The first printed midwifery guide in English was published in 1540; like others that followed, it was addressed both to midwives and to married women. These works provided basic information on conception, pregnancy, labor and delivery, and care of the newborn. With the exception of Jane Sharp’s book (1671), they were all written by men.
From 1540 onwards, printed midwifery manuals were popular in England. A typical format includes the signs of pregnancy; a description of bodily changes associated with it; remedies for common ailments; descriptions of labor and delivery; and care of the newborn. Some also include a guide to selecting a midwife and or a wet nurse.