baby catcher

baby catcher n Cf baby-snatcher n, catch v B9

One who assists a woman in childbirth; a midwife or doctor.

1888 Indiana Weekly Messenger (PA) 20 June [2]/3 (, Dr. Mabon, of Greenville, is one of the most successful “baby catchers” in the county. He secured three in one day last week, getting two at the house of James Fowler. 1913 Amer. Jrl. Nursing 13.17 KY, When you are told . . of the importance of some woman in the neighborhood who happens to be such a necessity because she is a baby catcher, or of some child that has “gardens on the brains,” you must be able to fathom all these mysteries. 1937 Sandoz Slogum 40 wNE, Soon Gulla Slogum was baby catcher for all the settlers, going from soddy to dugout, in any weather. 1954 Portsmouth Times (OH) 3 Jan 6/5, At the New Year’s Eve party we attended, our favorite baby-catcher pensively sipped a glass of orange juice pending an awaited call from the hospital. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. AA30, An older woman who comes in . . to help when a baby is going to be born) Infs SC19, 26, 55, Baby catcher; (Qu. BB53a, . . Joking names . . for a doctor) Infs AL61, LA8, OK11, SC70, Baby catcher. [5 of 7 Infs Black]