understand the performance;
an operation, too, which must not be delayed till the system is exhausted
by the loss of blood, and unable to sustain the shock it will occasion.
But further, the most serious difficulties may exist, in the management
of the patient after delivery. They may be such as require the most prompt
and judicious treatment to preserve life, and yet be such as a female
would find herself totally inadequate to manage. I have only to refer
to the occurrence of hemorrhage or convulsions, to the difficulty sometimes
experienced in the extraction of the placenta, and to the dreadful but
not unprecedented accident of all inversion of the womb, for exemplifications
of cases which may happen during the attendance upon labor itself. But
in addition to this we should take into consideration the many accidents
which may happen during the puerperal state, the many diseases which occasionally
supervene; and with regard to which it is to be particularly borne in
mind, that the only chance for combatting them with success is by resisting
their first attacks with the most vigorous remedies. Now aIl these cases
require something more than the mere manual adroitness of an accoucheur;
they have nothing to do with the mechanical part or the process of labour.
They require the skill and science of a physician for their management;
and this too at the moment, and on the spot.
It may be thought a sufficient answer to all this, that when such occurrences
do take place, a physician may be called in, and thus the advantages of
a female accoucheur be preserved, without the risk of life,