Scottish Midwives: Twentieth-Century Voices

Scottish Midwives: Twentieth-Century Voices
Lindsay Reid


Testimonies from twenty-three women, and one male midwife, reflect not only the changing status of the midwife over the course of the twentieth century, but the move from home births to hospital births, and the later emphasis on maternal involvement in the childbirth process. Ann Lamb (b.1902) tells how midwives oversaw births with little doctor involvement, but Mima Sutherland (b.1905) acknowledges that the midwife would defer to the doctor if one did happen to arrive during the birthing process. During the twentieth century, the midwife was increasingly subordinated, but these testimonies conclude with midwives from Inverness's Raigmore Hospital asserting that, by the end of the century, midwifery had to some degree gone full circle, had become less medicalised whereby normal births often didn't involve a doctor or obstetrician. Second edition published by Black Devon Books.

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