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Midwifery

  • By: Farah M. Shroff
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

In every part of the world, midwives play an important role in early motherhood. Mothers have relied on midwives, over thousands of years, to assist in pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Today, mothers continue to rely on midwives to help them make the momentous transition from woman to mother or in becoming the mother of one more child. Midwives have played a vital and often highly respected role in social and health affairs, delivering about 80 percent of the world's babies.

Skilled midwives prevent maternal and neonatal deaths as well as various disabilities which arise during pregnancy and childbirth. However 50 percent of the world's pregnant women are not able to access skilled care at childbirth. Every day, this lack of access to care prevents ...

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