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Birth. 2012 Dec;39(4):323-6. doi: 10.1111/birt.12010. Epub 2012 Nov 5.

Every woman needs a midwife, and some women need a doctor too.

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Social Science and Women's Health, Research Division of Women's Health, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.


Global recognition is increasing of the contribution of midwifery services to optimal outcomes for women and babies, and evidence around how to organize services and the roles of maternity providers. However, a sociological analysis can provide some insight into why the role of midwives varies so widely in different countries. Evidence is necessary, but more important is the role of the state in legalizing and financially supporting midwifery practice, how professional boundaries are negotiated in the maternity care domain, and consumer mobilization in support of midwifery and around maternity issues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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