration; where does the beast end and man begin?
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Rating details

13 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 31% (4)
4 38% (5)
3 15% (2)
2 8% (1)
1 8% (1)
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