Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(2,285 words)

1. Concept

Midwifery is one of the oldest female occupations of all (Professions, women’s). The term “midwife” dates from the 14th century, and consists of the Middle English mid, “with,” and wyf, “woman”, that is, the “woman who is with [the mother]” (cf. Latin obstetrix, literally “woman who stands over [the mother]”; German Hebamme, from Old High German hev(i)anna, “old woman who lifts [the newborn child from the floor]"; regionally also Höbmutter, Hebemutter). English …

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Labouvie, Eva and Bukowski, Evelyn, “Midwife”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 28 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_020750>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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