Supervisor Of Midwives

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Supervisor of Midwives in Relation to Midwifery Practice

Supervisor of Midwives in relation to Midwifery Practice


A midwife is a person, generally a woman, who assisted a pregnant woman during and after the process of childbirth. The midwife has been an important part of society since prehistoric times, albeit with more or less efficacy according to place and time. In some societies in East Asia, for example, midwifery became associated with various shamanistic practices and the midwife therefore had additional duties related to celebration of the changing of the seasons and the placation of spirits.

In general terms, as science and knowledge has progressed through time, midwives have become increasingly efficient in their ability to tend to women and children. However, death rates resulting from childbirth among poor and poorly educated societies can remain high and the medicine of developed countries can dramatically reduce these rates.(Dittman,2003) In some cases, even in the twenty-first century, childbirth practices can have deleterious effects on the child or its mother and further expansion of education is required in such cases. State governments, non-gov-ernmental organizations including charities and the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations work together to try to improve that level of education where required. This is not a problem confined to the developing world as there are many examples of abandonment or murder of babies immediately after birth since the mothers involved are unable or unwilling to seek medical assistance, perhaps because of cultural or religious factors which should be set aside.(Caccavale,2002)


From the beginning of the 20th century, most western European countries established official training schemes backed by legislation to ensure that qualified midwives were made available. The focus in developed countries moved from childbirth at home to childbirth in a hospital and, in the USA, this spurred the creation of qualified nurse-midwives, whose presence superseded traditional knowledge and practice in childbirth. Qualified midwives can also pass different types of qualification. Although the tendency towards professionalization has been followed in most parts of the world to some extent, many developing countries do not have the infrastructure to support large-scale hospitalization of pregnant women, even for a brief period and so midwives continue to assist in perhaps three quarters of all births around the world, whether they are qualified or not. (Dittman,2003)

Over the last couple of decades in some developed countries, a new trend has been to return childbirth to the home and downplay the high-technology aspects. Proponents of this approach believe that it not only reduces pressure on hospital resources but also provides a more natural and relaxing environment for mother and child, as well as any other family members in the house. Although medical advice is still required to determine whether complications are likely to arise and hence whether hospitalization is indicated, a woman and a single midwife giving birth is likely to be a continuing motif in family life in the future. The midwife might be assisted by other women close to the mother in some societies and, increasingly, ...
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