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The Midwife's Tale
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Billie Hunter and Nicky Leap spent several years interviewing dozens of mothers and retired midwives about their experiences of childbirth before the NHS. The result was The Midwife's Tale, an oral history of midwifery from the 1910s to the 1950s. The authors explore the very real poverty of the time; how woman coped with rearing large families; and the lack of knowledge of contraception and abortion. Gripping accounts of women's experiences are set against an informative background of events in the midwifery profession, particularly the transition from unqualified 'handywoman' to professional midwife in the 1930s.
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"This important piece of cultural history has been reissued on the 20th anniversary of its first publication. The interviews Hunter and Leap conducted with women born between 1894 and 1923 who experienced pregnancy, birth and motherhood in the pre NHS early 20th century, means a vital piece of woman's history has been preserved. A fascinating collection." Times Higher Education

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