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Midwives

  • Anna Bellavitis
Chapter

Abstract

A typically feminine activity that, during the early modern age, became heavily formalised and was subjected to ever tighter institutional control, both at local and state levels, is that of the midwife. It was a matter of ensuring that reproduction occurred in the best possible conditions, but also of avoiding abortions and infanticide by subjecting traditional women’s practices and knowledge to ever stricter control. The result was that the medical profession progressively took the control on a role that gave women authority and power in the community.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Bellavitis
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RouenRouenFrance

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