Throughout the 19th and most of the 20th century pregnancy was purposefully concealed by clothing. This is mother of 11 Elizabeth Shewry in a horse-riding habit just before the birth of a son in 1894. She is wearing a tightly laced corset and heavy, restrictive clothes. The combination of the corset and long voluminous skirt conceals her pregnancy from the viewer. Doctors disapproved of the wearing of corsets during pregnancy, but for most women social conventions and expectations were too strong to ignore.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.