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Death in ChildbirthAn International Study of Maternal Care and Maternal Mortality 1800-1950$
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Irvine Loudon

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198229971

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198229971.001.0001

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The American Midwife

The American Midwife

(p.298) 18 The American Midwife
Death in Childbirth

Irvine Loudon

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the history of American midwives during the early 20th century. American midwives were so diverse socially and professionally that they are difficult to define and impossible to quantify for the country as a whole. During the early 1900s, there were four different types of midwives in the US They were the immigrant midwives, the rural ‘neighbour-midwives’, black midwives of the southern states, and the fully trained midwives. They provided 50 percent of total deliveries in 1900, but in 1935 this figured dropped to 12.5 percent. The decline in the number of midwives was most marked in the north and west and by 1930 more than 80 percent of the midwives were confined to the southern states.

Keywords:   midwives, U.S, home birth, obstetrics, southern states

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