Midwives in History and Society (Routledge Revivals) (Hardcover)
Originally published in 1986, this book examines the history of midwifery, concentrating on 19th and 20th Century Britain. It shows how the evolution of the midwife has been influenced by cultural waves which started in the Near East and Egypt in pre-classical times and slowly spread Northwards and Eastwards over Europe. The authors emphasize the effects of specialization and professionalization upon midwifery and also the influence of male authority and interest group politics. The evolution of the educated qualified midwife of the 20th Century is recorded, leading up to the ongoing debates about high technology birth vis- -vis natural birth and home deliveries.