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Ideology and Self-Interest: Nursing, Medicine, and the Elimination of the Midwife

Ideology and Self-Interest: Nursing, Medicine, and the Elimination of the Midwife Ideology and Self-Interest Nursing, Medicine, and th e Elimination of the Midwife KATY DAWLEY School ofNursing University of Pennsylvania The campaign to eliminate the midwife at the turn of the twen t ieth cen tury has been explained as a tactic in the professionalization of obstetrics as a medical specialty. In this paper I will argue that it was also linked to the development of public health prenatal nursing and nurse-midwifery. ' Driven by a mission to protect the lives of women and children, influenced by prevailing nativist and eugenic beli efs , and motivated by their own professional aspirations, public health nurses joined with physicians in an early twentieth century campaign to eliminate the midwife-African Americans in the southern states, Mexicans in the so uthwest, and European immigrants in industrial areas in the northern United States. Issues of class, race , and gender were central to this campaign , whi c h occurred within the context of large-scale immig ration, extreme pove rty, and high maternal and infant morrality between 1900 and 1930. Public health nurses responded by developing systems of prenatal and maternity nursing. Over rime some public health nurses merged t heir new role with that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

Ideology and Self-Interest: Nursing, Medicine, and the Elimination of the Midwife

Nursing History Review , Volume 9 (1): 28 – Jan 1, 2001

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.9.1.99
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ideology and Self-Interest Nursing, Medicine, and th e Elimination of the Midwife KATY DAWLEY School ofNursing University of Pennsylvania The campaign to eliminate the midwife at the turn of the twen t ieth cen tury has been explained as a tactic in the professionalization of obstetrics as a medical specialty. In this paper I will argue that it was also linked to the development of public health prenatal nursing and nurse-midwifery. ' Driven by a mission to protect the lives of women and children, influenced by prevailing nativist and eugenic beli efs , and motivated by their own professional aspirations, public health nurses joined with physicians in an early twentieth century campaign to eliminate the midwife-African Americans in the southern states, Mexicans in the so uthwest, and European immigrants in industrial areas in the northern United States. Issues of class, race , and gender were central to this campaign , whi c h occurred within the context of large-scale immig ration, extreme pove rty, and high maternal and infant morrality between 1900 and 1930. Public health nurses responded by developing systems of prenatal and maternity nursing. Over rime some public health nurses merged t heir new role with that

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2001

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