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midwives, midwifery, midwifery regulation


Regulation of Midwifery in the Late Middle Ages was the result of both the trend toward supervisory social and institutional control and also the harnessing of midwives as agents of that control. This paper examines the procedure of ecclesiastical and municipal regulation through oaths and licensure, arguing that midwives were able to gain agency and autonomy, as well as protection, by occupying a liminal role between the private world of the birthing chamber and the public world of the witness stand. They were therefore vital to both sides of the process of regulation