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Mrs Stone & Dr SmellieEighteenth-Century Midwives and their Patients$
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Robert Woods and Chris Galley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381410

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381410.001.0001

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date: 19 February 2019

Midwifery through case histories

Midwifery through case histories

(p.459) 9 Midwifery through case histories
Mrs Stone & Dr Smellie

Robert Woods

Chris Galley

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the importance of case notes for a patient outcomes-centred history of midwifery practice. It also considers the ways in which the case history has changed in recent decades. It examines how obstetric knowledge has improved dramatically in the century and a half from 1809, and how childbirth became significantly safer for the mother. It shows that the new obstetrics had a generally positive impact on mothers and their unborn children, and that there were more midwives with superior child delivery techniques based on sound principles who were working at the end of the eighteenth century than there were at the beginning. It argues that the rise of scientific midwifery during the eighteenth century provides an important example of ‘good medicine’ and explains the value of case notes to the history of midwifery.

Keywords:   case notes, patient outcomes, midwifery, case history, childbirth, obstetrics, midwives, child delivery

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