Types of midwifery training : An anthropological overview

by Robbie Davis-Floyd PhD

This article appears in Pathways to Becoming a Midwife: Getting an Education, eds. Joel Southern, Jennifer Rosenberg, and Jan Tritten. Eugene, Oregon: Midwifery Today, 1998, pp. 119-193.

Copyright is held both by Robbie E. Davis-Floyd and Midwifery Today, 1998. Either copyright holder may give full permission for this article to be reprinted or reproduced. Robbie E. Davis-Floyd hereby gives permission for this article to be copied and distributed for educational and informational purposes.

Potential midwives reading this book will want help in picking their educational path. Hoping to be of assistance, I offer the following brief overview. (More thorough and detailed overviews can be found in Frye 1995: 22-26 and Rooks 1997:164-178, 258-268). As I worked on this overview, I found it extremely difficult to make any kind of generalization that I could be sure was true. The differences between types of midwifery training are no longer easy to define: what I witnessed as I talked to midwives about this article was what anthropologists might
call an elision between models of midwifery training (to elide in linguistics means “to slur over in pronunciation”). As you will see below, these models are increasingly blurring into each other.

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