Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
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There is a name in the medical community for those who rely on withdrawal as a contraception method - such people are referred to as "parents". Your average high school health textbook will give you the success rate for various types of pre-modern contraception. (Remember that artificial contraception was illegal in some countries). Childhood mortality ...


24

You are right to say that 14 children is larger than most families of the period, particularly if they all had the same mother. Death in childbirth was not uncommon at that time. One of my Victorian ancestors had 12 siblings, all with the same mother. Another ancestor was one of 11 children, but the father had re-married after his first wife died in ...


11

One influence on families in "Victorian" times was Queen Victoria herself. She had nine children, despite having been an "only" child. This was despite the fact that she had access to any birth control that was available. She was nicknamed the "Grandmother of Europe" because of her 42 grandchildren, but that represents an average of "only" 4.7 children to ...


10

This is a case of survivorship bias. Your great-...-greatparents had lots of children so some survived and some of those who survived had lots of children, and of those some had children and some survived etc. It looks like everybody's grand-...-parents had a lot of children because those who did not have lots of children do not have descendants to be ...


9

Not an exact fit, but Emperor Renzhong of Song came close with 16 children known to history. All three sons and eight of the daughters died young, so he eventually had to adopt the son of a cousin to succeed him. Though five of his princesses survived to adulthood, they were not considered heirs under Chinese succession laws. In that sense, Renzhong was ...


3

Bundling was a technique of separating two people of the opposite sex by textile devices to allow intimate contact without the possibility of intercourse during courtship. It is thought to have originated in the British Isles in the 17th century. Further information can be found at Wikipedia and Atlas Oscura.


3

One perinatal symptom known since antiquity is the death of the mother. Whether preceding or during childbirth, a mother's death will also result in the imminent death of her unborn child, unless the baby is extracted by Caesarean Section, attested since BC. Physicians opening the bodies of just-deceased mothers attempt to prevent harm that the unborn child ...


3

There is a strong correlation between women's equality, specifically access to education, and the number of children they bear. See for example this article. There is a nice chart further down which displays the correlation. There is no need for access to specific contraceptives in order to avoid having 14 children (maybe condoms are helpful, but careful ...


2

It was not entirely the case that couples in Victorian times had more children than their ancestors a few generations earlier (although better general health and well being perhaps did improve fertility). However it was the case during the Victorian period that improvements in nutrition, health, sanitation etc ensured that far more children survived the ...


2

There are plenty of problems related to childbirth that will kill both mother and child without intervention. This was considerably reduced by the invention of forceps but that did not happen until the 1600s. Low-tech childbirth is dangerous. If you're reasonably sure that you're going to lose both mother and child without doing a Caesarean, then doing it ...


2

This would seem to be the definitive resource, but is behind a paywall However I see no obvious errors or omission in the summary presented here Screening for open neural tube defects (ONTDs) by MSAFP began in the 1970s and screening for fetal chromosomal anomalies began with amniocentesis in the mid-1960s. Pregnant Person’s age, ≥ 35 years at the ...


2

I don't know. Emperor Frederick II (died 1250) was born 26 December 1194. His mother Constance was born 2 November 1154 and thus was 40 years, 1 month, and 24 days older than her son. It is said that, as was customary, she gave birth with many witnesses to make sure there was no doubt that Frederick was her child. But Frederick's enemies sometimes denied ...


1

Echoing the sentiment in my earlier comment, hospitals were chiefly a venue where the poor would go until the mid-century, and births occurred at home with ad hoc midwives otherwise. The story behind hand washing before childbirth (an interesting read in its own right) elaborates on the reasons why hospitals attracted the poor: Maternity institutions ...


1

As currently phrased this question is only answerable with the trope of it's older than dirt as these kind of predictions and advice are of absolutely primary concern to all fathers and mothers since antiquity. While some assess even Imhotep, Hippokrates or Galen as the "fathers of modern medicine", others qualify these works and methods as way too pre-...


1

Well, I doubt any father of 10 or more kids was a Military Historian, or Genetic Biologist who take a futuristic guess and predict that in the next 100 yrs there 'will be Massive Wars', either this country's soil or somewhere else implying that at least 3 or 5 of their grandkids will die in War, or, alternatively a biological futuristic guess might forecast ...


1

Pregnancy was a far bigger deal in the 19th century, when a woman's primary function was to produce children. Going back to Biblical times, the greatest fear for a woman was to be "barren." This was, of course, before the modern "DINK" phenomenon (dual income, no kids). A woman who was pregnant was then a "proven performer." In her book, "Undercover Sex ...


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