Title page for ETD etd-04272007-142756

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author MacDonald, Corey Meghan
Author's Email Address cmmacdon@vt.edu
URN etd-04272007-142756
Title “We Listen to Women”: Exploring Midwifery in Virginia from Certified Nurse-Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Harrison, Anthony Kwame Committee Chair
Bailey, Carol A. Committee Member
Yuan, Anastasia Sue Vogt Committee Member
  • Authoritative Knowledge
  • Virginia
  • Childbirth
  • Midwifery
  • Qualitative Methods
Date of Defense 2007-04-12
Availability unrestricted
The purposes of this study were to explore the work of midwives and their experiences with the medical community, and to examine their goals and hopes for the profession of midwifery in Virginia. To facilitate this purpose, the guiding research questions included: What do midwives believe the role of a midwife is? What are their experiences with the medical community? What are their hopes and goals for the future of midwifery in Virginia? Through interviews, focus groups and participating as a researcher-observer, I found that both certified nurse-midwives and certified professional midwives believe the role of midwife is one of support. Furthermore, midwives’ experiences with the medical community are both restrictive and supportive, and both groups are pursuing the advancement of midwifery acceptance and practice through building relationships and advocating for midwifery. The dominance of medical authoritative knowledge of childbirth in the United States creates struggles for midwives. Consequently networking and consumer advocacy are cited as vehicles for the growth of midwifery.

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