The ethos of caring within midwifery: A history of ideas study

Åsa Larsson, Yvonne Hilli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The midwifery profession in Sweden has a history since the early 1700s when government training for midwives began. Midwifery is historically well described, but the idea of caring within midwifery is not described.Aim: The aim was to describe the patterns of ideas of caring as they appeared in midwifery during the first half of the 20th century. Research design: This study has a hermeneutic approach and the method is history of ideas. Sources of material are taken from the journal Jordemodern (Midwifery), textbooks for midwives, and midwifery regulations. The study has a caring science perspective according to Eriksson.Ethical considerations: This study is conducted in accordance with the ethical guidelines for good scientific practice issued by The Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity. The special demands on approach to the analyzed text in history of ideas have been met.Findings: Three themes were identified: Serving as a way of life, Acting in a redemptive spirit, and Having independence with heavy responsibility. The various themes are not refined, but current ideas are woven into the weave that were characteristic of midwifery during the first half of the 20th century.Conclusion: History of ideas is a fruitful method for understanding and re-finding valuable cultural goods. We can once more stress the manner of being within the midwife's profession where inner values, ethos, shape the manner of conduct in the care of women in childbirth.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)808–818
Number of pages11
JournalNursing Ethics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • midwifery
  • caritative caring
  • childbirth

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