Childbirth during the war…and other eras

Reading about Catherine’s ordeal of giving birth made me interested in researching a little bit on what childbirth was like during the time period during the Great War. I couldn’t find one specific to the Great War (only lengthy scholarly articles), but one website I found talked about childbirth as far back as the Renaissance all the way through the 20th century. Here’s the link:

I knew that gas was common to get women to sleep so they wouldn’t feel pain back then, but I was interested…and shocked…to find out that doctors and midwives used stuff like chloroform and morphine. Those are deadly for both the mother and the baby in high doses, as the article states. I have a feeling that possibly had an impact on what happened to Catherine and her baby.

1 thought on “Childbirth during the war…and other eras

  1. I agree that maybe the drugs had something to do with what happened with Cat, but also don’t. I think the hemorrhage that Cat lead to Cat’s death was a result of trauma from childbirth and not the drugs used. Now that does not mean that they didn’t add to the severity of it! They could have also been a factor. But I think that the baby’s death in this novel was not at all attributed to the drugs that could have been used. Wasn’t the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck? I don’t think that this would have been a result of the medications and is just something that unfortunately still happens today.

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