On Witches and Midwives

Why have midwives been linked to witches in European history? by Helen King and Tania McIntosh What is your image of the midwife? For many people today, it’s the one we see in the long-running BBC drama Call the Midwife, about to enter its seventh series. This drama began as a fictional reworking of the … Read moreOn Witches and Midwives

Invitation: Conceiving Histories Exhibition

Conceiving Histories would like to invite you to come and visit their exhibition which is being held in the Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD from 8th November-13th December 2017. They also have some events that you might be interested in, including a private view (15th November) and an artists’/academics’ symposium. The … Read moreInvitation: Conceiving Histories Exhibition

New Videos

This week we are proud to announce that there are not one, not two, and not even three, but four new videos up on our Youtube channel. Below you can hear:

– Dr Frances Badger recount the tragic story of the Ramsbottom family following a maternal death;

– Dr Frances Badger tell the (happier) stories of Leah and Susannah;

– Dr Adrian Wilson discuss biblical allusions to childbirth, particularly in the Book of Genesis;

– Dr Adrian Wilson analyse Percival Willughby’s views on the uncertainties of childbirth.

Don’t forget to subscribe, comment, and share with anyone who might be interested in our series of Birth Stories.

Update on our Publications Page

Take a look at our growing Publications Page for suggested articles, papers and readings on the risks of childbirth in historical perspective. Additionally, if you are a researcher who works on midwifery or history and you would like to recommend a title to this list, please do get in touch.

New Video featuring Trish Davies and James Drife

Here is the latest in our series of Birth Stories videos. This clip features a conversation between Trish Davies and James Drife, a retired Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Trish was a patient of James’s in the “Home from Home” unit in the Clarendon Wing.

Thanks to both for a fascinating conversation on a happy birth from the 1990s.

Risk, Ideology, and ‘Normal Birth’

On Saturday 12 August 2017, The Times published a piece by Chris Smyth on changing attitudes towards terms such as ‘normal birth’ in the UK, which has sparked a chain of letters to the editor, a controversy in the blogosphere, and a range of follow-up articles from publications like The Guardian and the Evening Standard. … Read moreRisk, Ideology, and ‘Normal Birth’

Programme for the July Workshop

Ahead of the Brighton workshop, here is the final draft of the programme. We will be in Room 101, Mayfield House on the Falmer Campus (if coming by train, make sure you head to Brighton Uni, not Sussex!). There should be parking available as we are out of term time. Below is information about getting to … Read moreProgramme for the July Workshop

2 New Videos featuring Professor Helen King

We’re thrilled to announce that there are two new videos on our Youtube feed, both featuring Professor Helen King of The Open University. View the videos below to learn more about having your first baby at 42 (in the 1740s), and quintuplet births in the 18th century:

Thanks, Helen, for sharing your knowledge. Happy watching!