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Reproducing the British CaribbeanSex, Gender, and Population Politics after Slavery$
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Juanita De Barros

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469616056

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469616056.001.0001

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Infant Welfare, Maternal Education, and Uplifting the Race

Infant Welfare, Maternal Education, and Uplifting the Race

(p.94) chapter four Infant Welfare, Maternal Education, and Uplifting the Race
Reproducing the British Caribbean

Juanita De Barros

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the role of certified, trained colonial midwives in the effort to tackle the problem of infant mortality and to deal with the population anxieties in the British Caribbean during the early twentieth century. Seen as the better alternative to the dangerous granny midwives who were considered a threat to the health of infants and mothers, these trained midwives also played an important role in promoting maternal education. Along with health visitors, physicians, and the volunteer members of baby-saving leagues, these midwives were charged with instructing mostly non-white, poor women in modern, hygienic methods of child rearing. This chapter looks at the infant and maternal welfare measures, particularly midwife training programs, that were introduced in the Caribbean colonies to tackle concerns about infant mortality and child rearing.

Keywords:   midwives, infant mortality, Caribbean, maternal education, baby-saving leagues, child rearing, maternal welfare, midwife training programs, physicians

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