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Tasmania - Concept

Lying-in Home (1850 - 1950)

Lying-in Home

A lying-in home was a place where a mother could give birth.


In the nineteenth century, a lying-in home was an institution where mothers could give birth with the help of a midwife who did not have formal qualifications. These women sometimes helped single mothers who worked to find care for their babies. Sometimes this involved an informal adoption. In 1901, the Midwifery Nurses Act began to set standards for the training of midwives. From 1918, lying-in homes had to be registered. Their numbers fell as the requirements of midwifery training became more rigorous.

Related Glossary Terms

  • Adoption

    Sometimes finding care for the babies of working single mothers involved an informal adoption.

Related Legislation

Related Organisations

Prepared by: Caroline Evans