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Birth, Marriage, and DeathRitual, Religion, and the Life-Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England$
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David Cressy

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198201687

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198201687.001.0001

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Mother And Child

Mother And Child

Chapter:
(p.80) 4 Mother And Child
Source:
Birth, Marriage, and Death
Author(s):

David Cressy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198201687.003.0005

This chapter examines the experience of the mother and her child immediately following birth in Tudor and Stuart England. The midwife was responsible for checking the health condition of the newborn infant and in cutting the umbilical cord. The child's navel, especially those of the first born, was traditionally inspected by childbed assistants to predict the mother's future childbearing. The babies were often wrapped tightly in linen bands before being laid in a cradle. The responsibility of providing refreshment and ointment to the new mother was taken by those other childbed assistants including a nurse, relatives, or neighbours.

Keywords:   newborn care, new mothers, childbirth, childbirth rituals, childbirth traditions, Tudor England, Stuart England, midwife, navel, childbearing

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