Childbirth and lactation entail a severe stress on the female sex, and, under certain circumstances, are liable to cause insanity, during the course of which attempts at infanticide and suicide are common. For this reason the insanities connected with child-bearing and lactation have a definite medico-legal aspect. In the past very little has been written on this subject, though infanticide is by no means uncommon, and cases of child murder account for a large percentage of the population of the female division of the State Criminal Lunatic Asylum at Broadmoor. Possibly a study of some of these cases may not be lacking in interest.
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