Health & Wellness

Before the modern medical age, women within many communities served as midwives. In the late 19th century, the rise of formal medical training sparked a change: doctors encouraged women to give birth at hospitals, rather than at home. In the 20th century, medical authority was largely assumed by men until the 1960s when Title IX mandated that all federally funded school programs accept women.

Collection Objects

Learn the stories behind these objects or see more health and wellness objects from our collections.

Conversation Kit


Smithsonian American Women book cover.

Smithsonian American Women

Remarkable objects and stories of strength, ingenuity, and vision from the National Collection.

Smithsonian American Women book cover.