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Birth in Distress: Care for Pregnant Women and Parturients Within the Dubrovnik Foundling Home in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century

Rina Kralj-Brassard orcid id
Kristina Puljizević

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 391 Kb

str. 359-388

preuzimanja: 923



Through the analysis of the accounting records of the Dubrovnik foundling home and comparison with similar processes in the other European states, the context of the establishment and operation of the first lying-in hospital in Dubrovnik, created as a result of specific social policies of the Dubrovnik Republic, is examined. Expenses related to the birth are regularly recorded at least since the mid-eighteenth century. A single mention of the payments for the delivery assistance in 1684 shows that the foundling home also acted as a maternity hospital in the seventeenth century. The sources conceal the identity of parturients in most cases, indicating the fragility of their social position. The daily rhythm of their acceptance, delivery and discharge is also analyzed. A significant part of the social and medical care for unwed pregnant women and parturients in the foundling home was the work of midwives. Although probably without formal education, they represented an authority in the parturient’s room in the foundling hospital. Some midwives accepted unmarried parturients at home, taking care of them for several months at the expense of the foundling home. For the state, all this made the job of midwives more social than medical in nature. Between 1788 and 1827 the midwives probably changed their status at the foundling home by becoming permanent employees of the Dubrovnik lying-in hospital.

Ključne riječi

childbirth, foundling home, lying-in hospital, midwives, unwed parturients, Dubrovnik Republic, 18th century

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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