banner
Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Love 'Call the Midwife?' Learn all about N.C.'s first nurse-midwife

Posted March 14
Updated March 15

Lovie at about age 12 with one of her father’s mules. Courtesy of Lovie’s sister, Octavia Bowman.

Are you one of the 8.7 million viewers glued to BBC's hit, "Call the Midwife?" The next series launches April 2 on PBS. But, before then, you can learn about one of North Carolina's groundbreaking midwives - Lovie Beard Shelton, Pamlico County's first public health nurse and the first nurse-midwife in North Carolina.

Author Lisa Yarger will talk about the groundbreaking nurse and midwife, at 3 p.m., Sunday, at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh. Yarger wrote a book about Shelton, "Lovie: The Story of a Southern Midwife and an Unlikely Friendship." She'll sign books after the talk.

Shelton, widowed at 37 and a mother of four, served Beaufort, Martin, Pitt, Craven, Nash, Hyde, Wilson and Pamlico counties for more than 50 years, from 1950 to 2001. She never turned away a patient and, during the years of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era, worked with all, regardless of their race. She died in 2013.

In her day, Shelton delivered more than 4,000 babies. Sometimes she received nothing for her work. Often, she earned no more than $40 for a birth. Some of Shelton's equipment will be on display Sunday. The program is free. (And so is parking on Sundays in downtown Raleigh).

Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all