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Keywords:

  • birthplace;
  • evidence;
  • midwifery;
  • model;
  • policy;
  • quality;
  • safety;
  • sociology

Abstract

Global recognition is increasing of the contribution of midwifery services to optimal outcomes for women and babies, and evidence around how to organize services and the roles of maternity providers. However, a sociological analysis can provide some insight into why the role of midwives varies so widely in different countries. Evidence is necessary, but more important is the role of the state in legalizing and financially supporting midwifery practice, how professional boundaries are negotiated in the maternity care domain, and consumer mobilization in support of midwifery and around maternity issues. (BIRTH 39:4 December 2012)