Choices in Childbirth: A Modern Midwife's Tale

in Bodies of Knowledge

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780226443058
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226443072 | DOI:
Choices in Childbirth: A Modern Midwife's Tale

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This chapter tells the story of Fran Ventre, a midwife who developed a special place in the modern midwifery movement because of her ability to bridge the divide between lay midwives and certified nurse-midwives. It explains that these two fields of midwifery had different origins and philosophy about birth, and argues that the philosophical divide between the movements may help explain why proponents of natural childbirth have not been entirely successful in demedicalizing the process or empowering mothers-to-be. Thus, childbirth choices have largely been reduced to requests for cesarean sections and epidurals.

Keywords: Fran Ventre; midwife; midwifery movement; lay-midwives; nurse-midwives; childbirth; cesarean sections; epidurals

Chapter.  12344 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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