Analysis Of Catching Babies By Charlotte Borst

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During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Charlotte Borst’s Catching Babies is about the transition from midwife-attended to physician-attended births. Her findings suggest how gender, culture, ethnicity, and professionalism shape birth practices in the United States. In the book, she has case studies, quantitative analysis, and interpretations of professionalism and specialization for historians who seek to combine qualitative and quantitative methods. In the first few chapters, Borst mentions the conditions that shape a midwife’s practice. Most midwives were married mothers who do not seek for a professional career but instead supplement the family income which means that they deliver an average of at least six babies a year. Urban midwives …show more content…
They are trained professionals who support women maintain a healthy pregnancy and having optimal recoveries during the postpartum period. However, a midwife is different from a physician. Midwives are trained regarding pregnancies and childbirths but do not go to medical; they do not carry the title of a doctor. The most traditional birth attendants in the late nineteenth-century were the neighbor-woman midwives; they act “as midwives to their own family or nearby friends in the absence of a trained attendant, and their knowledge was entirely self-regulated” (Borst, pg. 17). Since neighbor-woman midwives were limited in number, it will not be a surprise when trained midwives replace them; families would only go to neighbor-woman midwives if they could not find a trained professional. Apprentice-trained midwives are those who received training by more experienced practitioners. Since some physicians were not able to handle some situations alone, midwives were taught new techniques. Even though apprentice-trained was common, it “was not a major route to the profession for Milwaukee midwives” (Borst, pg. 20); there was a decline in apprentice training in the twentieth century. School-trained midwives were organized by physicians and local midwives; it was to give a more structured environment. When midwives were taught by other midwives, women were in charge of the training process. Instead, physicians were in control over both the education and the practice conditions for midwifery. Even though “midwives helped to start or to capitalize midwifery schools…physicians were given the authority and the credit” (Borst, pg. 22). It has been recognized that lectures, lab works, and supervised clinical instructions were required and that graduates of medical schools would need to obtain a state-issued license to being their

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