The term Lying-in Home describes institutions for pregnant women and new mothers. The term was commonly used in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The institution provided a place for women to live during the pregnancy. At some lying-in homes, mothers could give birth (usually with the help of a midwife), and also receive support in the first days/weeks after the birth. Sometimes informal adoptions were arranged for the children of single mothers. Although lying-in homes were sometimes used by mothers to rest during pregnancy, women who were destitute or single were expected to do physical work for their keep.
Last updated: 17 December 2014
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/ref/nsw/browse_l_function.htm
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011