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Man-Midwifery Exposed and Corrected
Gregory, Samuel
Published by George Gregory, New York
Location of original: Countway Rare Books, Harvard University
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improved medical education in America, that they were excluded from the practice; and it was only by the united and persevering exertions of some of the most distinguished individuals our profession has been able to boast, that this was effected.'
Add the time since that pamphlet was written, and it is about three quarters of a century 'since females were almost the only accoucheurs among ourselves.' It appears, moreover, from the latter clause of the quotation, that this war against women has been prosecuted with the same vigor, and the same 'united and persevering exertion,' here as in England. And it must be acknowledged, that remarkable success has attended the assailants; the heights of Cerro Gordo have been stormed, the capital has been taken, the opposing forces have been disarmed and dispersed; but, unfortunately for the full completion of the 'triumphs,' the enemy, though 'ignorant and incompetent,' are still unsubdued.
Whether the 'fruits' of excluding women from the lying-in chamber, and placing men in it, are the 'happiest' imaginable, the reader will perhaps be better able to judge when he has perused the following pages.
Having brought down the history of midwifery and man-midwifery to 'our times,' let us look at the practice of

Midwifery at the Present Day.

This business is the most thoroughly monopolized by the medical profession in England and her colonies, and in the United States, particularly the northern and eastern portions. Gentlemen who have lived in our southern cities state that is as common there to see the signs of 'Midwives' out at the doors and windows, as it is here to see those of 'Drs.' only not quite so near together. But here the influence against the sisterhood is so overwhelming, that they hardly dare to let it be known that they practise, and perhaps not a single one can be found by the aid of any Boston Directory, or Almanac. The poor women go about privately, as if they thought themselves out of their 'appropriate sphere,' or were ashamed of an office which Heaven and Nature designed them, and them alone, to fill. There is, however, a favorable omen: Soon after the agitation of this subject commenced in this city, last fall, some courageous woman ventured to advertise herself in some of

the daily papers as a 'midwife.' That's right, ladies; if you are competent for the office, out with your advertisements and your signs; for the number is increasing who wish to know where you are to be found.
While lecturing on this subject in this city last September, several gentlemen, after hearing the arguments in favor of midwives, inquired what ones I could recommend to them. The names of some in this city might here be given; but not knowing them all, but part could be given, and this might seem like partiality. One of them, moreover, who with the best of success attended in the family of my brother, the publisher, last summer, cautioned me not to mention her name, as she was already overburdened with applications and engagements. She said she had attended more than a thousand cases during her practice, and had not had occasion to call in a doctor to assist in more than half a dozen instances in the whole number. Another lady practitioner remarked that, in a recent attendance in one of the wealthy families in the city, every thing having been conducted to the entire satisfaction of the wife and her husband, she named and received her usual fee. But the gentleman was so well pleased with her success and the idea of being relieved from the necessity of having a medical man about on such an occasion, that the next day, as an expression of his satisfaction, he sent her a fifty dollar bill.
IN FRANCE, where man-midwifery originated, and where, if it is an improvement, it ought to have been generally adopted, this is far from being the case, even in the city of Paris. It is true that Paris has produced eminent practitioners in the art, and authors on the subject, whose works have been translated into our language as text-books. But these gentlemen have generally been instructors or practitioners in public establishments. Madame Boivin and Madame Lachapelle have also had the management in the hospital practice, and they have each superintended in more than twenty thousand cases of midwifery. They have written valuable works on the subject, which English and American medical writers quote as the best authority. But we shall be told that these are exceptions, ---female philosophers. It may be; but there are a sufficient number of exceptions to supply all the wants of the community.
According to 'L'Union Medicale,' of August 26, 1897, there are 480 licensed midwives in Paris. The permanent population of that city is something short of a million
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