Absent dutch midwifes in nineteenth century public debates

Absent dutch midwifes in nineteenth century public debates

Mrs Marga PruijtZoom

Mid nineteenth century several public debates on health care issues took place in the Netherlands. A complex systems of qualifications was put up for debate; medical training was in poor condition due to neglect; new scientific methods were introduced in medical science and statistics used to get insight in the health situation of the population leading to accentuation of high infant mortality. These debates took place in politics and public space (newspapers and journals). The voice of the midwive was absent in these debates. In this lecture I will adress the causes of this absence seen from the midwives viewpoint in occupational and societal position. From which social backgrounds were midwives recruited and what professional forming was offered? How was she seen by obstetrical docters and lawmakers? In which ways contributed the improvement of her professional training to eventually finding her voice in obstetrical health care issues? Due to a difference of the societal position of nurses who started to form their modern occupation from 1850 onwards, I will compare these issues in both health care professions.

Tilburg University, Netherlands
Fri 12:00 - 13:30
Maternity and Childbirth, Shame and Stigma
Standard paper