Through all the changes in midwifery during the half century Mary Cronk has practiced, she has always been considered a radical. After thirty years with the UK’s National Health Service, Mary left to practice as an independent midwife, in response to the increasing medicalization of midwifery under the NHS. She states, “I don’t like conformity…and felt the guidelines were not right for the women giving birth and individual care had been lost.” Mary considers herself an employee of the mother, not the health system. She is recognized an expert in spontaneous breech delivery, and is famous as an advocate for eliminating routine active management of labor. Mary has published professional papers and articles, served on the English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Visiting, as well as on the board of the Royal College of Midwives. In 1998, Mary was awarded an MBE, Member of the Order of the British Empire, an award for outstanding service to the community. For an article about breech delivery, follow the link: http://www.birthworks.co.za/articles/midwifery-skills-needed-breech-birth-mary-cronk. See also this cartoon portrayal of Mary Cronk!
Midwife of the Week posts, written by Sirene-Rose Lipschutz, originate on FoMM’s Facebook page and are archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!