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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 24(1); 2015 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2015;24(1): 111-162.
doi: https://doi.org/10.13081/kjmh.2015.24.111
청대(淸代) 산과(産科) 의서와 여성의 출산: 『달생편(達生編)』을 중심으로
Obstetric Medical Book and Women's Childbirth in Qing Dynasty: The Case of the Treatise on Easy Childbirth
Yon Sil Yu
Department of History, College of Humanities, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Korea. you2213@hanmail.net
Received: February 27, 2015;  Accepted: April 13, 2015.  Published online: April 30, 2015.
Ye Feng composed what was to become one of the most famous and widely-circulating medical works of the late imperial period, the Treatise on Easy Childbirth(1715). Ye Feng proposed the idea of natural childbirth, When the correct moment for birth had arrived, the child would leave its mother's body as easily as "a ripe melon drops from the stem". He argued attempts to facilitate birth were therefore not only unnecessary, and female midwives artificial intervention was not required. However, this view is to overlook the pangs of childbirth, and women bear responsibility for the failure of delivery. So his views reflect the gender order in male-dominated. Also he constructed the negative image of the midwife and belittle her childbirth techniques. As a result, midwife are excluded from the childbirth field, male doctors grasp guardianship rights of the female body. Ye Feng declared that the key to safe and successful delivery could be summed up in just a few words: "sleep, endure the pain, delay approaching the birthing tub". This view must be consistent with the Confucian norms, women to export to equip the 'patience' and 'self-control'. These norms were exposed desire men want to monitor and control the female body, effect on consolidation of patriarchal family order. In sum, the discourse of "a ripe melon drops from the stem" and "sleep, endure the pain, delay approaching the birthing tub" comprised an important intellectual resource that male doctors drew on to legitimate themselves as superior overseers of women's gestational bodies.
Key Words: Ye Feng, Treatise on Easy Childbirth, Morality books, Childbirth, Midwife, Confucian norms, Patience, Self-control
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