Concern about the apparently shrinking role of the British midwife led in 1976 to the formation of the Association of Radical Midwives (ARM). This paper describes thc emergence and ideas of ARM. Comparison of ARM philosophy with the beliefs of a sample of English midwives reveals considerable support for ARM’s non-medicalized philosophy of childbirth and its specific proposals for systemic change. Few English midwives, however, consider themselves “radical midwives” or agree with ARM that their role has shrunk and training suffered. The conclusions suggest several reasons why English midwives’ support for ARM and its beliefs is limited.
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