Pregnancy in the 19th Century

Yes, Amy, I'm finally back from travelling. Yes, it was wonderful ... and I'm almost afraid to ask how things have been going with you in the 19th century. Are both Barker and Sam still staying in the mansion? 

Oh, okay. Both still there. They must be getting along better.
You've got another picture to show me?
Okay ... go ahead...



 Oh. It’s Charlotte.

 Charlotte is pregnant.

Ugh. Ya, it's Charlotte. But this is what you pictured, right?


Ya, nope.


This is me!

Whew. Still, I see you've been busy.

It's hard to tell if this is Sam or Barker.

Give me a break, will you?

And how do you know he's the better guy? 

In the 19th century, when you currently exist, childbirth is the most common cause of death in women.

Still, it is expected as the norm that a married woman will bear children, and that they will be her life's purpose ... a woman's place in society.

In the 1800s, multiple births of more than 8 children are not unusual, the average North American number of births being six.
Birth control is almost non-existent, although breastfeeding for an extended period of time helps to create a distance between each pregnancy.

It goes without saying that in the 1800s it is considered disgraceful if a young women becomes pregnant without being married. Often ostracized by their own families, it is felt necessary to send them away from the prying eyes of the community. If her father is wealthy, it is possible to live away comfortably until her baby is born under a guise of deceit. However, if her father is poor, resorting to prostitution may be her only means of survival. 

Most of the births in the 19th century are happening in the home, and midwifes are very popular in assisting with the deliveries.

In 1853, during the labour of her eighth child, Queen Victorian was given chloroform to assist with any pain, unusual for that time period when every birth was "natural".