New book release: Mistress of her Profession: Colonial Midwives of Sydney 1788-1901
Media: BOOK - paperback, 192 pages
Author: L. Potter
Other: colour photos, appendixes, bibliog, index
Publisher: Anchor Books Australia
Before any official midwifery training was instigated in New South Wales, numerous women worked as midwives. Many were untrained and practised independently but a few had overseas midwifery qualifications which gave them prestige in the practise of their craft.
In the days of secret abortions and baby farming, before modern medical procedures saved the lives of thousands of women and babies, midwives emerged from the ranks of convicts and free immigrants as entrepreneurs. Their business activities, attitudes, work ethic and experiences formed the foundations that helped to shape midwifery for future generations.
This book weaves the stories of nine midwives into an account of the development of midwifery training in New South Wales. The women's lives span the nineteenth century and provide a fascinating perspective of maternity care and life in colonial Sydney.