Integration lay and nurse-midwifery into the U.S. and Canadian health care systems Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The integration of midwifery into the health care systems in the U.S. and Canada has invoked scholars to speak of a "rise of midwifery". Despite the gains that the profession of midwifery has made in both countries, there are some interesting differences in how midwifery is organized and practised in these two settings. Briefly, in the U.S. midwifery currently exists as a profession divided between nurse- and non-nurse-midwives, or "lay" midwives, with greater acceptance and legitimacy garnered by the former, whereas midwifery in some jurisdictions in Canada has gained legitimacy as a unified profession separate from nursing. An analysis of the differences in the development and organization of lay and nurse-midwifery in Canada and the U.S. highlights the importance of differences in the system of health professions in these two countries, the role of the state in this system, and the relationship between feminism, midwifery and the state on the outcome of efforts to integrate midwifery.

publication date

  • April 1997