Join the Dittrick Museum of Medical History for the talk “‘Hard Labor’–Birth in the 19th Century and Today” Thursday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m.

The discussion will feature Brandy Schillace, research associate at the museum, and Catherine Osborn, research assistant and graduate anthropology student. Case Western Reserve University faculty Leslie Kushner, instructor of nursing; Gretchen Mettler, assistant professor of midwifery; and Vanessa Hildebrand, assistant professor of anthropology, will be panelists for a Q&A session following the talk.

At the event, Schillace and Osborn will discuss how midwifery went from almost an entirely female practice in the 18th century to nearly all male by the early 20th century. They will address the types of tools and techniques the male doctors employed, including forceps and ether to actually render the mother unconscious for almost every delivery.

The short talk will end with a series of questions for the panelists and the audience to discuss: How have things changed? How have they stayed the same? Attendees can ask certified nurse midwives about the practice today—and ask historians about the practice in the past.

Join the conversation by registering online at or emailing Schillace at Space is limited to 30 participants.