Photo by Samuele Bertoli
Michele Savonarola: His Fifteenth-Century Guide to Pregnancy and Pediatrics for the Midwives and Mothers of Ferrara, Italy
Michele Savonarola was a court physician who served the house of Este in the fifteenth-century city-state of Ferrara, Italy, and was a prolific writer of Latin and Italian texts. About 1460, he composed his vernacular Italian manual bearing the Latin title, De regimine praegnantium et noviter natorum usque ad septennium, or Guide for Pregnant Women and Newborns up to the Seventh Year, which has recently been translated into English (Zuccolin and Marafioti). The Guide allows today’s English readers to learn more about midwifery, maternity, medical practice, and the realities of the childbearing year, including the care of the newborn, in early modern Italy.
About Author: Jane Beal
Jane Beal, PhD, is a writer, educator, and midwife. She holds a Certificate in Midwifery Mercy in Action College of Midwifery and a graduate Certificate in Narrative Medicine from Bay Path University. She has served with homebirth practices in the Chicago, Denver, and San Francisco metro areas and in birth centers in the US, Uganda, and the Philippine Islands. She is the author of Epiphany: Birth Poems and Transfiguration: A Midwife’s Birth Poems. She teaches at UC Davis and the University of La Verne in California. To learn more, please visit janebeal.wordpress.com and christianmidwife.wordpress.com. View all posts by Jane Beal