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Reproducing WomenMedicine, Metaphor, and Childbirth in Late Imperial China$
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Yi-Li Wu

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520260689

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520260689.001.0001

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An Uncertain Harvest

An Uncertain Harvest

Pregnancy and Miscarriage

(p.120) Chapter 4 An Uncertain Harvest
Reproducing Women

Yi-Li Wu

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on two interlinked challenges that lay at the heart of effective care, the accurate diagnosing of pregnancy, and preventing miscarriage, to explain how imperial doctors negotiated these intellectual resources in the management of female reproductive health. This chapter also discusses the case of Ms. Huang: She had suffered five miscarriages in a row, each time in the third month of her pregnancy, and when on her sixth pregnancy, she started to bleed, another miscarriage seemed imminent. Ms. Huang's husband was studying medicine, so he felt confident enough to give Ms. Huang a dose of medicine during her pregnancy according to the teachings of the medical master Zhu Zhenheng. However, later during Ms. Huang sixth pregnancy, while her husband was away, a relative administered a pharmacological strategy which was contrary to her husband's as the relative believed that her husband had been giving her the wrong medicine, which was causing her to miscarriage.

Keywords:   Zhu Zhenheng, medicine, miscarriage, pregnancy, imperial doctors

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