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Additional resources for A history of midwifery in the United States : the midwife said fear not
1: THE EARLY VOICES OF MIDWIVES ■ 19 65. Carolyn Conant Van Blarcom, Report of the Committee for the Prevention of Blindness, Transactions of the Fifth Annual Meeting, American Association for Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality, 1914, pp. 328–331, p. 330. 66. The American Midwife was published from November 1895 to October 1896. Information found in Litoﬀ, American Midwives: 1860 to the Present, 40. 67. Smith, Japanese American Midwives. chapter TWO Silencing the Early Voices of Midwives: 1600s to 1800s Instead of giving these midwives training and setting standards for maternity care, women were banished altogether from this, their most ancient function, and replaced largely by men.
It was true, however, that this period of time was indeed a time of tremendous advances in medical and obstetrical knowledge and changes in lying-in practices. Rapid development of discoveries of how the body functions and the emergence of modern medicine took place in the 17th century. William Harvey’s understanding of how blood circulates in 1628 made enormous contributions to the study of anatomy and physiology. 6 These developments in medical science led to an understanding of both normal and complicated childbirth.
As their use became known, access by males to the lying-in chamber subsequently increased. Dr. Smellie also introduced clinical pelvimetry, described the mechanisms of labor, studied pelvic anatomy and ligaments, and wrote his textbook A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Midwifery in 1752. 7 ■ MIDWIFERY IN EUROPE William Smellie was vehemently reviled for his support and teaching of the use of obstetric forceps by Elizabeth Nihell, a famous English midwife in the 1700s. She railed against manmidwives and their use of obstetric forceps, which she recognized as a primary threat to midwives.