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Childbirth, Children, and Death

Childbirth, Children, and Death

(p.190) Chapter Ten Childbirth, Children, and Death
Gone to the Grave
Abby Burnett
University Press of Mississippi

The high rates of both maternal and infant mortality are, in many cases, attributable to dangerous folk traditions and medicinal teas, ill-trained doctors and midwives, and women’s multiple pregnancies and lack of prenatal care. Other customs, no longer being practiced, include a delay in naming children, and adherence to therapies thought to prevent common childhood maladies (thrush, hives, teething, worms) that sometimes caused death. The belief that a child could die as a result of being loved too much is contrasted with examples loving too little (infanticide). The chapter concludes with a discussion of the many ways in which children had to assume adult roles and help during the deaths and funerals of other children.

Keywords:   Maternal and infant mortality, Teething, Worms, Infanticide, Medicinal tea

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