Full text: Problems in eugenics

Exhibit C ioo.4i 
dealing with over a quarter of a million of women of childbearing 
age. The distinction between obligatory and voluntary members 
makes possible the estimate of the influence of work continued up 
to the time of confinement, because the voluntary members receive 
the same weekly payments during confinement as the obligatory 
ones, and, consequently, a woman has no object in joining the 
voluntary insurance scheme except in order to secure rest before 
confinement, which they procure for themselves at their own expense 
and with the loss of their wages. (At that time the compulsory 
support during time of pregnancy did not exist.) It is to be 
noted that the voluntary members show ten times as many con­ 
finements as the obligatory ones.” 
“ The left hand figure at the top shows that the women who 
work up to the time of confinement fall ill during their pregnancy 
twice as often, and have six or seven times as many miscarriages and 
premature births and 1.28 times as many cases of death in child-bed, 
as those who stop work for a more or less extended period previous 
to their delivery.” 
“ The frequency of illness after childbirth is in both categories 
of women almost the same; but the duration of the illness beyond 
the period for which the legal subvention provides (13, 26, or 34 
weeks respectively) is much greater in the case of the obligatory mem­ 
bers who do not spare themselves before their delivery.” 
“ Left hand figure at the bottom—the researches were made by 
Roger and Thiraux in a maternity home. A comparison is made 
between the women who entered the home only at the beginning of 
childbirth and those who entered during the last month of pregnancy 
or sooner. Premature birth occurs in nearly one-third of the cases 
among the former, but among the latter only one-eighth. 
“ Right hand figure at the bottom—dealing with the same 
material as the left hand figure below compares the weight at birth 
of the first, second and later born. The average weight of the 
former is 300 g. and that of the latter 341 g. higher with mothers 
who cease work two or three months before delivery, than with those 
who worked up to the last. Possibly this expresses in the main the 
different duration of pregnancy. The importance of the birth weight 
of a child for its further development is not to be underrated.” 
“ The top figure on the right shows that the importance of the 
adverse influence of female labour on the race, shown in the above 
figures, is growing, because there is an increase of employment 
amongst married womeft. Simon’s figures show that the manufac­ 
turing industries, which in 1907 employed by themselves two million 
female hands, the number of married women has increased by almost
	        

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