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I found this link in another thread at MDC:<br><br><a href="http://www.bookrags.com/Obstetrics_and_gynecology" target="_blank">http://www.bookrags.com/Obstetrics_and_gynecology</a><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Like most of the medical advances of the eighteenth century, advances associated with childbirth and obstetrics were linked to the prevailing philosophy of the Enlightenment. A rational approach to the events surrounding childbirth was advocated by the new man-midwives. Previous superstitions and interventions labeled by physicians as unnecessary "midwife meddling" (binding breasts, for example) were abandoned in favor of allowing nature to accomplish much of the process. Ladies were encouraged to give birth in rooms with fresh air and sunlight. Newborn infants were no longer swaddled in restrictive linens as it was felt that allowing freedom of movement would promote muscle and bone development. The importance of breastfeeding was championed as women were urged to dismiss their wet-nurses and bond with their infants. Women were admonished of the potential risks to their reproductivity brought about by wearing corsets, and one anatomist carried out a public campaign for women to abandon them.</td>
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<i>Previous superstitions and interventions labeled by physicians as unnecessary "midwife meddling" (binding breasts, for example) were abandoned in favor of allowing nature to accomplish much of the process.</i><br><br>
This made my jawdrop. This is, of course, directly counter to the midwifery movement's claim (which the modern development of obstetrics would seem to support) that when birth was taken out of womens' hands, it was made <i>less</i> natural. This is the first time I've heard of allowing birth to be <i>more</i> natural as being the intention of early obstetricians. I wonder what, if any, actual evidence there is for this. (Naturally I'm skeptical.) Maybe I'll have to take a look at the books referenced.
 

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who wrote that? I dont buy that for a moment??
 

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bump
 

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wow.<br><br>
that is a ridiculous notion...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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ok maybe-- we still do breast binding- bras and certainly if a woman is very engorged I say to put on a bra or tube top to help the fluid drain from the breast and it works-- don't have to wear it all the time but it is of use-<br><br>
fresh air... whole movement about fresh air not all doctors of the time nor people subscribed to the idea- on the other hand there were sleeping porches made so that people with TB or other illnesses could sleep in fresh air also have to think about financial classes and who went in for what kind of care- wealthy women went to docs- probably had no fresh air poor women whole other story-- and bundling up and keeping warm was probably of greater use to the poor than the wealthy who could also afford to heat their house-- of course these same "wonderful" docs were blood letting women to death- for hemorrhage as well as giving them infections-- midwives were the ones who discovered the use of ergot for hemorrhage-- which was changed by A. Hoffman into methergin , which is still used today, any how he also discovered LSD 25 , the 25th compound he tested while looking for a way to refine ergot to make less side effects.<br>
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there are some midwifery reference books out - remember in England the docs did not take over midwifery, like here in the US- in France some leading midwives set up trying to get into the male dominated anatomy classes-- it is in one of the midwife historic texts-- I have read quite a bit on the subject--- also for a period of time in England they didn't even wash- though it was unhealthy-- and probably in the local water it was...
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mwherbs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7934114"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">fresh air... whole movement about fresh air not all doctors of the time nor people subscribed to the idea- on the other hand there were sleeping porches made so that people with TB or other illnesses could sleep in fresh air also have to think about financial classes and who went in for what kind of care- wealthy women went to docs- probably had no fresh air poor women whole other story-- .</div>
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IIRC, until about this time, women literally were "confined" for the last month of pregnancy in one room, with all the doors and windows blocked with heavy drapes so no light or fresh air could get in. They had to labor in sweltering closeness - I know dark isn't bad, but keeping moms penned in the dark for a month before labor isn't exactly natural. I don't know that doctors per se were the source of the idea that this was nonsense, but it did become more accepted to *not* "enter confinement" around this time.
 

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I think women were still confined-- poor working women did not have the same living rules or standards-- so what could a woman get away with and still work and not though to be obscene--- class differences were huge then--<br><br>
anyhow here is a link to a PDF on washing and laundry/soap relates to common thoughts about disease and stuff that we take for granted now like sewers ....<br><br><a href="http://www.scienceinthebox.com/en_UK/pdf/history-of-washing.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.scienceinthebox.com/en_UK...of-washing.pdf</a>
 

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But, IIRC, I've read a few accounts about "confinement" as being a special or sacred women-only time that was destroyed once the age of physician-attended birth gained widespread popularity.<br><br>
Fascinating <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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the Orlando project may shed some light on the subject - in women's words of the time - atleast the women who could write in the British Isles-- it is a subscription project<br>
this is a small bit about the project as it relates to childbirth -<br><a href="http://www.ualberta.ca/ORLANDO/Childbirth.htm" target="_blank">http://www.ualberta.ca/ORLANDO/Childbirth.htm</a><br><br>
and this web page is about the project in general<br><br><a href="http://orlando.cambridge.org/public/svDocumentation?d_id=ABOUTTHEPROJECT" target="_blank">http://orlando.cambridge.org/public/...BOUTTHEPROJECT</a>
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>georgia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7934440"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But, IIRC, I've read a few accounts about "confinement" as being a special or sacred women-only time that was destroyed once the age of physician-attended birth gained widespread popularity.<br><br>
Fascinating <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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There's a great deal about "confinement" in some of the biographies of Henry VIII's wives, and I've read similar accounts in the lives of other Queens of the time (I can't say how far down the social scale it was practiced - there's really only biographies of rich/powerful women from that time). From the way its described in those accounts, it sounds church-ridden and woman-controlling. It may have started as something else, but by the Renaissance it had been thoroughly co-opted as a woman-oppressing tool, IMO. (I think David Starkey's book on Henry's wives has a lot of interesting stuff on it, and some biographies of Mary I talk about her false pregnancies and resulting months in confinement waiting for labor which never arrived <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> )<br><br>
There's a really good chapter on birthing practices in the 1700s in "Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa and Sarah Lennox, 1750-1832." The second-oldest sister married at 15 and had children every 2-3 years until she was nearly 50. It talks about how she was a proponent of fresh air, sunlight in the birthing room, and living a normal life up till the day she went into labor, and how she made a point of tellign people that was much healthier than the older alternatives. The whole book is a really good read
 

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in some ways confinement was still being done to a degree when I had my first in 1978- they had just changed from a 7 day hospital stay down to 3 days and more if the nurses felt you needed to say longer... My grandmother who had 15 kids some in the hospital some at home- spent about 2weeks to a month with her mom postpartum she was also a nurse and helped other women care for their households who did not have family nearby-- because it was a nurses job to know how to make food- and do laundry along with everything else 1920's on--<br>
My my father's grandmother did the same but was not a nurse- she was a cook , traveling seamstress and did confinement care-- women's work was alot back then- late 1870's-1880's into the early 1900's no convenience foods.. boil the laundry- hand sew your clothes, grow or barter for your food the house garden was women's work -
 
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