The midwife next door: a history of Prince Edward Island midwives 1900–1950

dc.contributor.advisorMullally, Sasha
dc.contributor.authorDoucette, Emma Lynn Michaela
dc.description.abstractUsing oral history interviews collected by Prince Edward Island “pastkeeper,” Dutch Thompson, this report provides insights into the lives and practices of PEI midwives from 1900 to 1950. From the turn of the twentieth century, this report analyses the decline of home births and the rise of hospital births, which became the normal childbirth experience on PEI by the 1950s. It investigates aspects of Island midwifery such as the central roles that midwives held within their communities, their interprofessional relationships with Island doctors, and how one midwife created her own maternity home when the institutionalization of births was a growing trend. This report argues that in the rural areas of Prince Edward Island where poverty was common, the economy of mutual aid made midwives essential to the health of Islanders who could not afford doctor fees. In this favour-based economy where travelling long distances was uncommon, community members often looked to neighbour midwives for medical care, seeking to repay services with favours rather than with cash. This economy of mutual aid slowed the shift from home births to hospital births in rural areas of the Island and it also encouraged doctors to respect the role and place of midwives in the healthcare system.
dc.description.copyright© Emma Doucette, 2021
dc.description.noteA Report Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in the Graduate Academic Unit of History
dc.format.extentv, 64 pages
dc.publisherUniversity of New Brunswick
dc.titleThe midwife next door: a history of Prince Edward Island midwives 1900–1950
dc.typemaster thesis of Arts of New Brunswick


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