Poverty and Maternity - The Complexities of Care, c. 1900-1939

Project Details


Revised name: How Poverty and Maternity Care Entwined in Philadelphia, c. 1890-1946
Maternal health inequalities have remained constant throughout the twentieth century, with the United States having some of the world's poorest health outcomes (OECD). While the introduction of prenatal care in the early decades of the 20th century did lower MMR and IMR, low-income mothers remained disproportionately more likely to have poor health outcomes and to engage less with health services. Utilizing rare surviving maternity records from pre-World War II, this project analyses maternity provision and health outcomes based on race and ethnicity at the Women's Hospital of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia had some of America's worst maternal health outcomes and the Women's Hospital was a leading provider of hospital maternity care in the city. Yet low-income women have also been described as 'guinnea pigs' for lady doctors, who had limited opportunities for medical training elsewhere in the city. An understanding of these maternity services will shed light not only on service provision, but also women's engagement with services.
Short titlePoverty and Maternity
StatusNot started

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities


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