Bicentennial Essay: Growing Up in America--Then and Now

The following Bicentennial Essay is the fifth in a series that will appear periodically into 1976 and will examine how we have changed in our 200 years.

Childhood in America 200 years ago began at home; boys and girls were born there, most likely delivered by a midwife or simply a neighbor woman. There were virtually no obstetricians. Commonly the infants were delivered in a room specifically set aside for the purpose: the "borning room"—much used because the children came one after the other and, alas, died far more often than is now the...

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