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Additional info for A history of midwifery in the United States : the midwife said fear not
26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 17 excerpts from the Malleus Maleﬁcarum (Hammer of Witches) written in 1484 by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, the sons of Pope Innocent VIII, which they describe as a “sadistic book [that] lay on the bench of every judge” for three centuries (p. 7). ” Ehrenreich and English conclude that the witch-craze “was a calculated ruling class campaign of terrorization” (p. 8). They write that midwives were particularly strongly associated with witches as the only healers available to a populace who were “bitterly aﬄicted with poverty and disease,” include a quote that “No one does more harm to the Catholic church than midwives” (p.
6 ■ I: EARLY HISTORY OF MIDWIFERY IN THE UNITED STATES Fewer than half the women in the 1700s and early 1800s were literate. 8 They were two of 17 children (10 boys and 7 girls). Their father was a Boston candlemaker. Massachusetts’s Poor Law required teaching boys to both read and write while girls only got to learn to read. Learning was in the home. It was not until 1789 that girls were allowed to attend public schools in Boston. Girls were needed at home to help care for the children and to help with all the household tasks.
4 The midwives of antiquity had to work with the rudiments of what we take for granted today. The goal, however, then, as today, was the prevention of disease and promotion of health. Indeed, health promotion and disease prevention among populations are the primary goals or pillars of public health. -E. A. ”5 The provision of quality health services to populations of individuals, families, and communities is part of the core practice of public health. Midwives can be viewed as among the ﬁrst practitioners of public health with their vital role of working with childbearing women and families within their communities during major life events.