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Childbirth, Children, and Death

Childbirth, Children, and Death

Chapter:
(p.190) Chapter Ten Childbirth, Children, and Death
Source:
Gone to the Grave
Author(s):
Abby Burnett
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628461114.003.0010

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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