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Jewish Midwives - Europe

“Jewish midwives generally maintained the high ethical standards expected in Judaism and enjoyed good reputations. For example, in the Middle Ages before the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, Jewish midwives in Castile and Aragon gained positions in the royal courts. In the eighteenth century, Jewish midwives were actually sought by Gentiles in southern Holland in preference to their own midwives because Jews gave priority to the mother's life in a difficult delivery, whereas local Catholic doctors gave priority to the baby’s life.”

From Michele Klein's A Time to be Born: Customs and Folklore of Jewish Birth. Jewish Publication Society, 1998.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Midwives - Europe." (Viewed on January 20, 2018) <>.


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