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Additional resources for A history of midwifery in the United States : the midwife said fear not
Unlike her French and German counterparts, her book was not a textbook but instead was addressed to the midwife, the mother, and the father. The book gave practical advice as well as knowledge that was current at that time. 14 Still diﬀerent from either a textbook or a book of advice, Catharina Schrader documented in a notebook, the record of 3,060 cases she attended as a midwife in Friesland in The Netherlands from 1693 to 1740. 15 All these midwives wrote extensively about managing complicated labor and deliveries as well as normal birth.
35. 36. 37. 17 excerpts from the Malleus Maleﬁcarum (Hammer of Witches) written in 1484 by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, the sons of Pope Innocent VIII, which they describe as a “sadistic book [that] lay on the bench of every judge” for three centuries (p. 7). ” Ehrenreich and English conclude that the witch-craze “was a calculated ruling class campaign of terrorization” (p. 8). They write that midwives were particularly strongly associated with witches as the only healers available to a populace who were “bitterly aﬄicted with poverty and disease,” include a quote that “No one does more harm to the Catholic church than midwives” (p.
The incorporation of midwifery into medicine enabled the physician to expand his practice. He could make the argument that medical science gave him knowledge and something new to oﬀer his patients, which made him the better choice over the local midwife. Consequently, women would perceive that what he had to oﬀer was safer and a protection against the dangers of childbearing. The physicians realized that their new knowledge as a man-midwife could gain them income and status as well as serve as the portal to the use of all of their medical practice to meet family medical needs.
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