Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Midwives: Margaret Gugger and Emma Reisbick

Margaret Gugger and Emma Reisbick. Everyone knew them. They lived in the neighborhood, and were recommended by women you knew. More prominent than politicians, and more reliable. They were Globeville's midwives.
In Globeville, most babies were born at home with one of these two women in attendance; Mrs. Margaret Gugger served Catholic women and Mrs. Emma Reisbick tended to German-Russian ladies. In addition to delivering the baby, these women provided care for two weeks following the birth, coming each day to check on the mother and infant. They also did some light housekeeping, washed the diapers, looked after the siblings if necessary, encouraged and advised the mother. Neighbors would bring chicken soup, angel food cake or fruit soup - meals considered nourishing and appropriate for the confinement. Margaret Gugger and Emma Reisbick were both widows, and their profession became their livelihood. To mothers in Globeville, these ladies offered valuable help and a welcome respite during a special time.

Margaret Gugger's home on 4559 Washington Street
is gone now. Photo DPL

Emma Reisbick's home at 4367 Sherman
is freshly painted
Photo ® Mary Lou Egan