OJN  Vol.5 No.9 , September 2015
A Brief Overview of How Male Medicine Co-Opted the Midwife’s Role in the Birth Process
Abstract: The term medicalization has been defined as the process by which non-medical issues come to be defined and treated as medical problems. There are no better examples of this than pregnancy and childbirth. Prior to the intervention of physicians and hospitals, most females delivered unassisted or assisted by a relative or a midwife who usually had no formal education. As long as this remained the practice, pregnancy could not become a medical procedure. Through systematic changes, discussed in detail herein, this primarily female-oriented event involving family and amateur aids would come to be dominated by males who were the sole legally authorized providers of obstetrical care [1]. The increasing cultural authority of medicine facilitated the transfer of home delivery to hospital delivery and changed normal birth into a surgical procedure. This paper will examine the history of obstetrics and how a profession comes to redefine a normal life event as a disease state.
Cite this paper: F. Vernon, L. (2015) A Brief Overview of How Male Medicine Co-Opted the Midwife’s Role in the Birth Process. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 758-764. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.59079.

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