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 earliest times to the present day. Our latest post, which explores the role of men at the Hotel-Dieu in Paris, is contributed by Professor Susan Broomhall.
Men at the door: Education delivery and educational deliveries at the Hôtel-Dieu de Paris
The Hotel-Dieu in Paris is cited by many of the early modern authors of obstetrical work as the place where they had their training. This facility, not quite a hospital in the modern sense, had offered support for the poor, sick and needy, whether Parisian or passer-by, since its establishment in the seventh century. It contained both male and female religious personnel but its primary health care was provided by nuns. These women managed triage procedures, ran a pharmacy, offered bedside assistance, provided a childbirthing suite, raised orphan or abandoned children, and organised hygiene and laundering services on an industrial scale.