History of Midwifery in New Mexico: Partnership Between Curandera-parteras and the New Mexico Department of Health

Authors

  • Felina Mychelle Ortiz CNM, MSN

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    • Felina Mychelle Ortiz, CNM, MSN, is faculty at University of Utah's Nurse-Midwifery program. This program offers women's health care throughout Salt Lake City, including low-income communities.


Felina Mychelle Ortiz, CNM, MSN, 3505 Alaska Place NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111. E-mail: fmortiz@salud.unm.edu

Abstract

Curandera-parteras (traditional Hispanic midwives) have been in northern New Mexico since before its statehood. In the 1930s, the New Mexico Department of Health began a valuable relationship with the curandera-parteras through the Midwife Consultant Program. This article describes the relationship between the curandera-parteras and the New Mexico Department of Health originating in the 1920s. The amenable and effective working relationship achieved between curandera-parteras and public health during this time period helped create the positive support for midwifery that is apparent in New Mexico today.

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