Send in the midwives
By Richard Woodbury 23 November 2017 Share this story
AFFTER THE HALIFAX EXPLOSION, THE CITY SAW A CHILDBIRTH BOOM
Soon after the Halifax Explosion, City Hall posted a notice asking midwives to report there because they were needed.
One of the side effects of the Halifax Explosion was that it induced labour in many pregnant women. “If there’s a force hitting buildings strong enough to knock people across a room, that’s enough force to really significantly impact what’s going on in the human body,” says Stephanie Kincade. She’s a researcher who has been trying to find out more about the women who gave birth and the role midwives played in the relief efforts.
She says there’s not a lot of documentation covering this aspect of the disaster, but she hopes she’ll be able to learn more once the birth records become unsealed after the required 100-year wait. Once those records are available, Kincade hopes to determine what women went into labour around the time of the explosion. She plans to track down their descendants and try to find out their stories.
She doesn’t know how many women went into labour as a result of the explosion, but the fact the city put out that notice asking for midwives suggests the number was significant.
As information was scarce following the explosion, many people feared Halifax was under attack by the Germans. However, that didn’t stop people such as doctors, nurses and midwives from rushing to the city to help out. “Halifax might be the new front line, [but] we’re getting on a train and we’re going to help people,” says Kincade.
This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.
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