History of Midwifery

Midwifery is an occupation based on helping women through the childbirth process that has played a significant role through history. “It is generally recognised that the midwife has been with us since biblical times and that midwifery is the oldest female occupation and without doubt one of the most important” (Marland 1993).

However the development of midwifery over the past number of centuries has positioned it, as an occupation, with relatively limited status and authority as compared to medicine. This series of short articles discuss the changes in midwifery practice and status from pre-industrial to contemporary times.


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