October 9, 1936, Public Assistance Journal and Health & Hospital Review

As the Midwives Act of 1936 came into force ‘The Future of the Midwifery Service’ was discussed this week. The Act required local areas to secure full time employment of enough midwives to be able to attend women in their homes. This meant while working ‘not only as midwives but also as maternity nurses, during childbirth and from time to time thereafter for a period not less than the lying in period’. The lying in period was expected to be laid down by the Central Midwives Board to be no less than 14 days.

Promotion prospects were also discussed: ‘The midwife in future may gradually develop into a supervisor of health from early in the period of expectancy to several weeks after childbirth, at any rate until the mother is fully recovered.’

It was stressed that these midwives needed to be adequately remunerated. Salary scales equivalent to those of health visitors were suggested, along with allowances for travel expenses.