The first book to present the history, ideas, life and works of Chinese midwives and birth attendants, this volume seeks to encapsulate and explain the changing ideas about the practice of midwifery in China.
Using participant observations and interviews, it examines each phase of the development of midwifery in depth. Providing a systematic study of the existing literature and contemporary national health policies, it analyses the factors contributing to the current demise of midwifery in China, such as the absence of national regulation, high standards of education and national midwives’ associations. Furthermore, it argues that China’s national statistics in the past six decades demonstrate clear evidence that minimising maternal mortality rates will only happen through wider availability of services, rather than through obstetric technology or facility based care. Ultimately, therefore this book supports the view that humanity and midwifery will survive to overcome domination by both technology and market forces and that economic growth and medical technology alone will not be sufficient in providing effective healthcare.
This book is an indispensable resource for the study of Chinese midwifery, both in theory and in practice. As such it will be useful to students and scholars of Midwifery, Women’s Health, Sociology and culture and society in China.