Responsabilités féminines: sages-femmes, nourrices et mères chez quelques médecins de l'Antiquité et de la Renaissance

Abstract : In his De morborum causis Galen presents the very moment of childbirth, in order to emphasise that the midwife's act of reception is instrumental in preventing malformations of the infant's " humid " limbs; nurses are also responsible for future malformations. The role of the midwife as the physi-cian's assistant with female patients is stressed by Hippocrates and Sora-nos. The French Renaissance physicians Simon de Vallambert, Jacques and Charles Guillemeau refer to Galen in order to criticise the incompetence of midwives and nurses, as opposed to biological mothers, who have to breast-feed their babies because nurses lack moral integrity. Galen's commentator François Valleriole explains that nurses swaddle girls differently from boys because they aim at artificial (immoral) beauty. Leonhart Fuchs underlines that improper swaddling causes girls to lose their femininity. Thus, medical commentary changes into moralising remarks in order to maintain the moral and social status quo concerning women.
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Dina Bacalexi. Responsabilités féminines: sages-femmes, nourrices et mères chez quelques médecins de l'Antiquité et de la Renaissance. Gesnerus, Schwabe Ag, 2005, 62, pp.5 - 32. ⟨halshs-01444502⟩

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