Marina Dean

The Mothers' Hospital
Interviewed by Dianna Hunt

Marina Dean was born into a Salvationist family in Stoke Newington in 1934. Her family attended Core No 7 in Stoke Newington. Marina took the Scholarship (later know as the 11-plus) and went to Skinner’s Company School in Stamford Hill. After leaving school Marina started a business course at the City of London College. It was during this period that Marina also met her husband – a fellow Salvationist. On completion of the business course Marina worked as a secretary, before leaving to have her first child at the Mothers’ Hospital. In 1959, as a patient at the Mothers’ Hospital, Marina took part in the test for the first human foetal heart monitor. Marina now lives in Northamptonshire.

Choosing the Mothers' Hospital

Marina talks about choosing the Mothers' Hospital.

The Salvation Army

Marina talks about life in the Salvation Army.

Image accompanying MP3 audio clip: The first baby heart monitor ( KB)

The first baby heart monitor

Marina recalls being approached by the Matron and asked to take part in the test for the newly invented foetal heart monitor. This would provide the first human evidence that the monitor actually worked. Marina remembers her excitement and talks about being given printed proof of her baby's heart beat alongside her own. She remembers how various nurses and doctors wanted to have a look at this print out. Marina notes that the Mothers' Hospital had been chosen to test the foetal heart monitor because it was a highly regarded institution.

Hygiene at The Mothers' Hospital

Marina remembers the atmosphere of the Mothers' Hospital, she recalls how hygiene and a strict regime was of the upmost importance. She talks of the constant cleaning.

Men and visiting time

Marina remembers that men were "tolerated at visiting times".

Getting your figure back!

Marina describes how mothers who were not breastfeeding had their breasts bound very tightly with tea towels. She recalls how new mothers were made to lie on their stomachs every day for an hour after lunch perhaps "to get one's figure back".

Prayers for the babies

Marina recalls how nurses prayed when babies was born.

Feeling safe

Marina remembers nurses praying with mothers. She feels there was an "extra to the attitude of caring". As a Salvationist Marina felt she belonged and she knew many of the nurses at the Mothers'. This gave her a feeling of safety.

This page was added by Dianna Hunt on 15/03/2010.

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