Willughby on midwives…

‘I desire that all midwives may gain a good repute, and have a happy successe in all their undertakings: and that their knowledge, charity, and patience, with tender compassion, may manifest their worths among their women, and give their women just cause to love, honour, and to esteem them.’

Percivall Willughby  (1596-1685)   

Willughby, P., & Blenkinsop, H. (1863). Observations in Midwifery, as also the Country Midwifes Opusculum or Vade Mecum … Edited from the original MS. by Henry Blenkinsop. Warwick: H. T. Cooke & Son, p. 12 (full text available online)

Jean Donnison (1925-2017)

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Dr Jean Donnison on January 27th, after a long period of declining health during which she bravely continued to work and publish. Jean will be known to many members for the significant contributions that she made to midwifery history, in particular her classic work Midwives and medical men: a history of the struggle for the control of childbirth, first published in 1977, which is still highly cited. Jean wrote a small feature for De Partu, The office of midwife – some historical background.

Readers are invited to add their own tributes to Jean via the comments function. They are also invited to make a donation in her memory to Maternity Worldwide via JustGiving. Maternity Worldwide is a charity saving lives in childbirth by training midwives, providing community maternal health promotion and improving access to health.

Donnison_M&MM_jacket  

Ethelred the Unready’s gift to parturient women: an agate touch-stone said to ease childbirth

From British Library, Manuscript Cotton Nero D i, f.l46v Enlarged so as to represent probable dimensions of original stone.
From British Library, Manuscript Cotton Nero D i, f.l46v Enlarged so as to represent probable dimensions of original stone.

Read here the full version of Professor Michael Swanton’s article:

Ethelred the Unready’s gift to parturient women: an agate touch-stone said to ease childbirth

Professor Swanton is Emeritus Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Exeter.

Happy Christmas and all the best for 2017

Handpainted Christmas card to Cicely Williams from a fellow prisoner whilst in Changi Jail, 1944.

L0029151 C. D. Williams, Christmas card. Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Handpainted Christmas card to Cicely Williams from a fellow prisoner whilst in Changi Jail, 1944. Cicely Delphine Williams, 1893-1992. Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
L0029151 C. D. Williams, Christmas card.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
images@wellcome.ac.uk
http://wellcomeimages.org
Handpainted Christmas card to Cicely Williams from a fellow prisoner whilst in Changi Jail, 1944.
Cicely Delphine Williams, 1893-1992.
Published: –
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

News of the second Knowledge Exchange Partnership study day on Pregnancy and Birth: Changing practices over the twentieth century: Oxford University, May 7th 2016

poster image7mayChanging practices over the twentieth century

The study day to be held in Oxford on 7th May is part of a Knowledge Exchange Partnership, from April 2015-December 2016, conducted by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, the De Partu History of Childbirth Group, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Hardly a week goes by without a story or advice about pregnancy or birth making headline news. The Partnership sets this public fascination in a broad historical context, featuring debates and controversies from early printed midwifery texts to the present day. It aims to widen awareness of the heritage collections of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and of the Royal College of Midwives; and to facilitate dialogue between academic researchers and healthcare practitioners. Our study day on 7th May 2016, held in Oxford, focuses on the twentieth-century birth experience, encompassing antenatal preparation for family life, Leboyer’s theories of gentle birth, and developments in postnatal care in the twentieth century. We shall also have presentations on the RCM’s oral history collection and from the midwifery adviser to ‘Call the Midwife’.

 

Programme : Study Day on Saturday 7th May, at The Oxford Reseach Centre in the Humanities:

10.15 Registration and coffee

10.30 Welcome (Valerie Worth-Stylianou and Janette Allotey), and presentation on ‘Revisiting The Midwife’s Tale: an oral history collection at the Royal College of Midwives’ by Carly Randall, (Archivist, RCOG)

11.00 Guest speaker: Dr Marie-France Morel (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris): ‘Gentle birth: Leboyer’s theories and subsequent changes to how babies were birthed in France in the 1970s’

12.00 Seminar A: Professor Mary Nolan (University of Worcester) ‘Birth and Parent Education post Dr Spock, 1970-2016: striving to build parents’ confidence rather than destroy it’

12.00 Seminar B: Professor Debra Bick (King’s College London): ‘’Context, culture and contribution of postnatal care over the last century: a missed opportunity for women’s health’

1.00 Lunch

1.40 Seminars A and B repeated ( to allow all delegates to attend each seminar)

2.40 Tea and coffee

3.00 An update on De Partu (Janette Allotey)

3.15 Terri Coates (midwifery adviser for ‘Call the Midwife’): ‘Call the midwife: communicating the art of midwifery though a BBC period drama’

4.15 Concluding remarks and end of study day

Lead contacts for the Partnership:

Valerie Worth-Stylianou, Senior Tutor Trinity College, University of Oxford, and Mellon-TORCH Knowledge Exchange Fellow

Janette Allotey, Chair of De Partu, Honorary Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester

 Booking form

BOOKING FORM FOR SEMINAR ON 7TH MAY 2016

To book for the seminar (limited to 60 places), please complete this form and scan or email it (as an attachment) to valerie.worth@trinity.ox.ac.uk. When your booking is accepted, you will be asked to send payment for £20 (to cover all refreshments, including lunch). There is a reduced price of £10 for graduate students / student midwives or doctors.

 

Name …………………………………………………………………………………

Email ………………………………………………………………………………….

I am (select one or more)

a student / academic researcher / archivist / midwife / obstetrician / other practitioner / layperson

Name of institution (if applicable) ……………………………………………………..

How did you learn about this seminar (e.g. which website, research group)?

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Do you have any dietary requirements for lunch (e.g. vegetarian, gluten-free)?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

February 1st: it’s the day of the midwife!..

I have been advised that today, February 1st,  is St Bride’s day – the Celtic patron saint for midwives.  The pagan goddess  Brigit was  associated with fertility, childbirth, and cattle. On her feast day – which is also the Gaelic spring festival of Imbolc – Highland girls made the ‘last sheaf’ of the previous harvest into images of her, which were laid in a decorated cradle called ‘Bride’s bed’. Her flower is the snowdrop…

In Ireland it is  St Brigid’s day,   where ‘the  Bride of Kildare’ is said to have helped the Virgin give birth to Jesus and in so doing became known as  the protector of pregnant women and midwives. She also cared for Mary’s cows, hence her other title, ‘Christ’s milkmaid’.

For general (non academic purposes ) interest…

Wikipedia article: Brigit of Kildare

Have a good day,

Janette Allotey

Home birth debate at University of Cambridge

This may be of interest to some of the list subscribers…
Best wishes,
Janette Allotey:

Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2012 10:27:32 +0100
From: Salim Al-Gailani
Subject: Debating Reproduction at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas

Cambridge Festival of Ideas
Debating Reproduction: Hospital Birth

1st November 2012
5.30pm – 7pm
Mill Lane Lecture Room 9, 8 Mill Lane
University of Cambridge

Around 1900, very few babies in Britain were born in hospitals; by the end
of the century, hardly any were not. The Wellcome Trust funded ‘Generation
to Reproduction Project’ presents a debate on the history of medical and
social issues surrounding this ‘revolution’ in childbirth.

The subject of the debate will be:

‘The hospitalization of childbirth has historically benefited birthing
women less than their doctors.’

In order to focus on historical perspectives, the debate will be framed
around the causes of the transition to the hospital and what it has meant
for birthing women, midwives and doctors. We ask why the place of birth
became so controversial in the decades after World War Two and continues to
polarize opinion.

Our panel includes: Cathy Warwick (General Secretary, Royal College of
Midwives), Hilary Marland (Professor of History, University of Warwick),
Tania McIntosh (Lecturer in midwifery and history of midwifery, University
of Nottingham), Joanna Kavenna (Novelist, author of The Birth of Love,
2010)

Bookings are filling rapidly. There is no charge, but pre-booking is
essential.

To book, email: sb491@cam.ac.uk

Dr Janette Allotey
University of Manchester
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work,
University Place
Oxford Rd
Manchester
M13 9PL
tel +44(0)161 306 7732
Reception +44(0)161 306 7732

Janette C Allotey
Read more: Janette C Allotey

Campus map: www.manchester.ac.uk/visitors/travel/maps/numerical

Chair of De Partu: History of Childbirth Research Group
www.departu.org.uk

Documentary ‘A Picture of Health’: BBC One 27th February 2012 9.15 a.m.

The next programme in the BBC One documentary series A Picture of Health, presented by Larry Lambis due to be broadcast on  Monday 27th February at 9.15 a.m. It discusses how the role of a father-to-be has changed. De Partu provided the film company with assistance and nominated several possible interviewees, including a member of our steering group, Julia Allison, who made such an impression on the producers that she was invited to be involved in a subsequent programme with Larry Lamb and Angela Rippon!!

Julia on location at Knaresborough
Julia on location at Knaresborough