Story: Pregnancy, birth and baby care

Early guidebook, 1925

Guidebooks for pregnant women were published from the early 20th century. The first books concentrated on baby care after birth. By the 1920s the mother's health during pregnancy was also covered. Plunket founder Frederic Truby King wrote a number of books on this topic. The expectant mother, and baby's first month (1925) was published by the Department of Health and ran to numerous editions. King's books were prescriptive and exhorted mothers to produce healthy babies for the sake of the nation. Men as well as women were addressed; the patriarchal tone was characteristic of the time.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: B-K 933

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Pregnancy, birth and baby care - Pregnancy and antenatal care', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 August 2022)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 24 Oct 2018