Collections > UNC Chapel Hill Undergraduate Honors Theses Collection > "Midwife with a Capital M": Professional Identities of Midwives in England and Scotland

In the United Kingdom, a majority of babies are delivered by midwives, whereas in the United States, midwives attend less than ten percent of births. As the standard of maternity care in the U.K., midwives practice in all birth settings, ranging from hospitals to homebirths. This thesis explores how practicing in a variety of settings within the context of a nationalized healthcare system affects midwives’ professional practice and interpersonal relationships. Thematic analysis from twenty-nine interviews provides insight into midwives’ nuanced perspectives on relationships to institutions, the effects of dissimilar practice settings, and relationships to other healthcare providers. Through analysis of midwives’ professional experiences, this thesis will reveal the heterogeneity in the field of midwifery, despite the typically homogenizing effects of professionalization. Upon examination, this diversity among midwives may strengthen the profession amidst ongoing challenges.