The Perceptions of Pregnancy blog, like the Researchers’ Network, aims to reach beyond boundaries and borders, and to facilitate an international and interdisciplinary conversation on pregnancy and its associated bodily and emotional experiences from the medieval to the modern. Today’s post is contributed by Dr Mary Rogan, head of law at Dublin Institute of Technology.
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Being a Mother In and From Prison under International Human Rights Law
All over the world women go to prison in far fewer numbers than men, but the numbers of women in prison is rising. It is not known how many children have been born or who have spent time with their mothers in prisons around the world.
International human rights law has given some attention to the question of women prisoners who are pregnant or who have children, though bespoke standards for women are still something of a novel development. The European Prison Rules contains a section on women prisoners, and states that prisoners shall be allowed to give birth outside prison, but where a child is born within a prison the authorities shall provide all necessary support and facilities.
The Perceptions of Pregnancy blog, like the Researchers’ Network, aims to reach beyond boundaries and borders, and to facilitate an international and interdisciplinary conversation on pregnancy and its associated bodily and emotional experiences from the medieval to the modern. Today’s post is contributed by Beth Widmaier Capo, a professor of English at Illinois College, Jacksonville.
In 2007 I interviewed my mother, Nancy Watters Widmaier, about her experience with the Detroit Feminist Women’s Health Center in the 1970s.[i] Although she earned her nursing degree in the 1960s, she wasn’t part of the FWHM until after her own pregnancy. In 1973, she “decided that I was going to have a natural childbirth, which was kind of new at the time, so I went to a class on the Lamaze method and read a lot of books. Basically I didn’t want to take any Demerol or drugs that would make you sleepy or possibly affect the baby so that’s why I thought natural childbirth was good. . . . It was kind of radical for its time; all of my friends went in and asked for pain medicines.”
Submitted by Marystella Ramirez Guerra, PhD candidate, Germany.
Key words: popular medicine, childbirth, German midwives
During the late Eighteength and early Nineteenth Century there was an increase in publications that claimed to provide medical information and advice to the general reading public in most German speaking lands (here understood as all territories in current Germany and Austria, though for the project itself, the focus will be much more geographically reduced). These were the result of a state-guided movement to improve the population’s overall health as an asset for the strengthening of state.
What? Difficult Women, 1680-1830
When? 28 November 2015
Where? University of York, UK
Deadline for submissions? 1 July 2015
What: Birth: personal stories to population policies
When: 18-19 September 2014
Where: University of Leeds, UK
Featured Speakers: Professor Simon Szreter and Professor Kate Fisher
This two-day conference, organised by the School of History’s Health, Medicine and Society research group, brings together those interested in the history of birth, fertility, sexuality, demography and family life, from the medieval period to the present day, and in cultures across the world. The conference aims to situate birth in the contexts of family and society, evaluate the attitudes of individuals, groups and governments to birth, explore the impact of birth, and assess changes and continuities in the experience of birth.
Click to view on Amazon
Published July 2014
About the Chapter:
Whitney Wood, ‘”When I think of what is before me, I feel afraid”: Narratives of Fear, Pain and Childbirth in Victorian Canada’, in Rob Boddice (ed.), Pain and Emotion in Modern History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 187-203.
This study of English-Canadian women’s private narratives of fear, pain and childbirth contributes to the still-embryonic historiography on emotion and pain by exploring one specific contextual example of the ambiguous relationship between the two.