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date: 13 August 2022


The Oxford Companion to United States History
Sylvia D. HoffertSylvia D. Hoffert

Women controlled the childbirth experience in the Colonial Era. At the onset of labor, the expectant mother sent for her midwife and called upon her female friends and relatives to attend her in her home. They offered moral support and assisted the midwife during labor and delivery. While childbirth was acknowledged as potentially dangerous to both mother and child, birthing was viewed as a natural process, and midwives intervened as little as possible. After the birth of the baby, friends and relatives assisted the new mother during her convalescence, which was typically short if the birth was normal and free of complications.... ...

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