Norway has one of the most comprehensive parental leave policies in the world today. In order to understand the current shape of Norwegian parental leave and the Norwegian welfare state, this book outlines the development of Norwegian maternity policy from 1880 to 1940 and the role feminists, midwives, and working women played in this process. The introduction includes a discussion of sources, methodology, and the book’s contributions to existing scholarship. It introduces readers to the general history of European welfare states and Norway’s place within this history; it also provides a short overview of Norwegian history, politics, and society from 1850 to 1950. The major findings from the project are shared, including how the development of Norwegian maternity policies compares to other European cases. The chapter ends with a brief overview of the book’s organization.