By Amanda Carson Banks
There has been a time whilst start was once taken care of as a usual method instead of a scientific . earlier than 1800, ladies gave beginning seated in beginning chairs or on stools and have been helped alongside via midwives. Then societal adjustments in attitudes towards girls and the perform of drugs made birthing a province of the male-dominated scientific career. In start Chairs, Midwives, and drugs, Amanda Carson Banks examines the historical past of the delivery chair and tells how this birthing machine replaced over the years. via images, artists' renditions of births, interviews, and texts from midwives and early obstetricians, she creates an evolutionary photo of birthing practices and highlights the novel redefinition of start that has happened within the final centuries. throughout the 1800s the switch from a usual philosophy of start to a scientific one was once partially as a result heightened understandings of anatomy and body structure. The clinical occupation was once starting to be, and with it grew the notice of the industrial rewards of constructing supply a really good perform. within the historical past of the scientific profession's upward thrust used to be the present conception of ladies as fragile invalids. steadily, midwives and start chairs have been relegated to rural and remoted settings. the recognition of delivery chairs has visible a revival within the past due 20th century because the fight among clinical obstetrics and the choice delivery flow has grown. As Banks exhibits via her cautious exam of the chairs themselves, those questions were replied and reconsidered again and again in human historical past. utilizing the artifacts from the house and scientific workplace, Banks strains sweeping societal alterations within the philosophy of the way to deliver existence into the realm.
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Additional info for Birth Chairs, Midwives, and Medicine
1. Delivery table, American, c. 2. Obstetric table, English, c. 3. Birth chair constructed by James Markoe at the Lying-In Hospital, New York City, c. 4. Gynecological examination chair, Germany, c. 5. 6. "deBy Birth Support," c. 7. Birth stool, American, c. 8. 9. 10. Modern birth chair, American, c. 11. Birthing bed, American, c. 12. Modern delivery bed, American, 1998 Page xiii Acknowledgments Over the years, many people have played a part in seeing this book through to publication. I would like to extend my deepest thanks to three people who have had a primary role in this process: Craig Gill, my editor at the University Press of Mississippi, who has been continuously excited about this manuscript from its infancy as a dissertation and saw its potential even through the less-than-exciting conventions of dissertation writing; Robbie Davis-Floyd, my reader, whose words of wisdom, critical commentary, guidance, time, and support in reading and rereading the manuscript are unparalleled in kindness, thoroughness, and generosity; and David Hufford of the Pennsylvania State Medical College and the University of Pennsylvania, my dissertation committee chair and my advocate.
More recent works that address the social history of birth have accomplished a great deal in this area by uncovering and interpreting traditional practices and attitudes, but they are somewhat limited by the available documentation. Stepping off from Jordan's analysis of birth in the twentieth century, I propose that we use a modified version of her biosocial framework and artifact approach to study the history of birth. Although we cannot perform anthropological fieldwork on the past or observe and interview midwives and parturients of past centuries, birth practices and their evolution can be studied through the material items that remain.
This man gained such a reputation as an assistant at confinements from the fact that women sitting in his lap had a much easier delivery. 2 We have before us radically different accounts of the history of a fairly common artifact of birth and the historical way of birth. Although Dempsey's story is certainly colorful, it was only one of many similar versions presented in late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century medical texts. The striking variation in accounts reveals that the history of birth chairs and, indeed, the general approach to birth has undergone radical reinterpretation and redefinition over time.
Birth Chairs, Midwives, and Medicine by Amanda Carson Banks