Author(s): Alison Clarke
Emerging from diaries, letters and memoirs, the voices of this remarkable book tell a new story of life arriving amidst a turbulent world.
Before the Plunket Society, before antibiotics, before ‘safe’ Caesarean sections and registered midwives, nineteenth century birthing practice in New Zealand was typically determined by culture, not nature or the state.
Alison Clarke works from the heart of this practice, presenting a history balanced in its coverage of social and medical contexts. Connecting these contexts provides new insights into the same debates on childhood - from infant feeding to maternity care - that persist today.
Tracing the experiences of Māori and Pākehā birth ways, this richly illustrated story remains centered throughout on birthing women, their babies and families: This is their history.
Dr Alison Clarke worked as a registered nurse for a number of years before becoming a historian, completing her PhD at the University of Otago in 2003. Currently employed part-time in the Hocken Collections, she works as a freelance historian. This is her third book.