Until one century ago the natural wonder of spontaneous childbirth was the turning point in a woman's chances of surviving her pregnancy. When obstructed labor occurred the midwife or surgeon had nothing to offer but patience, blessing and fundal expression, and their frustation was compensated by skillful use of craniotomes in case the mother was alive. At present childbirth is still appreciated as an intriguing and fascinating event, but it is not considered anymore in the perspective of maternal life and death. This is caused to a large extent by the development of techniques to effectively assist in or bypass vaginal delivery, which became in general use in the course of the twentieth century.

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H.C.S. Wallenburg (Henk)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Kuit, J. (1997, April 2). Clinical and physical aspects of obstetric vacuum extraction. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/18022