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Maternity Corset
1908
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
"The shaping and various closures that would provide for flexibility of this corset signals that it would be worn by a woman while she is pregnant and immediately after while nursing. The existence of such variations on the corset exhibits the ubiquitous nature and necessity of the corset. Even while pregnant, the body was required to be shaped into an acceptable silhouette. These corsets were worn by working and middle class women who were nursing their own children rather than using a wet nurse." View high resolution

Maternity Corset

1908

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

"The shaping and various closures that would provide for flexibility of this corset signals that it would be worn by a woman while she is pregnant and immediately after while nursing. The existence of such variations on the corset exhibits the ubiquitous nature and necessity of the corset. Even while pregnant, the body was required to be shaped into an acceptable silhouette. These corsets were worn by working and middle class women who were nursing their own children rather than using a wet nurse."

Corset
1875-1899
The Victoria & Albert Museum
The side ties and snaps over the breasts indicate that this corset may have been used for maternity wear.  As pregnancy was considered a very personal matter and meant to be hidden, maternity corsets were meant to mask the outward appearance of pregnancy.  When a woman’s belly grew so large that she could no longer press it down, she switched to a specially shaped maternity corset and withdrew from society until she gave birth. View high resolution

Corset

1875-1899

The Victoria & Albert Museum

The side ties and snaps over the breasts indicate that this corset may have been used for maternity wear.  As pregnancy was considered a very personal matter and meant to be hidden, maternity corsets were meant to mask the outward appearance of pregnancy.  When a woman’s belly grew so large that she could no longer press it down, she switched to a specially shaped maternity corset and withdrew from society until she gave birth.

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