Lily Good: The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

Our penultimate extract from The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection is taken from an interview with ‘handywoman’ Lily Good. In Britain around the time of the First World War ‘handywoman’ was the name for a woman who attended births, nursed the sick and laid out the dead in her local community. During this period childbirth…

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…

Midwives Chronicle & Nursing Notes, June 1986

This month’s post is taken from the 1986 volume of Midwives Chronicle & Nursing Notes and is all about disposables! Starting off the discussion is a study by two student midwives comparing the benefits and discomforts of terry towelling nappies (Terries) with the comparatively new disposable nappies. The study points out that disposable nappies, introduced in their…

Nursing Notes & Midwives’ Chronicle, March 1936

This month’s post comes from the 1936 volume of Nursing Notes & Midwives’ Chronicle, at a time when a new parliamentary bill for midwives was finally reaching the last stages before becoming a new Act to supplement those already passed in 1902 and 1926. It is probably fair to say that those representing the midwives…

Midwives Chronicle & Nursing Notes: February 1955

There are two distinct themes in this month’s Nursing Notes: the fate and welfare of the nation’s elderly, and the search for a solution to restrictions placed on midwives to administer pain relief during deliveries. The headline article of the February 1955 issue of Midwives Chronicle & Nursing Notes looked at restrictions placed on midwives…

Nursing Notes, December 1914

This month’s post comes from the December 1914 issue of ‘Nursing Notes’ and has been put together by Autumn, a volunteer to the RCM Archive. By the time of the First World War’s famous Christmas truce along the Western Front 100 years ago this month, Europe was fully aware that it was “face to face…

Midwives Chronicle, November 1977

This month’s post comes from the November 1977 issue of Midwives Chronicle. The front cover of the journal, showing a father present at the birth of his child, introduces one of the main themes covered in this issue, namely a debate on whether a father’s presence is conducive to the birth or an impediment. Father…