Midwife's Tale: Kath Lambert and Margaret Anderson

Scope and Content

Transcript of an interview with Kath Lambert and Margaret Anderson covering their experience as domiciliary midwives during the 1940s and 1950s, including discussion of a midwife's intuition, place of birth, relationship between midwives and doctors, as Queens nurses in Saffron Walden, modes of transport, effect of the Second World War on nursing services, payments for childbirth, training, experience with thalidomide and other disabilities, delivery positions, pain relief during childbirth, destruction of the placenta, methods used during complicated deliveries, resuscitation of babies, antenatal and postnatal care, cot deaths, breastfeeding, social conditions, existence of handywomen, anecdotes of births they attended, and emergency obstetric services.

Administrative / Biographical History

Katherine and Margaret were sisters who were born into a middle-class family in Bromley, Kent. Both took up nursing, and later midwifery. They eventually worked together as district nurses/midwives in a small Essex town.

Conditions Governing Access

Transcripts and Sample Audio: Free to view and download from the website of the Royal College of Midwives: https://www.rcm.org.uk/library-and-information-services

Audio of Full Interviews: Accessible for free and by appointment at the library of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm (contact: archives@rcog.org.uk)

Write, call or email us to book an appointment, make an enquiry, or to order digital copies (free via Dropbox) for personal and non-commercial research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies for private study purposes only are available from the Archivist (contact: archives@rcog.org.uk). Copyright permission is required for commercial use of audio and transcripts.

Copyright lies with the authors Billie Hunter and Nicky Leap.

Related Material

The Midwife’s Tale: an Oral History from Handywoman to Professional Midwife, by Nicky Leap and Billie Hunter (2nd edition, 2013) [Available at the RCOG library, reference WQ11 LEA]