Kentucky Historical Society

Patterns in Parenting Oral History Project

Patterns in Parenting: Whitley County 1920 - present
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Women in Whitley County and surrounding area discuss childbearing and child-rearing practices from the 1920s to the 1950s: prenatal care, giving birth at home and in the hospital, midwives, childhood diseases and illnesses, medical care, home remedies, and superstitions relating to these topics. Many of the mothers talk about breastfeeding, feeding, clothing, and toilet training their children. They discuss what toys and books were available and reveal some of the social life and customs of the time. Many of the families lived in mining camps during the Great Depression; some faced poverty and hunger and depended on farming and gardening for most of their food.