The midwife: medical professional, friend in a woman's greatest hour of need, potent social and cultural symbol. Though the role of midwife has existed since time immemorial, it is only since the Victorian era that it has been a recognized and regulated profession. This book, from social history expert Susan Cohen, looks at midwifery in Britain from ancient times up to the present, paying particular attention to its incredible medical and social advances of the last 150 years. It is a fully illustrated tour that takes in fictional midwives such as Dickens' Sarey Gamp, the founding of the Royal College of Midwives in 1881, the Second World War, the forming of the NHS and the Central Midwives Board, and looks at the increasing medicalization of childbirth and the countervailing trend for giving birth at home.
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Susan Cohen is an historian with a wide interest in twentieth-century British social history and refugee studies. She has written and lectured widely on a variety of subjects and authored The District Nurse and The Women's Institute for the Shire Library series.
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