Midwifery & the
Medical Profession

  Historical Perspectices Serices ..........1911 thru 1922

“Of the 3 professions---namely, the physician, the trained nurse and the midwife, there should be no attempt to perpetuate the last named (midwife), as a separate profession."

"The midwife should never be regarded as a practitioner, since her only legitimate functions are those of a nurse, plus the attendance on normal deliveries when necessary." [1915-A; EdgarMD p. 104] ^66

"CHEAPER NURSES: The trained nurse has been of invaluable aid in the development of modern methods of caring for the sick. Unfortunately, the compensation which she demands and deserves puts her beyond the means of those in very moderate circumstances... of the arguments for elevating the status of midwives is that they will serve as both doctor and nurse. 1911-B; WilliamsMD ^67

"It will be urged that the midwife, besides giving medical attendance, renders the needed service of the women in the home. Mr. Richard Bradley of Boston has reported the successful development in the past 3 years a Neighborhood Association for mutual help in sickness. In brief: a central office, a few capable trained nurses. Each trained nurse has under her a gang of 6 or 8 untrained women helpers, paid in proportion to their capabilities. The trained nurse places one of these women in each home and instructs and supervises her. Thus skilled labor is not wasted ... and unskilled labor is utilized with complete satisfaction and great economic benefit to the consumer. " [1911-D, p 216] ^68

"Supplant the midwife by extending comprehensive dispensary systems and by organized supply-women." [1911-D, p 217] ^69

"The doctor must be enabled to get his money from small fees received from a much larger number of patients cared for under time-saving and strength-conserving conditions; he must do his work at the minimum expense to himself, and he must not be asked to do any work for which he is not paid the stipulated fee. This means ... the doctors must be relieved of all work that can be done by others ---... nurses, social workers, and midwives." [1922-A; ZeilgerMD, p. 412] ^70

"The nurses should be trained to do all the antepartum and postpartum work, from both the doctors’ and nurses’ standpoint, with the doctors always available as consultants when things go wrong; and the midwives should be trained to do the work of the so called “practical nurses,” acting as assistants to the regular nurses and under their immediate direction and supervision, and to act as assistant-attendants upon women in labor---conducting the labor during the waiting period or until the doctor arrives, and assisting him during the delivery." [1922-A; ZeilgerMD] ^70

"In this plan the work of the doctors would be limited to the delivery of patients, to consultants with the nurses, and to the making of complete physical and obstetrical examinations ... Under this arrangements the doctors would have to work together in a cooperative association with an equitable distribution of the work and earnings." [1922-A; ZeilgerMD, p. 413] ^70
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