Scottish midwives, 1916-1983 : the Central Midwives Board for Scotland and practising midwives
The purpose of this thesis is to explore how differing circumstances came together to help or hinder the autonomous practice of midwives in Scotland between 1916 and 1983 when the Central Midwives Board (CMB) oversaw their training and practice. The thesis includes an examination of the records of the CMB for Scotland from 1916 to 1983 and, through oral testimonies, the work of practising midwives during the same period. The thesis is divided into two parts. Part I, comprising five chapters, explores the work of the CMB from 1916 to 1983. This includes: an examination of the issues surrounding the 1902 Midwives Act which did not apply to Scotland, and the campaign for, and opposition to, a similar Act for Scotland, passed in 1915; the constitution and early activities of the CMB which the 1915 Midwives (Scotland) Act established to oversee the enrolment, training and practice of midwives; a discussion of the national concern over the Maternal Mortality Rate in the 1920s and 1930s, subsequent Government reports and legislation and the CMB’s responses to these issues; an examination of the CMB’s work during the time of the World War II, the shortage of midwives, and the changes the National Health Service administration made to midwifery in Scotland. Finally, Part I examines the last decades of the CMB’s existence, including its response to changes in midwifery management, education, practice and statute. Part II, comprising three chapters, focuses on the practice of midwives in Scotland during the period through the aspects of antenatal, intranatal and postnatal care. Each chapter uses evidence from oral testimonies of midwives working within the framework established by relevant Acts and the CMB. Part II illuminates the contrast between the work of the CMB and the world of hands-on midwifery practice.