Delivery Room at the Newark Maternity
Courtesy, New Jersey
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.