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yeah, that bugged me about the mountains of laundry and shivering while in labor, too. Hello? I'm sure the midwife would have built the fire up to steaming hot herself. And mountains of laundry? I don't think so. From what I've read, like someone posted above, you had 1 set of underclothing that you hand washed and let dry overnight about once a week. Then you had 2 shirts, one for regular wear and one for special occasions. And then you had several petticoats that you switched which was on top according to where you were going. You had the dark dirty one on top for working and probably dusty traveling, a clean prettier one hidden in the middle while working (and removed if you were doing wet work) that was moved on top for special occasions(sp?), and a few more to rotate. These were handwashed only when absolutely necessary, which was probably once or twice a year, no joke! The baby had 1 or 2 cotton or linen loose gowns that s/he grew into until they were undershirts. And of course blankets and hats and booties when he started walking. Not much laundry there to do, is it? My ds's school does a fundraiser at a local historical reenactment and a mom at his school did a heck of a lot of research as we were required to wear historically correct clothing. I don't think the kids had too, but it was fun making their costumes while we were making the adults. I asked her about diapers and she couldn't find anything on diapers at all. I wouldn't be surprised if moms either ec'd or just used rags w/ knitted wool soakers. And left their babies bare in the summer either way.
 

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Oh yes, and I needed to add, if men weren't allowed in the delivery room, then why have I seen SEVERAL drawing or plates (or whatever they're called. You know what I mean!) of men helping their laboring wives? 1 in particular that I remember, they were wearing 18th century/early 19th dress and the husband was on a chair with his wife in his lap and he was holding her legs up for her, obviously during pushing. There were also 2 other women in the picture.
 
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