Story: Pregnancy, birth and baby care

St Helens Hospital maternity staff, 1907

St Helens Hospital maternity staff, 1907

The first public maternity hospitals were opened in 1905. The St Helens hospitals were one outcome of a government enquiry into maternal and infant deaths during childbirth. They provided subsidised maternity care for pregnant women, and midwifery training. Most births in the hospitals were managed by midwives – doctors were only called if complications arose. Women could also use the St Helens midwives at home. This is the first superintendent of the Dunedin St Helens Hospital (and first woman medical graduate in New Zealand), Dr Emily Siedeberg, surrounded by midwifery staff. Dr Siedeberg is distinguishable by her central position and black clothing. All the midwives are holding recently-born babies.

Using this item

Otago Daily Times
Reference: 19 June 1907, p. 43

Permission of the Otago Daily Times must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Pregnancy, birth and baby care - Childbirth, 19th century to 1950s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/26164/st-helens-hospital-maternity-staff-1907 (accessed 13 June 2021)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 24 Oct 2018