Deliveries and maternity wards in Portugal (1889-1943)

Nov 30, 2016 | Papers, Publications

Deliveries and maternity wards in Portugal (1889-1943) – the cases of Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra

  • Virgínia Rosário Baptista
  • 2016
  • Revista de História Regional
  • Volume 21, Issue 2
  • 364-388 p.
  • Language: Portuguese
  • DOI: 10.5212/Rev.Hist.Reg.v.21i2.0003
  • ISSN: 1414-0055

Paper included in the dossier “Partos, parteiras e maternidade: tecnologias e políticas do corpo“.

The aim of this paper is to discuss deliveries and their social and family contexts in maternity hospitals provided by doctors at a regional level, in three cities of Portugal − Lisbon, Oporto and Coimbra− between 1899 and 1943. We started and finalized the research in the mother’s registration books in two maternity hospitals in Lisbon by the dates specified. The given dates refer to the beginning and end of our research in the mother’s registration books of two Lisbon maternity hospitals. We aim to answer to three main questions: What was the sociopolitical vision existing at the time about women’s work? There were improvements in health care for mothers and newborns? What were the social protections that women achieved when they accessed to maternity hospitals? Following different sources, we conclude that only the poorest working women resorted to public assistance for deliveries in hospitals while few women acceded to social security through mutualism or their employers.

Working women; maternity hospitals; births; deliveries

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