Den kgl. Fødsels- og Plejestiftelse
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Secret births

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The Royal Maternity and Caring Institution was established in 1785. Thanks to a large donation from the Queen Dowager Juliane Marie, the institution acquired Amaliegade 25 and the newly built house next door. This became the new home of the maternity clinic that had…

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The secret mothers

Time / Periode 1785
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Right up until the 20th century, it was not uncommon for unmarried women to hide their pregnancy. They could then give birth to their baby in secret but without the help of a midwife. To avoid the shame and social stigma of these births, it was not rare for unhappy mothers to kill their newborns in an effort to hush up the affair. The Maternity Institution was founded to prevent this and women went there to give birth in secret right up until 1938. They could keep their own name and the father's name secret. All births were registered in the parish register belonging to the Maternity Institution – after 1910 part of Copenhagen University Hospital - but the secret mothers were registered by number and not name.

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The secret mothers

Right up until the 20th century, it was not uncommon for unmarried women to hide their pregnancy.…

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