A pregnant person receives an ultrasound examination from a midwife sonographer
|Midwifery, obstetrics, newborn care, women's health, reproductive health|
|Competencies||Knowledge, professional behaviour and specific skills in family planning, pregnancy, labour, birth, postpartum period, newborn care, women's health, reproductive health, and social, epidemiologic and cultural context of midwifery|
|hospitals, clinics, health units, maternity units, birth centers, private practices, home births, community, etc|
|obstetrician, gynecologist, pediatrician|
A midwife is a professional in midwifery. A midwife traditionally is not a physician or doctor and is not required to have the medical education—such as medical school and residency—that is necessary to become a physician or doctor. Rather, education and training for a midwife equips them to recognise the variations of normal progress of labor, and understand how to deal with deviations from normal, they may intervene in high risk situations such as breech births, twin births and births where the baby is in a posterior position, using non-invasive techniques. When a pregnant person requires care beyond the midwife's scope of practice, they refer people to obstetricians or perinatologists, who are medical specialists in complications related to pregnancy and birth, including surgical and instrumental deliveries. In many parts of the world, these professions work in tandem to provide care to childbearing women. In others, only the midwife is available to provide care, and in yet other countries many pregnant people elect to utilize obstetricians primarily over midwives.
Many developing countries are investing money and training for midwives, sometimes by upskilling those people already practising as traditional birth attendants; some primary care services are currently lacking due to the shortage of money being funded for these resources.
- 1 Definition and etymology
- 2 Scope of practice
- 3 Education, training, regulation and practice
- 4 Men in midwifery
- 5 History
- 6 Notable European midwives
- 7 Midwives in culture
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Definition and etymology
According to the definition of the International Confederation of Midwives, which has also been adopted by the World Health Organization and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics:
A midwife is a person who has successfully completed a midwifery education programme that is recognised in the country where it is located and that is based on the ICM Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice and the framework of the ICM Global Standards for Midwifery Education; who has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery and use the title ‘midwife’; and who demonstrates competency in the practice of midwifery.
The word derives from Old English mid, "with" and wif, "woman", and thus originally meant "with-woman", that is, the person who is with the mother (woman) at childbirth, by traditionally being women those who are pregnant; the word is used to refer to midwives regardless of gender.
Scope of practice
The midwife is recognised as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with pregnant people to give the necessary support during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, they also provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventative measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures.
The midwife has an important task in health counselling and education, not only for the person pregnant, but also within the family and the community; this work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to pregnant's health, sexual or reproductive health and child care.
A midwife may practise in any setting including the home, community, hospitals, clinics or health units.
Education, training, regulation and practice
Education, training and regulation
The undergraduate midwifery programs are three-year full-time university programs leading to a bachelor's degree in midwifery (Bachelor of Midwifery) with additional one-year full-time programs leading to an honours bachelor's degree in midwifery (Bachelor of Midwifery (Honours)); the postgraduate midwifery programs (for registered midwives) lead to master's degrees in midwifery (Master in Midwifery, Master in Midwifery (Research), MSc Midwifery). There are also postgraduate midwifery programs (for registered nurses who wish to become midwives) leading to a bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification in midwifery (Bachelor of Midwifery, Graduate Diploma in Midwifery).
Midwives in Australia must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency in order to practice midwifery and use the title 'midwife' or 'registered midwife'.
Midwives work in a number of settings including hospitals, birthing centres, community centres and pregnant people's homes, they may be employed by health services or organisations, or self-employed as privately practising midwives. All midwives are expected to work within a defined scope of practice and conform to ongoing regulatory requirements that ensure they are safe and autonomous practitioners.
- Australian College of Midwives (ACM).
Midwifery was reintroduced as a regulated profession in most of Canada's ten provinces in the 1990s. Prior to this legalization, some midwives had practiced in a legal "grey area" in some provinces. In 1981, a midwife in British Columbia was charged with practicing without a medical license.
After several decades of intensive political lobbying by midwives and consumers, fully integrated, regulated and publicly funded midwifery is now part of the health system in the provinces of British Columbia (regulated since 1995), Alberta (regulated since 2000, fully funded since 2009) Saskatchewan (regulated since 1999), Manitoba (regulated since 1997), Ontario (regulated since 1991), Quebec (regulated since 1999), and Nova Scotia (regulated since 2006), and in the Northwest Territories (regulated since 2003) and Nunavut(regulated since 2008). In 2010, Midwifery legislation was proclaimed in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. Only Prince Edward Island and Yukon have no legislation in place for the practice of midwifery.
Education, training and regulation
In British Columbia, the program is offered at the University of British Columbia. Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta offers a Bachelor of Midwifery program. In Ontario, the Midwifery Education Program (MEP) is offered by a consortium of McMaster University, Ryerson University and Laurentian University. In Manitoba the program is offered by University College of the North. In Quebec, the program is offered at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. In northern Quebec and Nunavut, Inuit pregnant people are being educated to be midwives in their own communities.
There are also "bridging programs" for internationally educated midwives at Ryerson University in Ontario and at the University of British Columbia. A federally funded pilot project called the Multi-jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Program has been offered in Western Canada in the past, but funding was discontinued when they expanded their midwifery program. A new program was reinstated through the University of British Columbia in 2016 called the Internationally Educated Midwives Bridging Program IEMBP.
Midwives in Canada must be registered, after a process of assessment by the provincial regulatory bodies, in order to practice midwifery and use the title 'midwife', 'registered midwife' or, the French-language equivalent, 'sage femme'.
From the original 'alternative' style of midwifery in the 1960s and 1970s, midwifery practice is offered in a variety of ways within regulated provinces: midwives offer continuity of care within small group practices, choice of birthplace, and a focus on the pregnant person as the primary decision-maker in her maternity care; when pregnant people or their newborns experience complications, midwives will work in consultation with an appropriate specialist. Registered midwives have access to appropriate diagnostics like blood tests and ultrasounds and can prescribe some medications. Founding principles of the Canadian model of midwifery include informed choice, choice of birthplace, continuity of care from a small group of midwives and respect for the pregnant person as the primary decision maker. Midwives typically have hospital privileges and support the person's right to choose where they will have their baby.
The legal recognition of midwifery has brought midwives into the mainstream of health care with universal funding for services, hospital privileges, rights to prescribe medications commonly needed during pregnancy, birth and postpartum, and rights to order blood work and ultrasounds for their own clients and full consultation access to physicians. To protect the tenets of midwifery and support midwives to provide patient-centered care, the regulatory bodies and professional associations have legislation and standards in place to provide protection, particularly for choice of birth place, informed choice and continuity of care. All regulated midwives have malpractice insurance. Any unregulated person who provides care with 'restricted acts' in regulated provinces or territories is practicing midwifery without a license and is subject to investigation and prosecution.
Prior to legislative changes, very few Canadian people had access to midwifery care, in part because it was not funded by the health care system. Legalizing midwifery has made midwifery services available to a wide and diverse population of people and in many communities the number of available midwives does not meet the growing demand for services. Midwifery services are free to people living in provinces and territories with regulated midwifery.
- Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM).
On 16 March 1995, the BC government announced the approval of regulations governing midwifery and establishing the College of Midwives of BC. In 1996, the Health Professional Council released a draft of Bylaws for the College of Midwives of BC which received Cabinet approval on 13 April 1997. In 1998, midwives were officially registered with the College of Midwives of BC.
In BC, midwives are primary care providers for people in all stages of pregnancy, from prenatal to six weeks postpartum. Midwives also care for newborns. To see the approximate proportion of people whose primary birth attendant was a midwife in British Columbia see, "What Mothers Say: The Canadian Maternity Experiences Survey. Public Health Agency of Canada. Ottawa, 2009, p. 115.
Midwives in BC can deliver natural births in hospitals or homes. If a complication arises in a pregnancy, labour, birth or postpartum, a midwife will consult with a specialist such as an obstetrician or paediatrician. Core competencies and restricted activities are included in the BC Health Professions Act Midwives Regulation; as of April 2009, the scope of practice for midwives allows them to prescribe certain prescription drugs, use acupuncture for pain relief, assist a surgeon in a caesarean section delivery and to perform a vacuum extraction delivery. These specialized practices require additional education and certification.
As of November 2015, the College of Midwives of British Columbia reported 247 General, 2 Temporary, 46 Non-practicing Registrant midwives. There were 2 midwives per 100,000 people in BC in 2006.
A midwife must be registered with the College of Midwives of BC in order to practice. To continue licensure midwives must maintain regular recertification in neonatal resuscitation and management of maternal emergencies, maintain the minimum volume of clinical care (40 people), participate in peer case reviews and continuing education activities.
The University of British Columbia (UBC) has a four-year Bachelor of Midwifery program; the UBC midwifery program is poised to double in size thanks to an increase in government funding. Graduation of students will increase to 20 per year.
Education, training and regulation
The undergraduate midwifery programs are five-year full-time university programs (four years in midwifery schools after a first year of medical studies common with Medicine, Odontology and Pharmacy) leading to an accredited master's degree in midwifery (Diplôme d'Etat de Sage-Femme).
Midwives in France must be registered with the Ordre des sages-femmes in order to practice midwifery and use the title 'sage-femme'.
Midwives (sage-femmes "wise pregnant people" or maïeuticien/maïeuticienne) are independent practitioners, specialists in birth and pregnant people's medicine.
- L'Ordre des Sages-Femmes, Conseil National.
- Collège National des Sages-Femmes de France (CNSF).
- Société Française de Maïeutique (SFMa).
Education, training and regulation
The undergraduate midwifery programs are four-year full-time university programs, with an internship in the final year, leading to an honours bachelor's degree in midwifery (BSc (Hons) Midwifery); the postgraduate midwifery programs (for registered midwives) lead to master's degrees in midwifery (MSc Midwifery, MSc Midwifery Practice). There are also postgraduate midwifery programs (for registered general nurses who wish to become midwives) leading to a qualification in midwifery (Higher Diploma in Midwifery).
Midwives must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) in order to practice midwifery and use the title 'midwife' or 'registered midwife'.
Education, training and regulation
Midwifery was first regulated in 1868. Today midwives in Japan are regulated under the Act on Public Health Nurse, Midwife and Nurse (No. 203) established in 1948. Japanese midwives must pass a national certification exam. On 1 March 2003 the Japanese name of midwife officially converted to a gender neutral name. Still, only pregnant people can take the national exam to be midwives.
- Japanese Midwives Association (JMA).
- Japan Academy of Midwifery (JAM).
- Japanese Nursing Association (JNA), Midwives' Division.
When a 16-year civil war ended in 1992, Mozambique's health care system was devastated and one in ten pregnant people were dying in childbirth. There were only 18 obstetricians for a population of 19 million. In 2004, Mozambique introduced a new health care initiative to train midwives in emergency obstetric care in an attempt to guarantee access to quality medical care during pregnancy and childbirth; the newly introduced midwives system now perform major surgeries including Cesareans and hysterectomies.
Education, training and regulation
The undergraduate midwifery programs are four-year full-time university programs leading to a bachelor's degree in midwifery (HBO-bachelor Verloskunde). There are four colleges for midwifery in the Netherlands: in Amsterdam, Groningen, Rotterdam and Maastricht. Midwives are called vroedvrouw (knowledge woman), vroedmeester (knowledge master, male), or verloskundige (deliverance experts) in Dutch.
Midwives are independent specialists in physiologic birth. In the Netherlands, home birth is still a common practice, although rates have been declining during the past decades. Between 2005-2008, 29% of babies were delivered at home; this figure fell to 23% delivered at home between 2007-2010 according to Midwifery in the Netherlands, a 2012 pamphlet by The Royal Dutch Organization for Midwives. In 2014 it has dropped further to 13.4%. perined.nl/jaarboek2104.pdf.
Midwives are generally organized as private practices, some of those are hospital-based. In-hospital outpatient childbirth is available in most hospitals. In this case, a woman's own midwife delivers the baby at the delivery room of a hospital, without intervention of an obstetrician. In all settings, midwives will transfer care to an obstetrician in case of a complicated childbirth or need for emergency intervention.
Apart from childbirth and immediate postpartum care, midwives are the first line of care in pregnancy control and education of mothers-to-be. Typical information that is given to mothers includes information about food, alcohol, life style, travel, hobbies, sex, etc; some midwifery practices give additional care in the form of preconceptional care and help with fertility problems.
All care by midwives is legal and it is totally reimbursed by all insurance companies; this includes prenatal care, childbirth (by midwives or obstetricians, at home or in the hospital), as well as postpartum/postnatal care for mother and baby at home.
- Royal Dutch Organisation of Midwives | Koninklijke Nederlandse Organisatie van Verloskundigen (KNOV).
Midwifery is a regulated profession with no connection to Nursing. Midwifery is a profession with a distinct body of knowledge and its own scope of practice, code of ethics and standards of practice; the midwifery profession has knowledge, skills and abilities to provide a primary complete maternity service to childbearing people on its own responsibility.
Education, training and regulation
The undergraduate midwifery programmes are three-year full-time (three trimesters per year) tertiary programmes leading to a bachelor's degree in midwifery (Bachelor of Midwifery or Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery)); these programmes are offered by Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin, Ara Institute of Canterbury (formally CPIT) in Christchurch, Waikato Institute of Technology in Hamilton and Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in Auckland. Several schools have satellite programmes such as Otago with a programme in Southland, Wanaka, Wellington, Palmerston North, Wanganui, and Wairarapa - and AUT with student cohorts in various sites in the upper North Island; the postgraduate midwifery programmes (for registered midwives) lead to postgraduate degrees or equivalent qualifications in midwifery (Postgraduate Certificate in Midwifery, Postgraduate Diploma in Midwifery, Master of Midwifery, PhD Professional Doctorate).
The Midwifery First Year of Practice Programme (MFYP) is a compulsory national programme for all New Zealand registered midwifery graduates, irrespective of work setting; the New Zealand College of Midwives (the NZCOM) is contracted by the funder, Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ), to provide the programme nationally in accordance with the programme specification.
Midwives in New Zealand must be registered with the Midwifery Council of New Zealand in order to practice midwifery and use the title 'midwife'.
People may choose a midwife, a General Practitioner or an Obstetrician to provide their maternity care. About 78 percent choose a midwife (8 percent GP, 8 percent Obstetrician, 6 percent unknown). Midwives provide maternity care from early pregnancy to 6 weeks postpartum; the midwifery scope of practise covers normal pregnancy and birth. The midwife will either consult or transfer care where there is a departure from a normal pregnancy. Antenatal care is normally provided in clinics, and postnatal care is initially provided in the woman's home. Birth can be in the home, a primary birthing unit, or a hospital. Midwifery care is fully funded by the Government. (GP care may be fully funded. Private obstetric care will incur a fee in addition to the government funding.)
- New Zealand College of Midwives.
Increase in midwifery education has led to advances in impoverished countries. In Somalia, 1 in 14 people die while giving birth. Senior reproductive and maternal health adviser at UNFPA, Achu Lordfred claims, “the severe shortage of skilled health personnel with obstetric and midwifery skills means the most have their babies delivered by traditional birth attendants. But, when complications arise, these people either die or develop debilitating conditions, such as obstetric fistula, or lose their babies.” UNFPA is striving to change these odds by opening seven midwifery schools and training 125 midwives so far.
Education, training and regulation
Training includes aspects of midwifery, general nursing, community nursing and psychiatry, and can be achieved as either a four-year degree or a four-year diploma.
- Advanced Diploma in Midwifery: Holders of this qualification are eligible to register with the SANC as midwives. Assessments are conducted in line with the assessment policy of the Regulations Relating to the Accreditation of Institutions as Nursing Education Institutions (NEI); this qualification allows international employability.
- Postgraduate Diploma in Midwifery: The Postgraduate Diploma articulates with a master's degree in Nursing at NQF level 9. This qualification allows international employability.
- Bachelor's Degree in Nursing and Midwifery: Holders of this qualification are eligible for registration with the SANC as a Professional Nurse and Midwife. This qualification allows international employability.
The midwifery profession is regulated under the Nursing Act, Act No 3 of 2005; the South African Nursing Council (SANC) is the regulatory body of midwifery in South Africa.
- The Society of Midwives of South Africa (SOMSA).
Education, training and regulation
There are different levels of education for midwives:
- Certificate in Midwifery
- Diploma in Midwifery
- Advanced Diploma in Midwifery
- Bachelor of Science in Midfwifery (BScM)
- Master of Science in Midwifery (MScM)
Midwives must be licensed by the Tanzania Nursing and Midwifery Council (TNMC) in order to practice as a 'registered midwife' or 'enrolled midwife'. TNMC ensure the quality midwifery education output, develop and reviews various guidelines and standards on midwifery professionals and monitor their implementation, monitor and evaluate midwifery education programs and approve such programs to meet the Council and international requirements; also it establish standards of proficiencies for midwifery education.
- Tanzania Midwives Association (TAMA).
Education, training and regulation
The undergraduate midwifery programs are three-year full-time university programs leading to honours bachelor's degrees in midwifery: BSc (Hons) Midwifery, Bachelor of Midwifery (Hons); the postgraduate midwifery programs (for registered midwives) lead to master's degrees in midwifery (MSc Midwifery, MSc Advanced Practice Midwifery). There are also undergraduate and postgraduate midwifery programs (for graduates with a relevant degree who wish to become midwives) leading to degrees or equivalent qualifications in midwifery (BSc (Hons) Midwifery, Bachelor of Midwifery (Hons), Graduate Diploma in Midwifery, Postgraduate Diploma in Midwifery, MSc Midwifery). Midwifery training consists of classroom-based learning provided by select universities in conjunction with hospital- and community-based training placements at NHS Trusts.
Midwifery students do not pay tuition fees and are eligible for additional financial support while training. Funding varies depending on which country within the UK the student is located in: students are eligible for NHS bursaries in addition to a grant of 1,000 pounds a year, and neither has to be repaid. Shortened-course students, who are already registered adult nurses, have different funding arrangements, are employed by the local NHS Trust via the Strategic Health Authority (SHA), and are paid salaries; this varies between universities and SHAs, with some students being paid their pre-training salaries, while others are employed as a Band 5 and still others are paid a proportion of a Band 5 salary.
Midwives must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in order to practice midwifery and use the title 'midwife' or 'registered midwife', and must also have a Supervisor of Midwives through their local supervising authority.
Midwives are practitioners in their own right in the United Kingdom, they take responsibility for the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care of pregnant people up until 28 days after the birth, or as required thereafter. Midwives are the lead health care professional attending the majority of births, whether at home, in a midwife-led unit or in a hospital (although most births in the UK occur in hospitals).
In December 2014 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence updated its guidance regarding where people should give birth; the new guidance states that midwife-led units are safer than hospitals for people having straightforward (low risk) pregnancies. Its updated guidance also confirms that home birth is as safe as birth in a midwife-led unit or a traditional labour ward for the babies of low-risk pregnant people who have already had at least one child previously.
Many midwives also work in the community; the role of community midwives includes making initial appointments with pregnant people, managing clinics, undertaking postnatal care in the home and attending home births. A community midwife typically has a pager, is responsible for a particular area and can be contacted by ambulance control when needed. Sometimes they are paged to help out in a hospital when there are insufficient midwives available.
Most midwives work within the National Health Service, providing both hospital and community care, but a significant proportion work independently, providing total care for their clients within a community setting. However, recent government proposals to require insurance for all health professionals is threatening independent midwifery in England.
Midwives are at all times responsible for the people they are caring for, they must know when to refer complications to medical staff, act as the pregnant people's advocate, and ensure that mothers retain choice and control over childbirth.
- Royal College of Midwives (RCM).
- Independent Midwives UK (IMUK).
- Association of Radical Midwives (ARM).
Education, training and regulation
- Midwifery programs, accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC), leading to the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential, certified by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), that is at the level of a degree in midwifery (AS Midwifery, BSc Midwifery, MSc Midwifery). Completion of a Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP) or a state licensure program are considered. CPMs have to apply for recertification every three years.
- Midwifery programs (for graduates with a relevant degree who wish to become midwives), accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), leading to the Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and Certified Midwife (CM) credentials, certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), that are at the level of a bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification in midwifery (BSc Midwifery). CNMs and CMs have to apply for recertification every five years.
According to each US state, a midwife must be licensed and/or authorized to practice midwifery.
Midwives work with pregnant people and their families in many settings, they generally support and encourage natural childbirth in all practice settings. Laws regarding who can practice midwifery and in what circumstances vary from state to state. Many states have birthing centers where a midwife may work individually or as a group, which provides additional clinical opportunities for student midwives.
CPMs provide on-going care throughout pregnancy and continuous, hands-on care during labor, birth and the immediate postpartum period, they practice as autonomous health professionals working in a network of relationships with other maternity care professionals who can provide consultation and collaboration when needed. Although qualified to practice in any setting, they have particular expertise in providing care in homes and free-standing birth centers, and own or work in over half of the birth centers in the U.S. today.
CNMs and CMs work in a variety of settings including private practices, hospitals, birth centers, health clinics, and home birth services, they supervise not only pregnancy, delivery and postpartum period care for those who were pregnant and their newborns, but also provide gynecological care for all people who need it and have autonomy and prescriptive authority in most states. They manage biological female's healthcare from puberty through post-menopause. With appropriate training, they can also first assist in cesarean (operative) deliveries and perform limited ultrasound examinations, it is possible for CNMs/CMs practice independently of physicians, establishing themselves as health care providers in the community of their choice.
- Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA).
- National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM).
- American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).
Men in midwifery
Men rarely practice midwifery for cultural and historical reasons. In ancient Greece, midwives were required by law to have given birth themselves, which prevented men from joining their ranks. In 17th century Europe, some barber surgeons, all of whom were male, specialized in births, especially births requiring the use of surgical instruments; this eventually developed into a professional split, with women serving as midwives and men becoming obstetricians. Men who work as midwives are called midwives (or male midwives, if it is necessary to identify them further) or accoucheurs; the term midhusband (based on a misunderstanding of the etymology of midwife) is occasionally encountered, mostly as a joke. In previous centuries, they were called man-midwives in English.
William Smellie is credited with innovations on the shape of forceps; this invention corresponds with the development towards obstetrics. He advised male midwives to wear dresses in order to reduce controversy over having a man present at birth.
As of the 21st century, most developed countries allow men to train as midwives. However, it remains very rare. In the United Kingdom, even after the passing of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Royal College of Midwives barred men from the profession until 1983; as of March 2016, there were between 113 and 137 registered male midwives, representing 0.6% of all practising midwives in the UK.
In the US, there remain a small, stable or minimally declining number of male midwives with full scope training (CNMs/CMs), comprising approximately 1% of the membership of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
In some Southeast Asian cultures, some or even most of the traditional midwives are men.
To become a midwife in Ming China, a person must be not only have been familiar with the female body and the process of childbirth, but would also have to be female; the sexual limitation in midwifery was absolutely strict due to sex segregation. Segregation of sexes was popular during the Ming dynasty, which differentiated males and females significantly, it means males are not allowed to see or touch a female's body directly. In this situation, male physicians played only a little role in the childbirth process, they were usually responsible for only antenatal examinations and body check-ups before and after the baby was born, while they would never participate in any procedures that occurred in the delivery room. The skill set in midwifery was also different from medicine. Pregnant female bodies were not fully adaptive with a general medical approach.
Path to Occupation
Females who wanted to be a midwife could only learn the skill from experts because there was no literature about midwifery. However, to serve in the Forbidden City as a midwife was much more challenging. Applicants must apply through the Lodge of Ritual and Ceremony (“Lodge”) (Li-I fang), which was also called the Bureau of Nursing Children (Nai-tzu fu); this institution was located near the Forbidden City in the Central Borough. It took all responsibilities on interviewing, hiring, training and arranging female healers (including midwives) who worked in the palace. After candidates were selected, they were also required to register with the Lodge in order to work in the Forbidden City.
A midwife's responsibilities were not only limited to childbirths, but also criminal investigations, especially those which involved females, they also constantly acted as consultants in investigations in rape cases and determination on female's virginity because they were the top specialists in sexual medicine in the society. Furthermore, midwives would sometimes be assigned to inspect female healers who were selected by the Lodge to make sure they are healthy.
Benefit of Registration
While registration was not required for a midwife who worked outside the palace, it was always better to have one; the Lodge was the only authority to select female healers for the palace. A midwife's registration with the Lodge did not only give them permission to work in the palace, but also represented that they are on the top among other midwives. Pregnant people outside the palace therefore would have been more likely to pay more to hire “palace midwifes” than “folk midwifes”.
The dirty work of midwives were exactly what they did during the process of childbirth, which included but not limited to cleaning the byproducts from abortions, miscarriages and stillbirths; such work was considered “pollution” during the Ming dynasty. Nobody wanted to stay in the same room with the mother during childbirth- not even her husband and female relatives.
Infanticide, particularly of newborn baby girls, was part of family planning in Ming times. Midwives and their knowledge of infanticide played important roles in this custom; when a baby was born, the midwife will conduct an inspection and determine the baby's gender. If it was a female infant, the midwife would ask the infant's mother if she would like to keep it or not. If the answer is “No”, the midwife would use her professional knowledge to kill the baby in the simplest and most silent way and then ask for payment. Even if the decision was not made by the midwife, she had to kill the baby because she was the only one who had ability to do so in the delivery room. Moreover, they were also considered as “merchants” of body parts, they were also responsible for disposing waste from the process of childbirth, which consisted of body parts from the placenta. Therefore, they can easily sell them to others secretly to earn additional income.
The dirty work and knowledge mentioned above had a negative impact on the public attitude toward midwives; some writers then described the midwife as a second or vicious character in their stories due to a midwife's guilty knowledge. Midwives were also labeled as one of “six grannies”; this term was originally established by scholars and officials. Over time, male physicians also blamed midwifes for the same reason. Although midwifes dominated the field and had extensive experience in childbirth, they didn't have equivalent participation on elite medical literature. Oppositely, elite medical literature are dominated by male physicians, although who contributed much less in childbirth process. Elders and male physicians also disparaged midwives' knowledge about the female body and the process of childbirth. Male physicians even established a boundary between their learned pharmaceutical knowledge as opposite to the midwife's manual manipulations, they did not consider midwives as professionals that required expertise because their skill was not learned from scholarly literature. They believed the midwife's existence was due to gender segregation, and it limited the male physician's role in childbirth.
Notable European midwives
Midwives in culture
The Midwife  (Sage femme) is a French film, written and directed by Martin Prevost in 2017, starring Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot.
- "International Definition of the Midwife". International Confederation of Midwives. Archived from the original on 22 September 2017. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in:
- "Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice". International Confederation of Midwives (ICM). Archived from the original on 8 October 2017. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in:
- Epstein, Abby (9 January 2008). "The Business of Being Born (film)". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- Carson, A (May–June 2016). "Midwifery around the World: A study in the role of midwives in local communities and healthcare systems". annals of global health. Elsevier Inc. 82: 381. doi:10.1016/j.aogh.2016.04.617.
- "Global Standards for Basic Midwifery Education". International Confederation of Midwives (ICM). Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in:
- "midwife". The Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in:
- "Midwife: Word History". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 2015. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015.
- Harper, Douglas. "midwife". The Online Etymological Dictionary. Archived from the original on 15 September 2017. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in:
- "Midwives Associations Worldwide". International Confederation of Midwives. Archived from the original on 13 January 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- "Approved Programs of Study". Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015.
- "Becoming a Midwife". Midwives Australia. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016.
- "Australian College of Midwives (ACM)". Archived from the original on 29 October 2008.
- Schroff, F. (1997). The New Midwifery. Toronto: Women's Press. ISBN 0-88961-224-2.
- Midwifery in Saskatchewan, Midwives Association of Saskatchewan
- Midwifery in Canada, Law Now
- "Midwifery Education in Canada". Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM). Archived from the original on 21 November 2015.
- "Home - Midwifery Program". www.midwifery.ubc.ca. Archived from the original on 7 March 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- "midwiferybridging.ca". midwiferybridging.ca. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM)". Archived from the original on 9 November 2015.
- "cmbc.bc.ca". cmbc.bc.ca. 1 January 1998. Archived from the original on 17 September 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Register of Current & Former Registrants". College of Midwives of British Columbia. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
- Canadian Institute for Health Information document titled, Number of Health Personnel in Selected Professions by Registration Status, 2006. This data has the following proviso, "Due to the variation in regulatory requirements, interprofessional comparison should be interpreted with caution."
- "Home - Midwifery Program". www.midwifery.ubc.ca. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- "bcmidwives.com". bcmidwives.com. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "La formation initiale". Ordre des sages-femmes. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015.
- "Ordre des sages-femmes". Archived from the original on 15 May 2016.
- "L'Ordre des Sages-Femmes, Conseil National". Archived from the original on 15 May 2016.
- "Collège National des Sages-Femmes de France (CNSF)". Archived from the original on 17 November 2015.
- "Pre-Registration Programmes". The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). Archived from the original on 22 November 2015.
- "Japanese Midwives Association" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 1 October 2015.
- "Japanese Midwives Association (JMA)". Archived from the original on 1 October 2015.
- "Japan Academy of Midwifery (JAM)". Archived from the original on 19 September 2015.
- "Japanese Nursing Association (JNA), Midwives' Division". Archived from the original on 17 November 2015.
- "Birth of a Surgeon ~ Introduction | Wide Angle | PBS". 12 July 2011. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014.
- "Midwifery in the Netherlands". The Royal Dutch Organisation of Midwives (KNOV):.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- "Fewer women give birth at home". CVZ, Central Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015.
- "Midwifery in the Netherlands" (PDF). (KNOV). Retrieved 2012. Check date values in:
- "Obstetric Practice in the City of Groningen" (in Dutch).
- "Preconceptional care" (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 13 November 2013.
- "Having a baby in the Netherlands". Archived from the original on 10 October 2010.
- "Care package". CVZ, College for Healthcare Insurances.
- verloskundigen, de KNOV, de beroepsorganisatie van en voor. "KNOV - Koninklijke Nederlandse Organisatie van Verloskundigen". KNOV.
- "Where to Start... Becoming a Midwife". New Zealand College of Midwives. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015.
- "New Zealand College of Midwives". Archived from the original on 1 October 2015.
- "The Midwifery First Year of Practice Programme". New Zealand College of Midwives. Archived from the original on 28 January 2018. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in:
- New Zealand Health Information Service: "Report on Maternity - Maternal and Newborn Information 2003."
- "WHO | Midwives at heart of Somalia's new reproductive health strategy". www.who.int. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
- "WHO | More midwives needed to improve maternal and newborn survival". www.who.int. Archived from the original on 10 November 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- http://www.sanc.co.za Archived 24 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine 5 June 2017.
- "The Society of Midwives of South Africa (SOMSA)". Archived from the original on 22 September 2017.
- "Scope of Practice for Nurses and Midwives in Tanzania" (PDF). Tanzania Nursing and Midwifery Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 October 2017.
- "The Nursing and Midwifery Act, 2010" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 October 2017.
- "Tanzania Midwives Association (TAMA)". Archived from the original on 5 October 2017.
- "Becoming a midwife". The Nursing and Midwifery Council. Archived from the original on 18 November 2015.
- "Midwifery Universities in the UK". studentmidwife.net. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- "Student Finance, Loans and Universities - GOV.UK". Direct.gov.uk. 1 September 2012. Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "NICE confirms midwife-led care during labour is safest for women with straightforward pregnancies". nice.org.uk. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- "Care of Healthy Women and Their Babies During Childbirth". National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. December 2014. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Career Profile: Community Midwife - Royal College of Midwives". Rcm.org.uk. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Threat to Independent Midwifery". BBC News. 10 March 2007. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- [dead link]
- "Royal College of Midwives (RCM)". Archived from the original on 20 December 2015.
- "Independent Midwives UK (IMUK)". Archived from the original on 25 September 2014.
- "Association of Radical Midwives (ARM)". Archived from the original on 8 July 2010.
- "Comparison of professional midwifery credentials in the U.S." American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in:
- "Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC)". Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in:
- "The CPM Credential". National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM). Archived from the original on 23 December 2016. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in:
- "North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)". Archived from the original on 30 April 2014.
- "The Credentials CNM and CM". American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). Archived from the original on 10 November 2017. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in:
- "American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB)". Archived from the original on 17 November 2015.
- "Midwifery State-by-State Legal Status". Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA). Archived from the original on 21 May 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
- "Birth Center Regulations | American Association of Birth Centers". Birthcenters.org. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "CMP Scope of Practice". National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM). Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
- "Who are CPMs". National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM). Archived from the original on 20 February 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
- "Our Scope of Practice". www.midwife.org. Archived from the original on 29 October 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- "Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA)". Archived from the original on 28 September 2015.
- "National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM)". Archived from the original on 16 November 2015.
- "American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)". Archived from the original on 11 May 2012.
- Pilkenton, Deanna; Schorn, Mavis N (February 2008). "Midwifery: A career for men in nursing". Men In Nursing.
- "Midwifery: A Career for Men in Nursing". Men in Nursing Journal.
- "No job for a man? Meet the male midwives". Telegraph.co.uk. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
- Quantity of Midwives Registered with the NMC that are Male Archived 8 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine, whatdotheyknow.com
- "Core data survey" (PDF). www.midwife.org. 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 March 2017. Retrieved 19 March 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Gianno, Rosemary (2004). "'Women are not brave enough' Semelai male midwives in the context of Southeast Asian cultures". Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde. 160 (1): 31–71. doi:10.1163/22134379-90003734. JSTOR 27868101.
- Ropp, Paul S."Chinese Women in the Imperial Past: New Perspectives (review)." China Review International, vol. 9 no. 1, 2002, pp. 43.
- Furth, Charlotte. “Ming Women as Healing Experts”. A Flourishing Yin: Gender in China's Medical History, 960-1665. pp. 283
- Furth, Charlotte. “Ming Women as Healing Experts”. A Flourishing Yin: Gender in China's Medical History, 960-1665. pp. 278
- Cass, Victoria B. “Female Healers in the Ming and the Lodge of Ritual and Ceremony.” Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 106, no. 1, 1986, pp. 236.
- Furth, Charlotte. “Ming Women as Healing Experts”. A Flourishing Yin: Gender in China's Medical History, 960-1665. pp. 282
- Cass, Victoria B. “Female Healers in the Ming and the Lodge of Ritual and Ceremony.” Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 106, no. 1, 1986, pp. 239.
- Furth, Charlotte. “Ming Women as Healing Experts”. A Flourishing Yin: Gender in China's Medical History, 960-1665. pp. 281.
- Judge, Joan. "Chinese Women’s History: Global Circuits, Local meanings." Journal of Women's History, vol. 25 no. 4, 2013, pp. 233.
- WALTNER, ANN. “Infanticide and Dowry in Ming and Early Qing China.” Chinese Views of Childhood, edited by Anne Behnke Kinney, University of Hawai'i Press, 1995, pp. 201.
- Furth, Charlotte. “Ming Women as Healing Experts”. A Flourishing Yin: Gender in China's Medical History, 960-1665. pp. 269.
- Yuan-Ling Chao (2017) Medicine and the Law in Late Imperial China: Cases from the Xing'an Huilan (Conspectus of Penal Cases), The Chinese Historical Review, 24:1, pp. 73.
- Furth, Charlotte. “Ming Women as Healing Expert”. A Flourishing Yin: Gender in China's Medical History, 960-1665. pp. 278.
- "Midwives in Oprah's Book Club (Official)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
|Look up midwife in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|