Event Title

African American Female Midwives and their Impact on Public Health

Presenter Information

Ariel Oppong, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Diamond 243

Start Date

30-4-2015 9:00 AM

End Date

30-4-2015 10:25 AM

Project Type

Presentation

Description

As stated in the syllabus for this class, black womens perspectives on their experiences are the valid grounds for womanist knowledge. In following this tradition I hope to use the creative voices of many southern black women midwives to demonstrate the significant impact black women as wise leaders and selfless health care providers, have historically had on their community and the field of public health in general. Midwifery has evolved in prominence and jurisdiction in the last century. Two hundred years ago the professionalization of medicine had not fully progressed in full force and midwives were both a necessary and appreciated part of the female health. Before this professionalization and shift toward a more authoritative field, more than half of natural births occurred at home with the use of a midwife or two. In 1910, the United States discovered that they had the third largest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. Due to these inappropriately high infant and mortality rates, the profession of midwifery was attacked heavily. Doctors became increasingly insistent that the profession of midwifery should be done away with and that only obstetrics should be utilized. With obstetrics being utilized the medical field could better improve the standard for newborns and their mothers. The American Medical Associations efforts were effective because by 1930 only 15 % of all births in America were attended by midwifes.(Clark 1989). I want to explore the delicate intricacies of this field, how it integrates with the psychosocial aspect of black midwives and how this experience shapes their life, their profession and the community.

Faculty Sponsor

Cheryl Townsend Gilkes

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. African-American Studies Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

1632

Share

COinS
 
Apr 30th, 9:00 AM Apr 30th, 10:25 AM

African American Female Midwives and their Impact on Public Health

Diamond 243

As stated in the syllabus for this class, black womens perspectives on their experiences are the valid grounds for womanist knowledge. In following this tradition I hope to use the creative voices of many southern black women midwives to demonstrate the significant impact black women as wise leaders and selfless health care providers, have historically had on their community and the field of public health in general. Midwifery has evolved in prominence and jurisdiction in the last century. Two hundred years ago the professionalization of medicine had not fully progressed in full force and midwives were both a necessary and appreciated part of the female health. Before this professionalization and shift toward a more authoritative field, more than half of natural births occurred at home with the use of a midwife or two. In 1910, the United States discovered that they had the third largest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. Due to these inappropriately high infant and mortality rates, the profession of midwifery was attacked heavily. Doctors became increasingly insistent that the profession of midwifery should be done away with and that only obstetrics should be utilized. With obstetrics being utilized the medical field could better improve the standard for newborns and their mothers. The American Medical Associations efforts were effective because by 1930 only 15 % of all births in America were attended by midwifes.(Clark 1989). I want to explore the delicate intricacies of this field, how it integrates with the psychosocial aspect of black midwives and how this experience shapes their life, their profession and the community.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/206