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From book on child birth: It is hard to imagine today that until the last century no woman had any specialist obstetric care during pregnancy. The first time a woman would see a doctor or midwife was when she went into labour. Therefore, death and disaster, either for mother or child, or both, were commonplace. Such tragedies were looked upon as the will of God, whereas, in fact, they were the inevitable result of neglect and ignorance. Society ladies would have a doctor visiting them during pregnancy, but such visits were not antenatal care and would probably be more like social calls than anything else, because no doctor was trained in antenatal care.
From the book on midwife: Why aren’t midwives the heroines of society that they should be? Why do they have such a low profile? They ought to be lauded to the skies, by everyone. But they are not. The responsibility they carry is immeasurable. Their skill and knowledge are matchless, yet they are completely taken for granted, and usually overlooked. All medical students in the 1950s were trained by midwives. They had classroom lectures from an obstetrician, certainly, but without clinical practice lectures are meaningless. So in all teaching hospitals, medical students were attached to a teacher midwife, and would go out with her in the district to learn the skill of practical midwifery. All GPs had been trained by a midwife. But these facts seemed to be barely known.
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