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Written by Therese
(9/24/2013 9:54 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Since someone else had brought up childbirth and pregnancy..., penned by Suze
I wonder if the fashion didn't come from XVIIth Century France : Louis XIV had many children, legitimate and illegitimate (well, only 6 legitimate, of whom only one survived infancy), and was upset by all what could be done to laying women on the occasion. So, he imposed his authority and decided to be present for the birth of each of his children. These were performed by the Court physicians, not midwives; there were less maternal deaths (his wife had six children and died of a tooth abcess much later; his first "official mistress and mother of legitimated children", the Duchess of La Vallière, had four before entering a convent; his second, the Marchioness of Montespan, had seven and died much later too, the last in 1678 just before they parted) and I wonder if it didn't "launch" the notion of "accoucheur".
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