History’s Postpartum Bodies

Last month, I looked at the mythology of traditional childbirth. This post examines history’s postpartum body in more detail. Admittedly, “history” is a broad term. Nonetheless, we can assume the childbirth repercussions for a sizable minority remained constant. Notably, a fair number of books look at the history of childbirth, usually from a particular ideological … Continue reading History’s Postpartum Bodies

Questioning Childbirth Folklore

“When, therefore, we repeat the truism that ‘most births are normal,’ let us remind ourselves that the substantial minority that are not could entail death or mutilation for the mother.” ~Edward Shorter[1] In 1833, the respected midwife Veronika Paul was summoned to the bedside of a laboring woman after the local midwife required help. Paul … Continue reading Questioning Childbirth Folklore