Story: Pregnancy, birth and baby care
Throughout the 19th and most of the 20th century pregnancy was purposefully concealed by clothing. This is mother of 11 Elizabeth Shewry in a horse-riding habit just before the birth of a son in 1894. She is wearing a tightly laced corset and heavy, restrictive clothes. The combination of the corset and long voluminous skirt conceals her pregnancy from the viewer. Doctors did not approve of corsets during pregnancy, but for most women social conventions and expectations were too strong to ignore.
About this item
Alexander Turnbull Library
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.