Birth History Timeline

Birth History

The Movement toward Professionalism in Medicine

January 1, 1751

Read more

Pre-1770

January 1, 1770

Read more

The New Midwifery

January 1, 1812

Read more

Medicine in a Democratic Culture: 1760-1850

January 1, 1850

Doctors were usually not educated. Books that were popular at the time were on self-help measures, common-sense medicine.

The development of religious thought—not medical progress—first brought about the decline of magic in healing and other spheres of…

Read more

Around the Turn of the Century

January 1, 1900

Economic changes made families less self-sufficient.

Scientific discoveries and the development of more effective treatments led to increased public acceptance of medicine.

Automobiles and smooth roads made hospital access easier.

Some large city hospitals opened prenatal clinics.

Anesthesia was introduced in the late 1800s and “twilight sleep” in 1914.

As medical education and care improved, physicians organized to solidify their status and…

Read more

The 1920s

January 1, 1920

Health insurance vanished during the 1920s.

Economic prosperity during the 1920s increased the size of the middle class, which directed women not to work. Upper- and middle-class women wanted doctors, not lower-class midwives.

By 1920, doctors believed that “normal” deliveries were so rare that interventions should be made during every labor to prevent…

Read more

The 1930s

January 1, 1930

Read more

The 1940s

January 1, 1940

During World War II, more than 3 million women were recruited for war-related jobs.

While President Harry Truman lobbied hard for a national health insurance program in the 1940s, the AMA lobbied hard against it, calling it “socialized medicine,” and turned the polls completely around from a plan favored by the American people to one that was vanishing.

The AMA campaign against nationalized medicine cost $1.5 million. At the time it was the most expensive lobbying effort in American…

Read more

The 1950s

January 1, 1950

Read more

The 1960s

January 1, 1960

The Kennedy administration took up the cause of “community care” and turned it into a major federal program in the…

Read more

The 1980s

January 1, 1980

Read more

The 1990s

January 1, 1990

In the first half of the…

Read more

Barriers Today

January 1, 2000

Read more

Sheila Kitzinger

April 11, 2015
Announcement Image

Sheila Kitzinger, natural childbirth expert, dies aged…

Read more

Lunatic gives birth to twins in public

May 14, 2015

Read more