StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

The History of Midwifery - Essay Example

Extract of sample
The History of Midwifery

This view has been part of the midwife profession since ancient times (Brucker, 2000) and is one of the most important differences between the roles of doctor and midwife. Another equally important difference is that midwives provide emotional support to mothers, as well as assistance during the birthing process. The word midwife has its roots in old English, and literally means "with woman" (Brucker, 2000), referring to a woman who works with women in labor. The very name of the profession implies that when the term was first used, the role of a midwife was to provide support, rather than intervention.
Midwifery is one of the few medical professions that are traditionally dominated by women. It is also one of the oldest known medical professions. The practice of midwifery is clearly referred to in the Bible (Brucker, 2000) and in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, and it is known to have been part of early Greek and Roman society. Certain qualifications for the role of midwife began to evolve during this time - for example, midwives in Greece were required to have given birth themselves before they could begin working with other women. Several cultures still have this requirement for their midwives up until the present day.
Midwives are even part of the legends of some ancient cultures. ...
Other Athenian doctors became jealous of her success, and thinking she was a man, accused her of corrupting her patients. After revealing her identity as a woman, Agnodice was charged with practicing medicine. The charge was dismissed after many of her female patients protested; stating that without Agnodice's care, many of them might have died. According to the legend, this incident precipitated the overturning of the law against females practicing medicine, however afterwards they were only allowed to have female patients.
The Roman physician Soranus of Ephesus practiced medicine during the first and second centuries AD. He wrote over 20 medical books, the most significant of these being Gynecology (Randall, 1997), a highly detailed text about human reproduction. Among other things, the characteristics and roles of midwives were outlined in this text, as well as descriptions of childbirth and instructions for the care of newborns. According to Soranus, a good midwife was "literate, with her wits about her, possessed of a good memoryunafraid in danger andfree from superstition" (Randall, 1997, p6). Midwives were involved in most aspects of pregnancy and birth, from examination of women to determine whether they were pregnant and care of women during pregnancy, to the actual birth itself and care of the mother and child afterwards.

Throughout this period and later during the Middle Ages, the skills and knowledge of midwives was passed down through the generations using the apprentice system (Stock-Morton, 1996, p61), where new midwives were trained by being apprenticed to practicing ones. New midwives learned by watching experienced midwives work with women ...Show more

Summary

For many people, it is unthinkable to imagine birth outside of a hospital setting, away from machines and doctors and anesthetic drugs. Midwifery is practiced according to a different philosophy. In the hospital setting, birth may be seen and experienced as a condition that must be treated…
Author : yfay
The History of Midwifery essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"The History of Midwifery"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Midwifery ethical reflective essay
Professional ethics are not only meant to be a guideline but they also help to protect both the caregiver and those who come to them. When women come to a midwife they expect that there will be certain standards that will be followed along with certain practices that will be looked at.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Midwifery focused option
There is enough evidence to suggest that average crisis scores are higher in women than in men after birth during the transition period and women experience more decline in marital satisfaction after the birth of their infant. This is also the period when parents divide the roles based on their gender leading to frustration of the woman (MCCourt, 2006).
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Midshires College of Midwifery and Nursing
The task of merging the five colleges was delegated to a Steering Group, which comprised of senior managers who were members of Board of Governors in the five colleges. It was important for managers in all the five colleges be part of the Steering Group to ensure equal representation of views from the colleges.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Nursing and Midwifery
These three words are of specified significant resonance as they are for the dream factory of the future of many health care specialists today. In accordance with many scholars’ knowledge, competence and performance are looked upon as a cycle. They believe that the first step for a health care individual is to gain knowledge throughout their existence and to affiliate with competence side by side.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Midwifery: Guidance during a Third Stage Physiological Delivery
This is stated due to the fact that in order to promote a healthy and positive outcome for pregnant women, midwives have a clear directive in public health to guarantee that health safety standards are up to par with the publics' best interest in mind. This could be centered on ensuring safe drinking water is available, to empowering the community so that they won't be isolated from proper clinical treatment.
12 pages (3000 words) Essay
Midwifery
Contemporary midwives, aside from providing care to women and children before and after delivery, are tasked on calling the attention of obstetricians in cases of complications. The criticality of their functions has called for the regulation of the field, transforming midwifery into a profession (What is a Midwife 2006).
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Midwifery Essay
In Sweden, Finland, and Norway, midwives are authorized to use obstetric forceps under certain conditions while in some countries they were forbidden to perform a repair of the perineum or episiotomy and even to administer pain-relieving drugs. Most traditional midwives are simply attendants and do very little to interfere with the birth process unless complications arise.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Research Paper for Master of Midwifery Details to follow
enefits to the human race are seen mostly in the medical field where the identification of important gene sequences have led to a plethora of genetic tests that are meant to detect the presence and understand the pathology of disease, its mechanisms, prevention and cure. Coupled
12 pages (3000 words) Essay
Primary Source Annotation Assignment about women history in USA
This paper analyzes women history in the USA as depicted by Samuel Gregory in Man-Midwifery Exposed and Corrected. Gregory depicts the female gender as the only sex allowed to perform obstetric art. He argues that this is an
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Midwifery
Where specified, there is implementation of changes by service level, a team or an individual. Further monitoring is applied in the confirmation of an improved health delivery
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation