The evolution of midwifery

David Rabinerson, Eran Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Midwifery is an old profession, derived from the nature of human birth, which mandates assistance, in order to protect the parturient and her newborn. During the course of history, midwifery has been typically a feminine occupation, traditionally passed down in the family and involved intimate social relations between the midwife and her patients. Early attempts of teaching and learning of midwifery began at the end of the medieval period, and increased during the 18th and 19th centuries. Only during the last century, such actions were initiated on a national scale and were due to competition from the evolving trade of obstetrics in medicine. When examining the evolution of midwifery in developed-versus developing-countries, it seems that the professional scope and trust given to midwives depends on the availability of medical services (physicians and institutes) in a given state. The history of midwifery demonstrates that midwives' authorities depend on the availability of physicians'-operated obstetric services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-384
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Evolution
  • History
  • Midwifery
  • Nurse


Dive into the research topics of 'The evolution of midwifery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this