• keywords: nurse-midwifery;
  • midwifery;
  • theory;
  • midwifery model;
  • midwifery research


The relatively recent effort of midwifery scholars has resulted in the development of three middle-range midwifery theories in the United States. This article examines the three theoretical models that have been developed to describe the essential components of midwifery practice. The three theorists demonstrate remarkable consistency in the identification of concepts important to the discipline, which includes the following essential characteristics of the midwifery paradigm of care: 1) acknowledgment of connections between the mind and body and the person to the person's life and world; 2) assuming the perspective of the woman to investigate meaning and her experience of symptoms or conditions, so that a plan of care is developed by midwife and woman together; and 3) protection and nurturance of the “normal” in processes related to women's health, implying a judicious use of technology and intervention.