In Childbirth, Maternity, and Medical Pluralism in French Colonial Vietnam, 1880–1945, Thuy Linh Nguyen, professor of history at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York, examines the pluralist system that emerged out of French colonial administrators’ attempts to Westernize childbirth practices in Vietnam and the eventual compromise and integration of traditional childbirth practices. Relying primarily on French archives and Vietnamese printed materials, Nguyen illustrates the colonial administration's initial strategy to medicalize reproduction and institutionalize childcare. She examines the two-way exchange between French medicine and Vietnamese society, and the struggles that existed in governing maternal health and infant care between colonial administrators and the Vietnamese. Aside from humanitarianism, the state's objective was to improve the overall health of future laborers and create a society of robust citizens.

Chapter 1 illustrates the French reconstruction of Vietnamese culture and the relocation of Vietnamese childbirth into a clinical setting. French medical administrators...

You do not currently have access to this content.