Maternal politics: The principles and practice of maternity care in eighteenth-century hamburg

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This article traces the development of publicly financed maternity care in Hamburg and places that development firmly within the context of urban social structure and social policy. Such maternity care evolved in late seventeenth-century Hamburg as a pragmatic response to an internal problem plaguing several municipal institutions, i.e., how to care for pregnant inmates. Gradually the program expanded to include poor, homeless, or transient women who were able to call on no other form of assistance or charity. The first true Lying-In Ward in Hamburg was established by the General Poor Relief in 1796. Crucial issues of population policy (especially the control of aliens) and the regulation of the labor market influenced the conditions under which certain groups of women received (or did not receive) free lying-in.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-63
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Family History
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1984
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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