Esther Silverton (part 2): The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

This week’s glimpse at The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection is a second extract from the interview with retired midwife Esther Silverton recorded in August 1985. In this extract Esther describes the religous tradition of ‘churching’ new mothers, and the relationship between midwives and doctors. Esther Silverton was born in Portsmouth in 1916, and trained…

Edie Martinson: The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

This week’s extract from The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection explores the difficulties experienced by poor and working class mothers in London during the 1930s and 1940s. The interview below features Edie Martinson who was born in London in 1902 and came from a working-class home. She married in 1920 and had five children between…

Alice Forrest: The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

During research for their book, Billie Hunter and Nicky Leap interviewed mothers as well as midwives and nurses, in order to gain a well rounded picture of pregnancy, childbirth, and pre and post natal care before the NHS. This extract from The Midwife’s tale Oral History Collection features an interview with mother Alice Forrest who…

‘Immunize and Protect your Child’: Nursing Notes, April 1977

There are two particular themes which run through this month’s issue of Midwives Chronicle: both these themes have particular resonance today and the reader could be mistaken in thinking that the world hadn’t changed much in 30 years! In April 1977 the Council of the Royal College of Midwives was discussing the particular themes of…

Ending ‘ceaseless drudgery’: Nursing Notes, January 1931

This post comes from the January 1931 issue of Nursing Notes & Midwives’ Chronicle, Vol XLIII, No 57. The new year of 1931 brought little hope to many of the women living in Britain: the ripples of the Wall Street Crash in the USA in 1929 extended to Europe, where undeveloped and archaic industries were…

The Test of Citizenship: Nursing Notes, September 1914

This post is taken from the September 1914 issue of The Nursing Notes and Midwives Chronicles. This issue of Nursing Notes reflects the impact of the outbreak of the First World War the previous month. On turning the front page the reader finds a statement from the producers of infant dried milk, Glaxo, reassuring customers…

Don’t forget to visit the Library: Nursing Notes, August 1979

This month’s post comes from the August 1979 issue of ‘Midwives Chronicle & Nursing Notes’. On opening up this issue of the Midwives Chronicle, I was immediately struck with childhood memories, in particular by an advert for Gold Cap SMA, the milk formula for babies – my dad had lots of these empty tins in…

Parentcraft and Relaxation: Nursing Notes, May 1975

This month’s post comes from the May 1975 issue of ‘Midwives Chronicle & Nursing Notes’. ‘The midwife working outside the hospital in the community needs to be highly skilled, highly mobile and highly intelligent. She needs a depth of knowledge and experience, for the normal delivery is only a small part of her work…The midwife…