Title: c1867 Married Womans Private Medical Companion Book Civil War Medicine Condom Pregnancy Abortion Birth Barrenness Sterility Midwife Vintage


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Antique Book The Married Womans Private Medical Companion.

This Civil War period book from 1867 is quite a treasure. It is entitled The Married Woman's Private Medical Companion, embracing the treatment of menstruation, irregularity, or entire suppression, pregnancy, and how it may be determined, with the treatment of its various diseases. Discovery to prevent pregnancy; the great and important necessity where malformation or inability exists to give birth. To prevent miscarriage or abortion. When proper and necessary to effect miscarriage. When attended with entire safety, causes and mode of cure of barrenness, or sterility." The author is Dr. A. M. Mauriceau, Professor of diseases of women.

The Index topics are as follows:


After Pains.

After Birth.

Artificial Delivery.

Barrenness or Sterility.



Delivery (Artificial).

Diseases of Pregnancy.

False pains in pregnancy.

False conception.



French Secret (condoms).

Still born infants.

Inflammation of the breasts.

Malformation of the pelvis.

Menstruation or monthly turns.



Navel cord.


Portuguese female pills.


Diseases of Pregnancy.

Sexual Weakness.

Falling down of the womb.

A few excerpts read:

On why pregnancy should be prevented: (1) the fear of having offspring before the parents are in a pecuniary condition to support, rear, and educate them, (2) by inducing early marriages, seduction would become less frequent, and consequently prostitution become extinct, (3) young men, instead of seeking excitement and amusement in the brothels...would with a view towards early marriage, cultivate social and domestic ties, (4) ...young persons would better their condition, (5) by inducing early marriages, the dire evils arising from promiscuous sexual intercourse with the tainted or diseased will gradually disappear, and in the place of the present sickly, puny race, a healthy robust and pure generation., (6) the use of a preventive to conception will make men and women rational, thinking beings, regardful alike of their own welfare and the welfare of their offspring.

On the enlargement of the breast during pregnancy: When two months of pregnancy have been completed, an uneasy sensation of throbbing and stretching fullness is experienced, accompanied with tingling about the middle of the breasts, centering in the nipple. A sensible alteration int heir appearance soon follows, they grow larger and more firm. The nipple becomes more prominent, and the circle around its base altered in color and structure, constituting what is called "the areola", And, as pregnancy advances, milk is secreted.

On the falling of the womb: Sponges, when expanded, fill up the cavity of the vag-ina, are very good pessaries. They support the uterus, and by putting a string through them, the end of which is to be left hanging out, the woman can take them away and apply them herself very conveniently. A fine sponge, wrung out in alum water, may be dried in a compressed state, and cut into any convenient form, so as to be introduced as high as possible...

Ah yes, the content is remarkable and yet insightful for its time. Indeed, this book was so important, as women often only learned of the female condition via passed down stories. Often for those living in outlying rural areas, a book of this type was their only source of information. And of course, much included within was almost scandalous to discuss. It is amazing this book has survived.

This small brown hard cover book measures aprox 4 x 6 inches, with 238 pages. The pages have a nice patina, the text block is firm and tight, and even the front hinge paper is uncracked. (The back flyleaf page may have been removed, it is hard to tell on this book. It's possible the page was never there.) The cover boards have slight embossing on both the back and front, and the boards have amazingly little wear at the corners and spine. The spine is sunned and the back board has wear. (Please note that the photos 3-8 are from an earlier volume, but this book doesn't have the foxing shown.) Overall in VG condition for a book over 151 years old! A treasure for the nurse, obstetrician, and midwife.

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