Childbirth in the 18th Century

As an amateur historian I am fascinated by all aspects of life in the 18th century so I was pleased to find this article on childbirth by Catherine Delors who writes her blog from Paris.

A guest post by Holly Tucker: Childbirth in the 17th and 18th centuries

"Early-modern obstetrical manuals contained a detailed inventory of the many things that could go wrong in the birth room. And for good reason. It is estimated that one of ten women could expect to die from childbirth related causes in the Old Regime. A married women would become pregnant, on average, five or six times.Given that up to 10% of the labors were fatal, this means a woman had a 50% to 60% chance of dying during her reproductive life." more...

I remember my wife Suzanne delivering our youngest daughter Geneviève without anesthetics.
I can not conceive of her delivering with her doctors who knew little real medicine other than bleeding and cupping, people standing around to register the birth and other onlookers.

Thanks and Tip of the Beret to both Catherine and Holly Tucker.

de Brantigny

Holly Tucker, Associate Professor of Medical History, French and Italian at Vanderbilt University (and owner of the Wonders and Marvels blog)

1 comment:

Catherine Delors said...

Thanks for the link, Richard! Indeed we sometimes take modern medicine for granted, and forget to count our blessings.