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Revista Estudos Feministas

versão impressa ISSN 0104-026Xversão On-line ISSN 1806-9584


BEAUVALET-BOUTOUYRIE, Scarlet. The head-midwives of the Port-Rroyal maternity in nineteenth-century Paris: obstetricians before their time?. Rev. Estud. Fem. [online]. 2002, vol.10, n.2, pp.403-413. ISSN 1806-9584.

The Maternity of Port-Royal, founded in Paris in 1795, was a model establishment which, besides specializing in childbirth, functioned as a school for midwives, being one of the few that provided clinical instruction. This article analyzes the first hundred years of the Maternity, showing the work of head-midwives as authorities both in teaching and in the care of patients. It emphasizes the special status of the head-midwives, who managed to maintain power over medical obstetricians in spite of their criticism and struggle for dominance, and of the growing importance of the latter in 19th-century medical and hospital organization. The analysis points to the need for further research about other French and European schools in order to better evaluate the experience of midwifery in those times.

Palavras-chave : the Port-Royal Maternity; head-midwives; school for midwives; dispute between midwives and doctors.

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