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Frauenmuseum Hittisau: Lecture on Birthculture in Vorarlberg

The History of Vorarlberg’s First and Last Maternity Home

The maternity home of Lustenau was the first one to be opened in Vorarlberg (Austria). It was also the last one which was closed. Tonight, the cultural historian Nikola Langreiter will talk about the history of the maternity home in Frauenmuseum Hittisau

In 1973 Vorarlberg had 27 maternity homes, which have been closed gradually since then. Many women preferred to give birth at a hospital. The number of nuns, previously providing care almost for free, was in decline and the additional staff employed was expensive. Furthermore, the community physician’s liability risk had grown too much to handle. Following decades of debate between the community, federal state and the general public, the doors of the province’s last lying-in home in Lustenau were shut in 2001.

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