Our digital collection includes documents which relate to maternity services, maternal mortality and birth control, particularly during the 1920s and 1930s.
- English methods of birth controlLink opens in a new window, [1915?]. Pamphlet written by Margaret H. Sanger, providing practical advice on birth control. It is based on advice sent by the Malthusian League of England to applicants (as long as they were "married or about to be married").
- Family LimitationLink opens in a new window, 1920. Pamphlet written by Margaret H. Sanger, providing practical advice on birth control. The introduction argues that there is a strong social need to educate working women about family limitation, as it is the "big battalions of unwanted babies that make life so hard for the working woman and keep her in poverty and stress from generation to generation". The pamphlet includes a statement that it should only be read by those over the age of 21 who consider "the Artificial Limitation of the Family justifiable on both individual and national grounds".
- Leaflet promoting the aims of the Workers' Birth Control GroupLink opens in a new window, 1927. The group campaigned for information about birth control to be provided by local authorities through maternity and child welfare centres for those who were unable to pay for private medical advice.
- 'To our men comrades'Link opens in a new window, leaflet issued by the Workers' Birth Control Group, [1928?]. It appeals for men to join the campaign for maternity and welfare centres to be "allowed to give birth control advice to working mothers", after the group had been informed that this would not be possible "(even if bearing another child will certainly cost the mother her life) without the express authority of Parliament".
- Leaflet publicising a conference on the giving of information on birth control by public health authoritiesLink opens in a new window, . The conference included a session on the "racial aspect" of birth control.
- Marriage and parenthood: a pamphlet addressed to those about to marryLink opens in a new window, 1934. Advice on married life, including birth control, issued by the Marriage and Parenthood Committee of the Society of Friends (also known as Quakers).
Maternity services, maternal mortality and advice for mothers:
- Achievements of the State in Health Services: The Work of Maternity and Infant Welfare CentresLink opens in a new window, January 1926. Private memorandum produced by the Trades Union Congress and Labour Party's joint Advisory Committee on Public Health. It provides an outline of the preventative medical work done by infant welfare centres, for example through weekly consultations with new mothers.
- Report on maternity insuranceLink opens in a new window by the British Section of the International Association for Social Progress, 1927. The report includes background information about the development of maternity care in Britain, information about infant mortality in 1925, and proposals for improvements.
- Notes on the present conditions as to midwiferyLink opens in a new window, [1928?]. Statistical information about the work, training and pay of midwives in Britain.
- Summary of child welfare services available in LiverpoolLink opens in a new window and the West Riding of Yorkshire, March 1928. The Liverpool services are described as "an almost complete co-ordinated scheme for looking after the health of children from birth to the school leaving age".
- Statistical data relating to Liverpool's Infant Welfare CentresLink opens in a new window, 1928. They include information about the provision of milk, school and home visits, enquiries regarding childhood illnesses, etc.
- Memorandum on maternal mortalityLink opens in a new window, July 1928. Internal memorandum produced by the Labour Party Public Health Advisory Committee. It includes a summary of relevant legislation, statistical data relating to the frequency and causes of neo-natal deaths, information about maternity services currently available, and proposals for a "complete maternity service".
- Draft precis of evidence to be given before the Departmental Committee on MidwivesLink opens in a new window, September 1928. Memorandum produced by the Standing Joint Committee of Industrial Women's Organisations, advocating better anti-natal care to help reduce maternal mortality.
- 'Motherhood'Link opens in a new window, leaflet issued by the Maternal Mortality Committee, . It contains basic advice to pregnant women, for example: "if you think you are going to have a baby, the first thing you should do is to find out from a doctor or a midwife whether you really are."
- Report of conference on maternal mortalityLink opens in a new window organised by the Maternal Mortality Committee in November 1932. The keynote speaker was Sir Hilton Young, Minister of Health.
- Leaflet summarising the powers of local authorities to provide maternity servicesLink opens in a new window under the 1918 Maternity and Child Welfare Act, issued by the Maternal Mortality Committee in c.1933.
- Report on maternal mortality issued by the Maternal Mortality CommitteeLink opens in a new window in 1934. It includes an outline of the committee's proposals for improvements in maternity services.
- Maternity BenefitLink opens in a new window, 1948. Government booklet which explains the new maternity benefit, introduced as part of the post-war welfare state.