Summary Of The Puritans

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The Puritans were a group of English Protestants during the 16th and 17th century. During this time period, they didn’t have all of the advanced tools and supplies we have today. Puritans faced many hardships while childbearing, such as the difficulties in childbirth with the help of midwives. Pregnancy was very important to the Puritans. Mothers gained status by carrying a child (“Childbirth” 1). However, women were expected to work through the pregnancy and all it’s challenges. It was seen that the harder you worked through the pregnancy, the easier the birth would be (“Early America” 1). Women took on jobs such as spinning thread and milking the cows (“Early America” 1). Puritan women also believed in many superstitions. It was …show more content…

Surgical abortions were frowned upon because of how dangerous they were (Schnucker 658). Midwives administered all types of birth control. Birth control was legal, however, it was very frowned upon. It was seen as going against the purpose of marriage and that women were made to bear children (Schnucker 661). Children were seen as a gift from God and when a woman became a mother, she was freed of Eve’s sin (Schnucker 662). Birth control was also not very popular because of the high mortality rates of children during birth and in infancy (Schnucker 663). Childbirth was very risky for women. Women had to be prepared for death when they became pregnant (Brekus 53). Childbirth during this early period not only caused death in the mother, but it also caused death in the infant (Brekus 53). It was said that “no healthy Puritan was more awake of mortality than an expectant woman” (Brekus 53). Between one percent and one point five percent of births resulted in the mother’s death (“Early America” 1). In poor communities, three children in ten died before they were five (“Early America” 1). These statistics show why mothers didn’t want to take birth control because of such high mortality rates in children. During childbirth, women had over ten people in the room, including neighbors, her mother-in-law, and her midwife (Holliday 1). There were no pain relievers in the birth, however, whiskey was used in places to

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