In 1937, Maria do Carmo da Conceição gave birth to her son José Augusto at a public maternity clinic in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. After the birth, Maria took advantage of the city's free welfare program for new mothers. She breastfed her son and received a modest stipend and lodging. José was baptized, and Maria then registered him at the city's newly reorganized Foundling Home. Because she opted for open enrollment, Maria was able to return three months later and retrieve her son. Okezi T. Otovo deftly weaves rich stories such as Maria's throughout her study of the gendered and racialized history of maternal-infant health in the northeastern state of Bahia from the gradual abolition of Brazilian slavery to Getúlio Vargas's corporatist welfare state. In the text, she explores the mutual interplay between medical ideology, clinical practice, and patient experience in the...
Book Review|August 01 2017
Progressive Mothers, Better Babies: Race, Public Health, and the State in Brazil, 1850–1945
Hispanic American Historical Review (2017) 97 (3): 555-556.
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Cassia Roth; Progressive Mothers, Better Babies: Race, Public Health, and the State in Brazil, 1850–1945. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 August 2017; 97 (3): 555–556. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-3934084
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