A Voice for Mothers: The Plunket Society and Infant Welfare 1907–2000

Linda Bryder

Author: Linda Bryder
Format: Paperback, Ebook
Pages: 368
Published: May 2003
Availability: Out of stock/print
Specs: 21.5cm x 15.0cm
ISBN: 9781869402907

Available in Ebook

The Plunket Society, founded in 1907, has been heralded as New Zealand’s most successful and famous voluntary organisation. Run by women for women, it played a vital role in the care of mothers and babies for most of the twentieth century, becoming a national and international icon.

A Voice for Mothers, this comprehensive history of Plunket, covers three broad themes: the relationship between the voluntary sector and the State in the provision of welfare, the development of paediatrics, and the relationship between health providers and their clients, the mothers.

Bryder stresses, in particular, infant health and welfare, the political pressures applied by the government and medical profession, the influence of the remarkable women who shaped the fortunes of the society, and its diminishing impact in recent years. She also compares New Zealand’s experience with other countries like Australia and Britain, and outlines the philosophy behind the organisation.


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Linda Bryder has made a valuable contribution to the medical social history of the infant welfare movement. – Paula Watts, Medical History Australia