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Midwifery

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Midwifery

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  1. Midwifery

  2. The Word Itself • Midwife: • translated to mean “with woman” in the English language • translated sage femme or a “wise woman” in French • literally meaning a woman who assists women in childbirth

  3. The Facts….. • Birth of Midwifery • Midwifery in the United States • The Midwife Controversy • The Mother of Modern Midwifery

  4. The Birth of Midwifery

  5. What History has to Say... • There are several verses in the bible which tell of two Hebrew midwives • Exodus 1:15-22 • Genesis 35:17; 38:28 • Practices have also been found in Papyri and ancient Hindu records

  6. In early Roman & Greek times, midwifes were caregivers to women during their monthly cycle • The only qualifications were to have given birth yourself • In some cultures these qualifications still exist today • Midwives used herbs and potions routinely in place of the modern day medicine

  7. In 1928, the first professional organization for nurse-midwives began with establishment of the American Association of Nurse-Midwives • 1955 the American College of Nurse-Midwifery was chartered • Between the 1970-1980’s midwifery began to grow rapidly

  8. Midwifery in the United States

  9. Where in the United States: • Native American Tribes • Colonial America • Ferry boats to the Colony of Massachusetts • Mayflower • Who in the United States: • Brigit Lee Fuller (3 births on Mayflower) • Laurel Thatcher Ulrich • Dr. William Shippman Jr. (Private tutor)

  10. The Midwife Controversy

  11. The midwifery controversy lasted from the end of the 19th century through the first two decades of the following century • The neonatal/maternal outcomes between the births attended by physicians and midwives was coming under scrutiny by Obstetricians • Maternal and neonatal deaths were greater for those under the care of midwives, these were often poor women who couldn’t afford doctors

  12. The Solution…. • Educate midwives in order to raise the level of practice to the accepted mainstream • Abolish midwives for the sake of the health of the country • “Midwifery of untold centuries was almost eradicated in the United States in less than three decades by restrictive legislation and an effective public campaigns”.

  13. The Mother of Modern Midwifery

  14. Ina May Gaskin... • Born in Marshalltown, Iowa, as Ina May Middletown • Grew up being a tom-boy and wrestling her brothers • Although she thoroughly interested in child-birth, she had the ambition to be a engineer • “Birth just always fascinated me”, “As a teenager, I could tell you every detail of the birth in the historical romances I read”

  15. After graduating from High School in 1958 and being denied the right to study a “man’s subject” decided to turn her academic career into an English major • After being married at the age of 19, Gaskin obtained her degree from the University of Iowa then joined the Peace Corps with her husband • After teaching English in Malaysia, Gaskin returned to obtain her master’s in English from Northern Illinois University

  16. Gaskin gave birth to her first child under the care of an obstetrician • Gaskin remembers the experience of the birth of her first child to be very traumatic • Gaskin then moved to California to become a hippie and joined a caravan • With no money and a pregnant Ina May on the caravan, she gave birth to baby boy, the first of many baby’s to be born on the caravan

  17. From then on, Ina May attended all the births within the group, a total of 11 babies born • The caravan finally made a home in Tennessee and called The Farm • Ina May and several other women, established an on-site midwifery clinic and many mothers requested their presence at the births

  18. Gaskin Today... • Ina May still lives on the Farm in Tennessee and enjoys spending time with her granddaughter • Gaskin’s message she wants to get out is that birth is normal • “As a culture we really have to figure out how we got so afraid of birth and why, of all places in the world, we got rid of midwives here”

  19. Wrapping it Up • Midwives are the most common birth attendant in the world. • The average child born in this world is born into the hands of a midwife. • There are more than 5,000 Certified Nurse-Midwives in the United States who attend 150,000 births annually.

  20. Works Cited • Parkland Memorial Hospital (1999) www. swmed.edu • Salon Brilliant Careers The midwife of modern midwifery www.salon.com • Webster's Dictionary (1999) • Encarta (1997)

  21. That’s All Folks By: Sara Howard sehowar@clemson.edu