How were pregnant African (American) slaves treated?

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Question by beth l: How were pregnant African (American) slaves treated?
If slaves were worth a lot of money, how did the plantation owner treat a pregnant slave? After all she was in possession of valuable property….And, no I do not think this way. I am only asking out of curiosity. I watch a lot of history shows and have never seen this as a topic.

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7 Responses to How were pregnant African (American) slaves treated?

  1. no better than the rest. well i mean, they made sure she survived until the delivery. but that was about it.

    (sigh) this is such a depressing subject

    January 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm

  2. Probably just gave them lighter work until they had the baby.

    January 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm

  3. If they were pregnant with the master’s baby I think they were treated to a kick in the stomach.

    January 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm

  4. It depended hugely on the owner. Typically, only in the very last days of pregnancy was her workload lightened. Slaves were viewed as workhorses, not people. She would be spared largely insomuch as the baby was worth money to the owner.

    If it was the “master’s” baby, woe be unto her. The “mistress” could make her life miserable. Her child might simply be sold at birth or anytime thereafter to avoid the embarassing reminder of a too-strong ressemblance in a slave child.

    Nefertiri E
    January 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm

  5. Actually quite well !!! Much like a breeding sow (that ought to get me a few thumbs down) a pregnant woman was valuable – – – she was proving her worth. In fact there was this ‘amusing’ study regarding obesity among African-American women that bluntly stated that the reason there are so many obese women of African-American heritage was because they received better more preferential treatment than ‘them scrawny bee-atches.’ Every plantation had a ‘laying in cabin’ for pregnant woman and they wefre generally given light duties during their final month and could usually count on a month or more time to spend with the children. In fact those women who were especially fertile were general put in charge of raising their own and others children and that in fact became their job.
    Here is a real kicker – – – as racist as Southerners ‘were,’ a mother’s milk is a valuable commodity and many pregnant African-American women were ‘wet nurses’ for their masters children. Yep you heard that right – – – ,many of those Negro-Lynching Southerners got their milk from black t^t as infants!!

    See link below for snippet confirming my word vomit!! Enough said – – – you are not to be faulted for ansking what is in fact a very interesting question one that sheds light on a very dark period in American History.
    “”Ah, we poor colored women wage-earners in the South are fighting a terrible battle, and because of our weakness, our ignorance, our poverty, and our temptations we deserve the sympathies of mankind. Perhaps a million of us are introduced daily to the privacy of a million chambers thruout the South, and hold in our arms a million white children, thousands of whom, as infants, are suckled at our breasts–during my lifetime I myself have served as “wet nurse” to more than a dozen white children. On the one hand, we are assailed by white men, and, on the other hand, we are assailed by black men, who should be our natural protectors; and, whether in the cook kitchen, at the washtub, over the sewing machine, behind the baby carriage, or at the ironing board, we are but little more than pack horses, beasts of burden, slaves! In the distant future, it may be, centuries and centuries hence, a monument of brass or stone will be erected to the Old Black Mammies of the South, but what we need is present help, present sympathy, better wages, better hours, more protections, and a chance to breathe for once while alive as free women. If none others will help us, it would seem that the Southern white women themselves might do so in their own defense, because we are rearing their children–we feed them, we bathe them, we teach them to speak the English language, and in numberless instances we sleep with them–and it is inevitable that the lives of their children will in some measure be pure or impure according as they are affected by contact with their colored nurses.””

    A final note about Pregnancy and ‘colored’ women. Many of them had no choice in the matter. They were forced into pregnancy – – – rape was organized – – – no choice as to who the man might be in fact the more ‘scientific’ inclined Southerners treated the breeding of slaves the same as the breeding of livestock selecting those who they believed were the best specimens and when the master told a woman ‘go with this man,’ she did as she was told…

    Peace. . . / / – – – – – O . T . O – – – – –

    January 2, 2013 at 7:32 pm

  6. It really depended on if the seed was planted by a master, or by a fellow slave

    Leech is Rollin' 6 ft. Under
    January 2, 2013 at 8:21 pm

  7. they were treated well on the condition there kids would be born into slavery, if they say no the child was sold at birth.

    October 1, 2015 at 3:26 am

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