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Strengthening the evidence for maternal and child health programs

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Forbes TR. 1966. The midwife and the witch. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 196 pp.

Annotation: This book examines superstitions and other beliefs about pregnancy and childbirth in Europe in past centuries, including pregnancy and fertility tests, the prediction of sex, chalcedony and pregnancy, word charms, the veil of good fortune, witchcraft, and the early regulation of English midwives. An extensive bibliography is included.

Keywords: History, Midwives, Pregnancy, Superstitions


This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.