Midwifery in the Nineteenth Century: Men, Microbes and Misrepresentation

Wednesday, 17 February 2016, 6.00 pm – 7.30 pm, at the Lit and Phil Library, Newcastle upon Tyne

Dr. Tricia Cresswell, Public Health Doctor and Creative Writing MA student at Newcastle University will present a paper and lead a discussion on ‘Midwifery in the Nineteenth Century’.

A brief overview will be presented covering the emerging understanding (or not) of maternal mortality in the nineteenth century and approaches to reducing death in childbirth. The impact of the male midwife / surgical obstetrician / general practitioner on the traditional practice of female midwifery in England will be considered alongside the impact of the professionalisation of childbirth. Reference will be made to colonial myths about childbirth originating in Canada as an example of wider cultural influences on practice. The portrayal of childbirth in nineteenth-century novels will then be discussed.

Those attending may wish to bring along a short reading about childbirth from a novel set or written in the nineteenth century.

L0018481 Carciature of a man-midwife as a split figure Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Carciature of a man-midwife as a split figure, left side female, right side male 1793 By: and Cruikshank, IsaacMan-midwifery dissected ; or, the obstetric family-instructor ... In fourteen letters. Addressed to A. Hamilton ... Occasioned by certain doctrines contained in his letters to Dr. W. Osborn. By John Blunt [i.e. S.W. Fores] / Samuel William Fores Published: 1793. Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

Refreshments provided. All are welcome.

For further information, contact Pat Beesley at  p.beesley@ncl.ac.uk



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