· Midwifery is as old as the history of human species. Archeological evidence of a woman squatting in childbirth supported by another woman from behind demonstrates the existence of midwifery in 500BC.
· In the bible in the old testament, genesis 35: 17 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said to her, fear not Rachael, it is another boy.
· In exodus 1:15 it is recorded that king of Egypt spoke to the Shiprah and Puah, the two midwives, who helped Hebrew woman when they gave birth. These two Hebrew midwives are the first midwives found in the literature.
· Leonardo da vinci(1452-1519): He made anatomical drawing of pregnant uterus.
· Vesalius (1543): He opened the full term pregnant uterus in a lower animal, extracted the fetus and demonstrated uterus as a single chamber organ
· Ambrosie pare ( 1510-1590): He laid the foundations of modern obstertrics. He was the first to deliver a woman in bed instead of the birthing stool. He also sutured pernial raceration. He founded a school for midwives in Paris, France.
· Louise bourgeois: She recommended induction of labour for pelvic contraction.
· Julius Caesar Aranzi : He advised cesarean section for contracted pelvis. He wrote the first book for Italian midwives, which ran 17th editions.
· William Harvey(1578-1657): He described the fetal circulation and placenta and he was the first to deliver the raw placental surface and initiated the study of uterine sepsis. He was the father of British midwifery( lst english text book on midwifery), The French king Louis-xiv(1663). Employed a Paris surgeon to attend one of his mistresses in labour. He was honoured with the tittle " accoucheur"( a person who assists women in child birth). He built a school of midwifery, which attracted doctors from all over Europe.
· Mauriceau (1668): He described the attitude of the fetus in uterus as that of one of squatting down to pass stools and lowering his head to see what he has done. He published a treatise on midwifery, greatest physician of the 17th century.
· William Semellie (1697-1763): He explained labour to be a mechanical process and described pelvimetry. Cephalometry and forceps deliverv of the after coming head of a breech a lock for the obstetric forceps.
· Chamberlen (1675): Described obstetric forceps.
· Until the end of the sixteenth century, midwifery was practiced entirely by women. Men could be severely punished for attending women in childbirth.
· In the seventeenth century male midwives began to take up midwifery.
· By the middle of the eighteenth century the number of male midwives had increased, though there was great opposition and competition from the midwives and from the general public.
· Florence Nightingale in 1862, organized a small training school in connection with Kings college Hospital, where she conducted training for midwives.
· During the last 25 years of the nineteenth century, several hospitals began to train midwives and to issue certificates.
· In 1902 Midwives Act in United Kingdom entitled an act to secure better and supervision of midwives.
· 1926- Madras Registration of Nurses and Midwives Act.
· 1930 medical missionary women from England ( Ms. Ethel Bleakly& Ms. Edith Simpson).
· 1900 -Christian Medical College & Hospital was started at Vellore by Dr. Ida Sophia
· Dufferin Fund — 1875 — Ms.Bielby -- Dispensary and small hospital at Lucknow.
· Lady Dufferin — 1883—Maternity hospital & 1918- Lady Reading Health School.
· 1946- Bhore Committee: It reports lack of skilled services by qualified midwives plays an important part in the prevailing high rates of maternal morbidity and of infantile deaths in the first month after birth.
· 1955- Shetty Committee: Recommended training and posting ANMs in health centres for maternal and child health services provided there were adequate health visitors to supervise them.
· 1947- Indian Nursing Council
· Kartar Singh Committee: 1975- Multi purpose health worker Scheme, the two year ANIM course was shortened by 6 months and a broad curriculum was designed providing a wide range of experiences in community health.