1st Edition

Delivering Motherhood Maternal Ideologies and Practices in the 19th and 20th Centuries

    354 Pages
    by Routledge

    In the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, motherhood in Canada, as elsewhere in the western world, became contested terrain. Male medical practitioners vied with midwives, and midwives with nurses, while reform-minded middle-class women joined with the eugenically minded state officials in efforts to control the quantity and quality of the population. As reproduction gained in importance as a political as well as a religious issue, motherhood became the centre of debate over public health and welfare policies and formed the cornerstone of feminist and anti-feminist, as well as nationalist and pacifist ideologies.

    Originally published in 1990, Delivering Motherhood (now with a new preface by Katherine Arnup) is the first comprehensive study on the history of this complex development in Canada, where control over the different stages of reproduction, from conception, to delivery, to childcare, shifted from the central figure of the mother to experts and professionals. The contributions range from the treatment of single mothers in Montreal in the Depression to La Leche League in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

    This book will be an essential read for students and researchers of women’s studies, feminist studies, women’s history, and sociology.

    Preface  Introduction  1. ‘Motherhood Issues’ in the Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries  2. ‘The Case of the Missing Midwives’: A History of Midwifery in Ontario from 1795–1900  3. The Different Stages of the Elimination of Midwives in Quebec  4. Childbirth in Ontario: The Transition from Home to Hospital in the Early Twentieth Century  5. The Confinement of Women: Childbirth and Hospitalization in Vancouver, 1919–1939  6. Deviants Anonymous: Single Mothers at the Hospital de la Miséricorde in Montreal, 1929–1939 7. Discoveries and Dissimulations: The Impact of Abortion Deaths on Maternal Mortality in British Columbia  8. Women’s Involvement in the Canadian Birth Control Movement of the 1930s: The Hamilton Clinic  9. Mothering in a Newfoundland Community: 1900–1940 10. Educating Mothers: Government Advice for Women in the Inter-War Years 11. Schools for Happiness: Instituts Familiaux and the Education of Ideal Wives and Mothers  12. The La Leche League: A Feminist Perspective  13. Ellen Key: Maternalism and Pacifism  14. Desperately Seeking Babies: New Technologies of Hope and Despair  Index


    Katherine Arnup taught Women’s History, Canadian and Interdisciplinary Studies at Trent University and Carleton University, retiring in 2013. She is the author of the award-winning book, Education for Motherhood: Advice for Mothers in 20th Century Canada, editor of the Lesbian Parenting: Living with Pride and Prejudice, and co-editor of Delivering Motherhood. Her latest book, “I don’t have time for this!” A Compassionate Guide to Caring for Your Parents and Yourself, was published in 2015. She is currently at work on a memoir about her struggle to become a lesbian mother in the early 1980s.

    Andrée Lévesque is Professor Emerita from McGill University. She has published extensively in both English and French. Her English publications include Red Travellers. Jeanne Gorbin and her Comrades (2006), Making and Breaking the Rules. Women in Quebec 1919-1939 (1994), and Eva Circé. Free Thinker (2017). She is the director of an archive centre specialising in personal and autobiographical writing, Archives Pass-Mémoire.

    Ruth Roach Pierson had a distinguished career as an historian and feminist scholar at Memorial University and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She published numerous books including “They’re Still Women After All.” The Second World War and Canadian Womanhood. Retiring as an emerita professor in 2001, she turned her hand to poetry, publishing six collections including Aide-Mémoire, a finalist for the 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry.