The earliest documentation of African midwifery can be found in the book of Exodus I verses; 15-21 dated 1500 BC; … And the King of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah. And he said, “When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but it be a daughter, then she shall live”. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the King commanded them, but saved the men children alive. And the King called for the midwives, and said unto them, “Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive”? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered before the midwives come in unto them.” Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. and it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.

*Taken from Sarahn Henderson’s Essay, “The Cauling¬†of Midwife: A historical journey of Midwifery through the hands of midwives of African descent.”*


Read More About Shiphrah and Puah Here!