University of Virginia Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

The Maternity Corset

Masking and Minimizing the Pregnant Body

Maternity Corset

Maternity Corset. Source: Wikimedia Commons (public domain).


Women wore special maternity corsets while pregnant. Women who had worn corsets since childhood or adolescence probably had weaker abdominal muscles and might have benefited from proper support, but maternity corsets were not specially designed for support. Instead, the corsets were designed to mask, even minimize, the size of the pregnant body.


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