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Delivery Room at the Newark Maternity Hospital, 1917
Courtesy, New Jersey Historical Society

Newark Maternity Hospital, "Fourth Annual Report," 1917

Click on image to enlarge.

After World War I, especially in urban areas, pregnant women increasingly opted for giving birth under the care of a female or male physician in a hospital, rather than at home attended by a midwife or family doctor. Delivery rooms, such as the one shown above at the Newark Maternity Hospital in 1917, were furnished simply and lacked the medical technologies available in hospitals today. Midwives delivered babies at home, and New Jersey was at the forefront of the licensing and training of midwives. In 1914 there were 712 practicing midwives in the state. In 1919 forty percent of all births in New Jersey were attended by midwives.

Women's Project of New Jersey
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