Accessibility navigation

Like mother, like child: investigating perinatal and maternal health stress in post-medieval London

Hodson, C. M. ORCID: and Gowland, R. (2020) Like mother, like child: investigating perinatal and maternal health stress in post-medieval London. In: Gowland, R. and Halcrow, S. (eds.) The Mother-Infant Nexus in Anthropology. Bioarchaeology and Social Theory. Springer, pp. 39-64. ISBN 9783030273934

Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-27393-4


Post-Medieval London (16th-19th centuries) was a stressful environment in which to be poor. Overcrowded and squalid housing, physically demanding and risky working conditions, air and water pollution, inadequate diet, and exposure to infectious diseases created high levels of morbidity and low life expectancy. All of these factors pressed with particular severity on the lowest members of the social strata, with burgeoning disparities in health between the richest and poorest. Fetal, perinatal and infant skeletal remains provide the most sensitive source of bioarchaeological information regarding past population health and in particular maternal well-being. This chapter examined evidence for chronic growth and health disruption in 136 fetal, perinatal and infant skeletons from four low status cemetery samples in post-Medieval London. The aim of this study was to consider the impact of poverty on the maternal/infant nexus, through an analysis of evidence of growth disruption and pathological lesions. The results highlight the dire consequences of poverty in London during this period from the very earliest moments of life.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:98376


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation