A Voice for Mothers: The Plunket Society and Infant Welfare by Linda Bryder

By Linda Bryder

Overlaying the background of the Plunket Society from 1907 to the current day, this publication is geared up round 3 dominant topics that give a contribution either to foreign historiography and to the social heritage of latest Zealand. those issues are the combined economic climate of welfare, maternal and child health and wellbeing, and motherhood and parenting. mentioned intimately is how jointly those 3 strands shape an immense contribution to New Zealand's social historical past. specifically, the general public function of girls as welfare prone, maternal and baby future health provision, and parenting roles and practices are tested. An in-depth research of the voluntary welfare process, this e-book may be of curiosity to welfare historians, women's reports historians, social historians of drugs, and executive coverage makers.

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Extra resources for A Voice for Mothers: The Plunket Society and Infant Welfare

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Ltd. His daughter-in-law Simone Nathan was also involved with Auckland Plunket for many years. Kate McCosh Clark, the widow of James McCosh Clark who had served as Mayor of Auckland from 1880 to 1883, succeeded Emily Nathan as president in 1909. 109 In Christchurch the new society’s first major fund-raiser was a garden fete held in October 1907 at Elmwood, the home of lawyer and politician, Robert Heaton Rhodes and his wife Jessie. The Rhodes were well known for philanthropic efforts around Christchurch: in 1896 they had helped Nurse Sybilla Maude set up the first district nursing scheme in New Zealand.

Although she believed that Plunket nurses could be ‘a real boon to the community’, their most important function was to know when to send for a doctor. 71 During the First World War, some Karitane nurses, who were not required to be registered nurses, continued to act as Plunket nurses and sometimes even unpaid volunteers took up the post. From 1914, however, only registered nurses, midwives (or maternity nurses) were accepted for Plunket training. The NZBMA sought to define the relationship between the new Plunket nurses and doctors.

100 She also helped to found societies in New Plymouth and Napier in March and June 1908 respectively. Her interest and social standing gave the new societies status. She also showed an interest in individual cases: in early 1908 she offered to pay for a sickly baby and his mother to travel from Auckland to the new Dunedin baby hospital. 101 As a prelude to setting up the Auckland society, Lady Plunket wrote a letter to the New Zealand Herald explaining the scheme. She pointed out that nurses, trained in Dunedin in ‘the scientific and accurate feeding and management of infants’, worked under a local committee, gave lectures and demonstrations by invitation, and personally visited and instructed any mother who asked them to do so, continuing such visits as long as they could be of assistance.

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