Eighteenth‐century medical literature recommended that women record their menstrual cycles to identify dates of conception, measure gestation, and predict delivery. Women's pocketbooks were natural repositories of such pregnancy‐related data. This article charts the history of women's pocketbooks providing printed affordances for menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth. Throughout the eighteenth century, women's printed pocketbooks were self‐conscious of, and began to make more obvious, their potential to assist the safe delivery of children. The first mass‐produced tool for predicting childbirth, Anton F.A. Desberger's Schwangerschaftskalender (1827), translated into English as the Marriage Almanack in 1835, presupposed a female readership familiar with women's pocketbooks' self‐conscious capacity to assist family planning.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies|
|Early online date||23 Feb 2023|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2023|