A clean front passage: dirt, douches and disinfectants at St Helens Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand, 1907-1922

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Exploring the dirty side of women's health, 2007, 1, pp. 30 - 44
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This chapter was an invited publication in an international, refereed book. It is based on historical research using the archives of the St Helens Hospital Wellington 1907-1922. It is one of several publications and presentations arising from the archival database which we set up in 2000. This chapter explores the relationship between puerpural sepsis at the beginning of the 20th century and notions of dirt carried within the bodies of childbearing women. St Helens Hospitals were renowned for their cleanliness and attention to aspepsis. They had the lowest rate of puerpural sepsis in New Zealand. This chapter contributes to my research platform which explores the impact of the birth environment on birth outcomes -from a number of perspectives.
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