Sunday, January 17, 2010

Julia Baird - Victoria: Queen & Working Mother

From Newsweek:
Queen Victoria loathed being pregnant. She felt more like a pig or cow than a queen, she said, which was unfortunate, given that she had nine children. As several of her relatives had died while giving birth, she was also, quite rationally, terrified of labor. She was given chloroform for her last two births, to her great delight. Until then the use of anesthetics for women in labor had been vehemently opposed by priests on the grounds that women should suffer for original sin, and prominent doctors because they believed it aroused women's libidos. But when the respectable reigning monarch happily inhaled deep breaths from a cloth soaked with chloroform, every 10 minutes, at the birth of her son Leopold in 1853, it soon became acceptable. Oh, how she would have loved an epidural.

Julia Baird is the author of "Media Tarts: How the Australian Press Frames Female Politicians". Follow her on Twitter.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Can't say I blame her in the least! I thought 4 was enough, but 9? I never realized she'd had so many! o.0