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Managing the transition from maturity to decline in the case of diamond power coporation

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a number of trends were apparent: In earlier times women of all classes gave birth in the same manner, but by the Regency aristocratic women were at the forefront of the changing trends. Women of lesser rank and wealth, those from more conservative families, and those living in rural areas often continued to give birth as their mothers and grandmothers had done.

Please note that the purpose of this article is to describe trends and practices of the time, not to argue for or against natural childbirth versus medical intervention or the use of midwives versus doctors.

Then, as now, the subject sparked the hottest debate! Childbearing in the British Aristocracy, 1760-1860, explores a number of aspects of domesticity and how they affected childbearing. However, mutual affection, or at least the appearance thereof, was becoming more the common expectation. In England, public opinion was against contraception within marriage. While the production of an heir was still of paramount importance, additional children were valued for personal and public reasons.

Daughters were increasingly valued, especially as companions to their mothers, though sons were still preferred. Not withstanding this wise advice, I hope to hear of an heir.

Amongst the fifty women studied in In the Family Way, the mean number of children was 7. This is higher than the average for the aristocracy of this period, but still the numbers are telling. Eighteen of the women studied had more than ten children. During this time period, ladies were beginning to be expected to not only bear the children, but also actively involve themselves in their upbringing.

Although there were undoubtedly still some pleasure-seeking mothers who preferred to leave their children to the care of servants, this was becoming less acceptable.

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Motherhood was no longer defined by the mere act of giving birth. Thus, the physical, carnal aspects of childbirth were de-emphasized, as evidenced by the change in terminology regarding pregnancy and childbirth. Increasingly, the ideal lady was viewed as a delicate creature, full of tender emotions, although actual ill-health had not yet become as fashionable among ladies as it would later on in the Victorian period.

These changes in the view of family and womanhood contributed to the decline in the view of childbirth as a natural process that could successfully be performed by a woman, assisted by other women. From the end of the eighteenth century, aristocratic families were willing to devote their time and money to finding an answer to this dilemma.

And the growing medical profession was increasingly prepared to offer one. Nevertheless, the medical profession was increasing in stature and respectability and this is clearly reflected in the rise of the accoucheur and the decline of the midwife.

Prior to the seventeenth century, midwives assisted laboring women during the vast majority of births. Some doctors attended births at hospitals for the indigent, some wrote manuals for the use of midwives and designed birth-chairs. These early texts on midwifery show a respect for the profession of midwifery absent in later works. At the time doctors trusted midwives to handle normal deliveries, and were not called in to attend private births except in case of an emergency.

Some medical historians speculate that the increasing view of birth as a medical crisis as opposed to a natural event may have been due to the fact that doctors tended not to witness normal births. Another factor that undoubtedly led to increasing participation of men in childbirth was the potential for profit. Simply put, doctors had found that babies had become a point of good business. General practitioners resented the competition, and the more elite physicians thought midwifery was an ungentlemanly occupation.

As late as 1827 Sir Henry Halford, for many years president of the Royal College of Physicians, and Sir Anthony Carlisle, a prominent surgeon, derided the practice of midwifery by men.

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He was formally educated, gentlemanly and discreet, all qualities valued by the aristocrats he served. His gender, his education and the rising confidence in scientific midwifery gave the accoucheur a stature and influence that was impossible for even the most respectable and experienced midwife to achieve.

One of the better-known early accoucheurs was Thomas Denman 1733-1815who studied in Edinburgh under William Smellie a Scotsman who designed the curved forceps that bear his name. Denman attended Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire in 1774, and by 1783 he was the most popular of the aristocratic accoucheurs. Denman wrote an Introduction to the Practice of Midwifery which included the injunction: Sir Richard Croft, the son-in-law of Thomas Denman, had a distinguished career that ended sadly with the death of Princess Charlotte after a prolonged labor that resulted in a stillborn child.

Sir Richard Croft, blamed by many for his management of the case which will be described in more detail in the second part of this article committed suicide not long afterwards.

Sir Anthony Carlisle, mentioned above as an opponent of male midwifery, used this example in an 1827 article in the Lancet, comparing the tragic death of the princess with the experience of her grandmother, who gave birth to fifteen children. Draper without difficulties or misadventures, whereas the contrary result, under male management, in the fatal affair of Princess Charlotte will long be remembered.

However, the blame that was heaped on poor Croft showed the darker side of managing the transition from maturity to decline in the case of diamond power coporation new confidence in masculine, scientific control over the birth process: The growth of the obstetric profession was not hindered by this high-profile tragedy.

Instead, the incident gave impetus to the movement toward more intervention in the childbearing process. When concerned, they resorted to their trusted accoucheur for advice. Although the biological processes surrounding fertility were not at all well understood at the time, the accoucheurs endeavored to advise their valued clients nonetheless. Travel, a change of air and the taking of mineral waters were often recommended, and it is certainly possible that relaxation and a change of scenery might have benefited some couples.

The Duchess of Devonshire took the waters at Bath and at Spa in Belgium, where she conceived the son she and the Duke desired. Oher treatments for infertility were most likely useless or even harmful. Sea bathing and shower bathing with cold water were recommended, as was bloodletting. Despite the dubious success of these regimes, ladies continued to seek and follow such advice from their accoucheurs, driven by the need to produce an heir or at least to assure themselves, their husbands and their families that they were making every effort possible.

Pregnancy During the Regency, ladies under the care of a general practitioner might very well have continued or adapted their usual diet and level of activity as they saw fit. However, those seeking the advice of an accoucheur were generally advised to make some changes in their lifestyles. Determined to do anything required to ensure a happy outcome, most ladies obeyed. Accoucheurs prescribed a lowering diet, which was often adapted for individual patients.

Stimulating beverages, including coffee, tea and alcohol were also banned or reduced. Fruits and vegetables would have provided vitamins and roughage to ward off constipation. Limiting caffeine and alcohol was certainly sensible. The lowering diet also served a social purpose: Then as now, women were often advised that morning sickness was a good sign during pregnancy.

Sometimes the accoucheur would prescribe some sort of effervescent concoction, but ladies also relied on home remedies. Other recommendations for pregnant women included removal to the country, sea bathing, taking the waters at a spa, and cold baths. Bloodletting was also performed, though not invariably in the case of a normal pregnancy.

Exercise was also encouraged. Lady Morley did so even after a bad fall during the early months of her pregnancy. Elsewhere in Advice for Mothers, Buchan wrote: Little is written about the dresses worn by ladies during their pregnancies, but the scarcity of information is telling. There was no specialized maternity clothing as such; ladies merely adapted current styles. They were often fitted with draw-strings or ties that could be loosened as necessary, and the absence of a natural waistline made camouflage and fit easier than it had been in the past.

While in her ninth month of her third pregnancy in 1805, Frances, Lady Churchill continued to attend parties and went to the opera on June 11.

  1. Opiates might also be given to alleviate postpartum pain.
  2. Most took this role very seriously.
  3. Draper without difficulties or misadventures, whereas the contrary result, under male management, in the fatal affair of Princess Charlotte will long be remembered.
  4. The most popular monthly nurses had to be engaged months in advance. Baillie, followed the accepted practice of the time and allowed the labor to proceed naturally.
  5. Then, as now, childbirth was regarded as a female rite of passage, and a lady expecting her first child might be subjected to horror stories from her more experienced counterparts. Aristocratic couples owning one or more country houses as well as a town residence often made the fashionable choice.

She gave birth on June 28. There was no prohibition on travel, either. During the last trimester of her first pregnancy in 1810, Harriet, Lady Granville, and her husband visited the country seats of his family members in Staffordshire, Gloucestershire and Cheshire. There were some women who refrained from activity due to reasons of health, for example, when suffering from nausea during the first trimester.

They might even make their condition an excuse to avoid unpleasant engagements, but a lady who was too indolent might be criticized. When a miscarriage occurred, various causes were named. Accoucheurs believed that women who were weak or plethoric were more subject to miscarriage. For the weak, sometimes a strengthening diet supplemented by claret was prescribed, while the plethoric were put on the strict lowering diet. Lewis suggests that the strengthening or lowering regimens may have aggravated the problems of women of less robust health and those weakened by repeated short-interval pregnancies.

Miscarriages were often attributed to violent passions, immoderate sexual activity, falls and the like. Ironically, sometimes exercise was believed to be the culprit, although exercise was also generally recommended for most women. Even when their pregnancies progressed normally, however, they were subjected to a great deal of advice from not only their accoucheurs, but also from female family members and friends.

Then, as now, childbirth was regarded as a female rite of passage, and a lady expecting her first child might be subjected to horror stories from her more experienced counterparts. But it really was enough to make any one feel not very agreeably — poor Lady Harriet Granville too is in the same predicament and it must have been equally pleasant to her. Back to top Part II: She beholds in her lap a lovely full-sized infant, fresh as the morning dew. As will be seen, the reality for most women during the Regency was far different from Dr.

Most women gave birth at home or planned to.

Going to a hospital to give birth was unusual. Several lying-in hospitals did exist; however, they were charitable institutions, often with a dual purpose of providing care for indigent mothers and providing subjects for medical training. Wives of the gentry and tradesmen were also likely to have their children delivered by an accoucheur or by their general practitioner.

Aristocratic couples owning one or more country houses as well as a town residence often made the fashionable choice: The Earl of Banbury complained in 1804: Lord Help us as where will it all end our mighty etceteras of Blood and Affinity.

They might also pay their chosen accoucheur to take up residence with them. Wherever the lady planned to give birth, she would also engage a monthly nurse. The most popular monthly nurses had to be engaged months in advance. Sometimes monthly nurses worked in association with accoucheurs, thus making scheduling easier for the mother.

If the mother planned to use a wet-nurse, she would also be engaged ahead of time.