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A miniature kit teaches mothers about safe homebirths, 1938

Home Childbirth Training Kit


Following World War I, health-care providers, social reformers, educators, and politicans joined together in a concerted effort to improve maternal and child health in the United States. Identifying the critical role played by mothers, their campaigns were designed to educate women in "modern" and appropriate childcare practices, modeled on white, middle-class standards for urban families who often had more financial and medical resources than rural women. This "Miniature Home Delivery Kit" was used by members of the Wisconsin Bureau of Maternal and Child Health to demonstrate the steps and supplies necessary for a safer home delivery. Although the number of hospital births continued to increase, Wisconsin's population remained predominately rural and included many families that could not afford, reach, or even want a hospital birth. These kits proved essential tools for Bureau nurses as they traveled around the state.

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Related Topics: The Progressive Era
Industrialization and Urbanization
Wisconsin's Response to 20th-century change
Americanization and the Bennett Law
Progressivism and the Wisconsin Idea
Depression and Unemployment
Creator: Wisconsin Bureau of Maternal and Child Health
Pub Data: Wisconsin Bureau of Maternal and Child Health. State Historical Museum (Museum object #1995.6.1-51)
Citation: Home Childbirth Training Kit. Wisconsin Bureau of Maternal and Child Health. (State Historical Museum). Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1260; Visited on: 4/18/2014
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