Well, my Mrs Beeton (1860) says of the monthly nurse (who attends the
mother during the lying-in period): "Snuff-taking and spirit-drinking
must not be included in her habits; but these are happily much less
frequent than they were in former days." Plainly there were enough of the
pre-Nightingale nurses around for this to still be a problem.
And didn't Mrs Beeton die herself a few days after giving birth from
post-puertal fever caused by the doctor's unwashed hands?
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