BOOKS AND RESOURCES ABOUT THE PROFESSION OF MIDWIFERY
There are many books and resources about the history and
profession of midwifery. The following are ones you might
find of interest:
American College of Nurse Midwives World Wide Web Page:
Arditti, Rita. Women as Objects: Science and Sexual
Politics. Science for the People, Sept. 1974.
Arms, Suzanne. Immaculate Deception. 1975. One of the
classics that helped change the practices of birthing in
Arms, Suzanne. Immaculate Deception II--A Fresh Look at
Childbirth. 1994. Discusses what the problems are with
childbirth today and discusses the wisdom of the natural
process of birth.
Armstrong, Penny, and Cheryl Feldman. A Midwife's Story.
1986. A nurse-midwife learns much about birth and life in
her work with the Amish in Pennsylvania.
Boston Women's Health Book Collective. The New Our
Bodies, Ourselves. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992.
Conrad, Peter and Kern, Rochelle, eds. The Sociology of
Health and Illness: Critical Perspectives. 2nd Ed. New
York: St. Martin's Press, 1986.
Courter, Gay. The Midwife. Houghton Mifflin Co. 1981. A
novel about the roots of midwifery from Prussia to the
Courter, Gay. The Midwife's Advice. Penguin. 1992.
Paperback 1994. A sequel to The Midwife. A novel about
the relationships of women, birthing and family planning
in the United States.
Davis, Elizabeth. Heart and Hands. 2nd. Edition.
Celestial Arts, 1992. A Midwife's guide to pregnancy,
childbirth and the art and science of midwifery.
Davis-Floyd, Robbie. Birth as an American Rite of
Passage. 1992. A feminist analysis of childbirth rites in
American culture, and offers insightful interviews with
women and health care providers.
Donnison, Jean. Midwives and Medical Men: A History of
Inter-Professional Rivalries and Women's Rights.
Schocken books, 1977.
Edwards, Margot and Waldorf , Mary. Reclaiming Birth:
History and Heroines of American Childbirth Reform. The
Crossing Press, 1984
Ehrenreich, Barbara and English, Derdre. Witches,
Midwives and Nurses: A History of Women Healers. The
Feminist Press, 1973.
Enkin, Murray, Keirse, Marc J.N.C., Renfrew, Mary and
Neilson, James. 2nd Edition. A Guide to Effective Care in
Pregnancy and Childbirth. Oxford University Press, 1995.
This book is about the documented effects of care given
and received during pregnancy and childbirth.
Gaskin, Ina May. Spiritual Midwifery. The Farm, 1978.
A classic. Contains many birth stories as well as more
technical information for parents and midwives. Revised
in 1980 and 1990.
Goer, Henci. Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities
Bergin & Garvey, 1995. Discusses issues facing expectant
parents and supports issues with research abstracts. A
compact, accurate and understandable reference.
Gordon, Linda. Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social
History of Birth Control in America. New York: Grossman,
Graham, Harvey. Eternal Eve, the History of Gynaecology
and Obstetrics. Doubleday & Company, 1951.
Hartley, Carla. Helping Hands: The Apprentice Workbook.
Midwifery and apprenticing are outlined and discussed from
several viewpoints. This book may change the reader's
ideas about the relationship of midwifery to goal setting,
time management, thinking, learning and studying.
Jacobs, Sandra and the American College of Nurse-
Midwives. Having Your Baby with a Nurse-Midwife :
Everything You Need to Know to Make an Informed
Decision.1993. Explains for expectant parents and
professionals what a nurse midwife is.
Janssen, Holt, Patricia A, and Myers, Susan J License
"Midwife-Attended, Out-of -Hospital Births in Washington
State: Are They Safe? " Birth 1994: 21(3):141-148.
Kitzinger, Sheila. Homebirth. 1991. A commonsense guide
to the alternatives to giving birth in the hospital.
Discusses how to plan a birth in a setting where the
laboring woman is in control. Evaluates the risks of
homebirth and puts them into perspective.
Kitzinger, Sheila. The Midwife Challenge. Pandora, 1991.
Describes midwifery worldwide from a historical
Kitzinger, Shiela. The Experience of Childbirth. 3rd
Edition. Penguin Books. 1972. Another classic about
midwifery and childbirth, one of the first written in the
1970's which began the new understanding of the value of
Hubbard, Ruth, Mary Sue Henifin and Barbara Fried (eds.),
Women Looking at Biology Looking at Women. Boston: G.K.
Hall and Co., 1979. Read especially pp 163-84 by Marilyn
Grossman and Pauline Bart "Taking men out of menopause."
Leep, Nicky, and Hunter, Billie. The Midwife's Tale.
The untold story of birth in the 1920's , 1930's and
1940's in Britain. Challenges assumptions about home
birth and the midwifery profession. Relates the attitudes
and experiences of our mothers, grand-mothers and great-
grandmothers in the areas of sex, contraception, abortion,
work and motherhood.
Lefeber-Mans, Yvonne H. F. Midwives Without Training:
Practices, and beliefs of traditional birth attendants in
Africa, Asia and Latin America. Van Gorcum & Comp. BV (PO
Box 43, 9400 AA Assen, the Netherlands. 1994. Intended
for anyone interested in the practices and beliefs of the
traditional midwives, expecially birth attendants,
obstetricians and medical anthropologists.
Midwife Mailing List: To subscribe to the Internet
Midwife Mailing List: To subscribe to midwife-digest, send
in the body of a message to "Majo...@FensEnde.COM". If
you want to subscribe something other than the account the
mail is coming from, such as a local redistribution list,
then append that address to the "subscribe" command; for
example, to subscribe "local-midwife":
subscribe midwife-digest local-
A non-digest (direct mail) version of this list is also
available; to subscribe to that instead, replace all
instances of "midwife-digest"
in the commands above with "midwife".
Midwifery Today. Getting an Education: Paths to Becoming a
Midwife 1995 (Midwifery Today, PO Box 2672 Eugene, OR,
97402. USA. * (503) 344-7438* (800) 743-0974* Fax: (503)
344- 1422* E-Mail: <Midw...@aol.com>) Explores the many
ways to becoming a midwife, and working with the birthing
community. Presents personal stories of midwives and how
they accomplished their goals of becoming a midwife.
Midwifery Today International Exchange Network:
Directory 1995 (Midwifery Today, PO Box 2672 Eugene OR,
97402 USA* (503)344-7438*(800) 743-0974* Fax (503)344-
1422* E-mail: <Midw...@aol.com>) Also available it the
Publication International Midwife. The main non-internet
link to international midwifery.
Midwifery Today World Wide Web Page:
<http://www.efn.org/~djz/birth/MT/MTindex.html> has links
to various articles and other information provided by
Midwifery Today. The related What's New
<http://www.efn.org/~djz/birth/birthnew.html> is the place
to check first for updated and new versions of the
sci.med.midwifery FAQ, new birthing related resources and
an on-line Directory of e-mail addresses of midwives
worldwide. (Managed by Donna Dolezal Zelzer <d...@efn.org>)
Mitford, Jessica. The American Way of Birth. The Penguin
Group, 1993. Explores the conventional and alternative
methods of giving birth and the cost of having a child.
Odent, Michel. Birth Reborn. Pantheon Books. New York,
1984 and 1990. A discussion of how childbirth can be and
what women want it to be--and how mothers and babies both
benefit. Physician Odent describes the clinic in
Pithiviers and the success with childbirth by letting
women be free to labor as they wish.
Population Reference Bureau, Inc. 1994: World Population
Data Sheet: Demographic Data and Estimates for the
Countries and Regions of the World. (Available from
Population Reference Bureau, Inc., 1875 Connecticut Avenue
NW, Suite 520, Washington, DC 20009-5728 <(202) 438-
1100.>) Toll free # to become a PRB member is 1-800-877-
9881 Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30am EST.
Posner, Judith. It's all in your head: feminist and
medical models of menopause (strange bedfellows). Sex
Rothman, Barbara Katz. In Labor: Women and Power in the
Birthplace. 1991. Presents a systematic feminist analysis
of not only how childbirth is managed in America but why
it is managed the way it is.
Smith-Rosenberg, Carroll. The Hysterical Women: Sex Roles
in Nineteenth Century America. Social Research. 39.
Winter 1972: 652-78.
Steiger, Carolyn. Becoming a Midwife. Hoogan House
Publishing, 1987. Presents a model for apprenticeship
including clear definitions of the teacher-student
relationship, description of responsibilities and an
outline of a three phase program for becoming a midwife.
Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher A Midwife's Tale. Vintage Books,
New York, 1990. The life of Martha Ballard, based on her
diary, 1785-1812. Depicts the family, medical. social,
economic, and religious life of a midwife in pre-
industrial New England.
Varney, Helen. Nurse Midwifery. 2nd Edition. Blackwell
Scientific Publications. 1987. A comprehensive text for
midwifery students. Extremely well organized, stressing
the concept of understanding and recognizing the normal
while screening for the abnormal.
Weaver, Pam and Evans, Sharon K. Practical Skills Guide.
Morningstar Publications. 1994. A textbook designed to
test the skills of student midwives, either direct-entry
or student nurse-midwives. Currently being used as a
required text in the NARM national certification process.
Covers over 100 skills in a step--by-step procedure
format. Includes forms for documentation of experience.
Sharon can be reached at <<Birt...@aol.com>>.
Wertz, Richard W and Dorothy C. Lying In: A History of
Childbirth in America. Schocken Books, 1977.
WHO, FIGO, ICM "DEFINITION OF THE MIDWIFE" as stated in
the recently released document Reproductive Health Care:
Midwifery--its role in Safe Motherhood and Beyond. World
Health Organization, 1992.
Excellent resources for locating the above books and
other information (in addition to your local library) are:
3. Cochrane Database: Information about the Cochrane
Database can be obtained from the Midwifery Today WWW
Page. The official Web address is:
The American College of Physicians is the US distributor
for the Cochran Database on Pregnancy and Childbirth
(there are also Canadian and UK distributors).
The US phone is 1-800-523-1546, ext 2600 or 1-215-351-2600
FAX 1-215-351-2799 24 hours/day
Mail: Cochran Collaboration Reviews
American College of Physicians
PO Box 7777
Philadelphia PA 19175--980
refer to priority code V0595
Make sure to refer to Pregnancy and Childbirth Database.
Single user is $175 ($125 if American College of
Physicians member). Available for windows, Mac, CD-ROM,
DOS. Multi-user rates are considerably more, depending on
how many users (i.e. $1000 for 21+ users)
5. MIDIRS : THE resource for midwifery research. They
have an extensive library and will send by fax or snail
mail any article of listing of references of any subject
you request information about. Anyone can use their
resources but if you are a member/subscriber you will save
when you do request information. They also sell books and
9, Elmdale Road
Briston BS8, 1SL.
Phone: 0272 251791
Fax: 0272 251792
This FAQ was prepared by Pat Sonnenstuhl, ARNP, CNM, RH
<cnm...@aol.com> with the supportive assistance of the
following contributors. Suggestions for topics to add to
the FAQ are always welcome.
Ms. Sabrina Cuddy <swn...@fensende.com>:
Childbirth educator, Nursing Mother's Council volunteer,
Ms. Elizabeth Couch
Ms. Marjorie A. Dacko <da...@accessnv.com>> Home birth
and birthing clinic practice. President of the Nevada
Ms. Sharon K. Evans <Birt...@aol.com>: writer and and
licensed DEM, birth center practice. Co-chair for the
NARM Qualified Evalator Committee
Ms. Cheri Van Hoover <Che...@aol.com> CNM, hospital
Mr. Patrick Hublou <phu...@innet.be>: Midwife, Flanders,
Ms. Deirdre E.E.A. Joukes <065...@pc-lab.fbk.eur.nl>
Consumers-viewpoint, The Netherlands
Ms. Debbie Pulley <Man...@aol.com> MANA Legislative
Chair CPM, homebirth practice, USA
Pat Sonnenstuhl, ARNP,CNM, RH <cnm...@aol.com> has been
an RN since 1965, and CNM since 1981. She became
interested in midwifery in the 1970's when it began to
flourish again in California and has practiced midwifery
in the home, birth centers and hospitals. She is the the
Internet spokesperson for a combination CNM-Licensed
Midwife group in Washington State called the Midwives
Association of Washington State (MAWS). She supports
safe birthing with qualified practitioners and encourages
empowerment and self-knowledge for women. She recently
completed the intermediate level of training to became a
registered hypnotherpaist and uses hypnosis in a variety
of ways in her practice of midwifery.
This FAQ may be reproduced freely for non-commercial
purposes as long as the author also received a copy of the
posting and the reactions to the posting that the
distribution may cause.
This FAQ may be distributed for financial gain only with
the expressed permission from the author.
Additional documents related to the profession of
midwifery that can be located within sci.med.midwifery and
at other sites include:
INTRODUCTION TO MIDWIFERY
MIDWIFERY IN AUSTRALIA
MIDWIFEY IN CANADA (in development)
MIDWIFERY IN FLANDERS (in development)
MIDWIFERY IN THE UNITED STATES