CONVERSATIONS: Hard Labor

September 2015
Conversation: “Hard Labor”–Birth in the 19th century and Today
Discussion Partners:
Leslie Kushner, MSN, RN, CNM, Frances Payne Bolton (FPB) School of Nursing | Gretchen Mettler, PhD, Director Nurse Midwife Education Program FPB, CWRU and CNM, University Hospitals | Vanessa Hildebrand, PhD, Assistant Professor, Anthropology Department, CWRU
Where:
Dittrick Museum, Zverina Room
When:
Thursday, Sept 24th, 6:00 PM —register now!

In the 18th century, men—and their tools—took over from women midwives in the delivery of babies. From this early invasive technology, birth care continued to change; by the 1930s, one of Cleveland’s registries recorded not only the use of forceps, but of also of ether to render the mother unconscious for almost every single delivery! How did we go from a (nearly) all-female practice in the 18th century to a (nearly) all-male practice in the early 20th? Why forceps? Why ether (or chloroform, etc.)? To find the answers, we will look first at the latter 1700s, and then at rapid changes in practice, technology, and perception in the 1800s. The short talk will end with a series of questions for our discussants, and then be opened to the public for discussion: How have things changed? How have they stayed the same? Ask certified nurse midwives about the practice today—ask historians about the practice in the past! Join the Conversation…and register online or email bls10@case.edu TODAY! (Space is limited to 30 participants).

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