This pioneering book fills a huge gap in Mexican history. Using an impressive array of archival and published sources, Nora Jaffary painstakingly researches the history of reproduction from 1750 to 1905, a subject so far scarcely touched by historians of Latin American women and medicine. The result is a fascinating work that combines medical, legal, cultural, and social history as it explores the attitudes toward sexuality and maternity as well as the practices surrounding childbirth, contraception, abortion, and infanticide.

Examining a long time period that straddles the colonial/national divide, Jaffary traces continuities as well as changes surrounding reproduction. Indeed, with forays into the pre-Columbian era as well as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, she covers a much longer time frame than the title suggests. This approach yields many important contributions. One is that, despite the dissemination of European medicine, indigenous obstetric practices...

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