Hygiene in the times of Maria Theresa
270 years ago, on 24 July 1753, Empress Maria Theresa issued a set of regulations on healthcare in Bohemia, initiating some significant changes in the health sector, including obstetrics.
Maria Theresa's accession to the throne marked the start of a "cleaner" era. The monarch began to raise awareness about hygiene and issued a health code, which established bodies to supervise hygiene in various health facilities in order to combat the emergence and spread of epidemics.
The set of rules described included, for instance, compulsory training for midwives. It also encouraged honest behaviour and forbade drinking wine and other alcoholic beverages. Even though the prescribed regulations were not implemented everywhere, they marked a significant advancement in the health sector.