The Maternity Hospital: Blueprint for Redesigning Childbirth

  • Leslie Kanes Weisman

Abstract

The history and design of the maternity hospital demonstrate how distinctions in gender, race and class are encoded in the shape of public buildings and the social institutions that produce them. Maternity hospitals were established in the nineteenth century as urban-based charity asylums to serve the poor, homeless, and working class. They were usually sponsored and run by businessmen, clergy, and community leaders and functioned as institutions offering both medical treatment and social rehabilitation.

Keywords

Dust Chloroform Morphine Expense Scopolamine 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Richard W. Wertz and Dorothy C. Wertz, Lying In: A History of Childbirth in America (New York: Schocken Books, 1977), 80–84;Google Scholar
  2. David Rosner, “Social Control and Social Service: The Changing Use of Space in Charity Hospitals,” Radical History Review 21, “The Spatial Dimensions of History” (Fall 1979), 183–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born (New York: W W Norton and Co., 1976), 144, 146, 147.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Suzanne Arms, Immaculate Deception (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1975), 186.Google Scholar
  5. 17.
    Leslie Kanes Weisman with Susana Torre, “Restoring Women’s Birth-Rights,” The Matriarchist 1, no. 4 (1977), 4;Google Scholar
  6. Torre and Weisman, Birth Center Design Studio Program and Exhibition (Newark: New Jersey Institute of Technology, School of Architecture, 1977).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Sarah Hardy and Caroline Wiedmer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie Kanes Weisman

There are no affiliations available

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