Midwifery and the Medicalization of Childbirth: Comparative Perspectives

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Nova Publishers, 2004 - Medical - 393 pages
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This book provides an introduction to the sociological study of midwifery. The readings have been selected to highlight the interplay between midwifery and medicine, reflecting the medicalisation of childbirth. It highlights the major themes in both a historical and a current context, as well as western and non-western societies. Two major themes underlie the organisation of this book: that the conception of midwifery must be broadened to encompass a sociological perspective; and that the ongoing trend toward the medicalisation of midwifery is crucial to an understanding of the historical, current, and future status of midwifery. By medicalisation of childbirth and midwifery the author mean the increasing tendency for women to prefer a hospital delivery to a home delivery, the increasing trend toward the use of technology and clinical intervention in childbirth, and the determination of medical practitioners to confine the role played by midwives in pregnancy and childbirth, if any, to a purely subordinate one.
 

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Contents

Comparative Perspectives
3
Sociological Factors Affecting the Medicalization of Midwifery
7
Introduction
45
Midwives and Maternity Care in the Roman World
55
A Case Study
65
Louyse Bourgeois and the Emergence of Modern Midwifery
77
Is Childbirth any Place for a Woman? The Decline of Midwifery in EighteenthCentury England
91
A Fifteenth Century Witchcraft Case
99
A Baby is Born in Merchang
237
A Descriptive Study of the Changing Roles and Practices of Traditional Birth Attendants in Zimbabwe
247
The Traditional Midwife of Yemen?
261
The Social Organization of Childbearing
267
An Alternative to Unattended Delivery A Training Programme for Village Midwives in Papua New Guinea
281
Introduction
289
Our Relationships with Medicine Nursing LayMidwives Consumers and Health Care Economists
303
The Trap of Legal Recognition
311

The Decline of the Midwife
103
The Different Stages of the Elimination of Midwives in Quebec
119
Midwifery Regulation Education and Practice in the Netherlands during the Nineteenth Century
129
The Midwife in Contemporary Industrialised Society
147
Denmark Sweden and the Netherlands
157
Maternity Home Care Assistants in the Netherlands
165
The Role and Responsibilities of the Midwife in Scotland
175
The Domino Delivery Scheme in Somerset Allows Community Midwives to use their Midwifery Skills to the full
181
Changing Childbirth? The British Midwifes Role in Research and Innovation
185
Autonomous Midwifery at the Margins
197
The Cultural Experience of Birth
207
A Cross Cultural Perspective
217
A Guatemalan Study
223
Who Cares for Women? Science versus Love in Midwifery Today
321
Elimination of the Midwife
331
The European Midwife
339
Interview with Professor GerritJan Kloosterman
343
Six Lessons for Midwives
349
Changing Midwifery towards a Sociological Perspective
355
The Future of Midwifery
367
Which Way Forward?
373
Profession with a Future
375
Proposals for the Future of the Maternity Services
377
A Personal View
387
Index
391
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Page 17 - On the other hand, the activity is not predominantly intellectual in character and the responsibility is not original or primary. The physician thinks, decides, and orders; the pharmacist obeys — obeys, of course, with discretion, intelligence, and skill — yet in the end obeys and does not originate. Pharmacy, therefore, is an arm added to the medical profession, a special and distinctly higher form of handicraft, not a profession.

About the author (2004)

Van Teijlingen is a Dutch sociologist based at the University of Aberdeen.

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