Daughter of time: the postmodern midwife 1

For past millennia, midwives have served women in childbirth. In premodern times, midwives were usually the only birth attendants. With the Industrial Revolution and the arrival of modernism, male physicians either replaced midwives or superceded them in the modernist medical hierarchy, leaving them with plenty of women to attend but with relatively little autonomy. As the new millennium dawns on a growing worldwide biomedical hegemony over birth, midwives, the daughters of time and tradition, find themselves negotiating their identities, searching for appropriate roles, and seeking new rationales for their continued existence.

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