Maternity hospital

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A maternity hospital, also lying-in hospital (archaic), is a hospital that specializes in caring for women while they are pregnant and during childbirth. Maternity hospitals also provide care for newborn infants, and may act as centres for clinical training in midwifery and obstetrics.


The General Lying-In Hospital building of 1828

Maternity hospitals, in the UK at least, can be traced back to a number of 18th century establishments in London and Dublin. Prior to these foundations, childbirth was a domestic occasion. The first noted lying-in hospital appears to be one founded by Sir Richard Manningham in Jermyn Street, London, in 1739 and which evolved into the Queen Charlotte's Maternity Hospital. A better documented foundation is that of the Dublin Lying-In Hospital, established in 1745 by Bartholomew Mosse, and which served as a model for three subsequent London foundations: the British Lying-In Hospital, a 1749 establishment in Holborn; the 1750 City of London Lying-In Hospital, and the General Lying-In Hospital on Westminster Bridge Road established in 1767.[1][2][3] A number of other such hospitals were formed in the mid-18th Century. All of these were run by male physicians, women being unable to complete training as doctors until the 1870s. The first maternity hospital founded and run by a woman was Elizabeth Garrett Anderson's New Hospital for Women, which evolved from an existing dispensary in the 1770s, and was subsequently renamed in 1918 the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital.[4][5][6][7]


  1. ^ "Queen Charlotte's Maternity Hospital". AIM25 - Archives in London and the M25 area. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Information Leaflet Number 35 Records of patients in London hospitals" (PDF). London Metropolitan Archives. City of London. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Ryan, Thomas (1885). The history of Queen Charlotte's Lying-in Hospital. pp. ix–xv. 
  4. ^ UCLH - Our hospitals - University College Hospital Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing
  5. ^ Elston, Mary Ann. "'Run by Women, (mainly) for Women': Medical Women's Hospitals in Britain, 1866-1948" (pdf). Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  6. ^ "'Run by Women, (mainly) for Women': Medical Women's Hospitals in Britain, 1866-1948". Rodopi. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  7. ^ "Elizabeth Garrett Anderson - Victorian Women's Campaigner". BBC. December 2004. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Maternity hospitals at Wikimedia Commons