Saturday, 13 April 2013

Regency Snippets - Birth

Ladies were allowed to participat in social functions from the beginning to the very end of their pregnancies.

The birth of a child, particularly when an heir was expected, took place in the paternal family's house.

During the last weeks of pregnancy, aristocrats usually went to London for the confinement, especially when an heir was expected.

While getting ready to give birth, more often than not an accoucheur was hired to deliver the baby, and so was a monthly nurse. Her duty was to deliver the baby if the accoucheur did not arrive in time and to look after the mother for a month.

While giving birth, relatives and friends would wait, drinking caudle, a hot spiced wine also given to the mother in labour to strengthen her.

After the baby was born aristocratic visitors paid calls on the mother during her lying in, which ended when the mother was churched and the christening, an important occasion, had taken place. 

Most ladies, who had recently given birth, took between a month and six weeks to leave the confinement of their bedrooms and houses.

(I think most of these notes were taken from In the Family Way by Judith S. Lewis.)