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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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This gives one midwife to about 2000 inhabitants, or to 1000 females. Now, let Boston, with its 120,000 inhabitants, have a proportional supply, and of like qualifications, and we have 60 educated midwives; enough, with the aid of a few obstetric surgeons, to perform the whole business.And so of New York and our other cities. And it is a reproach to Americans to be behind the French in point of expediency and propriety in this matter. The following item is from the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, of 1845.
'Instruction of Midwives in Paris.---According to the new regulations regarding the instruction of midwives in Paris, it is required that they shall present testimonials of good character, be at least eighteen years of age, and able to read and write correctly the French language, before they can be admitted to the clinical lying-in hospital. It is only after having diligently attended this institution for twelve months, and taken two full courses of lectures on the Theory and Practice of Midwifery, that they can present themselves as candidates for the degree.
Very wise arrangement, judicious regulations. A similar course can and ought to be adopted in Boston, New York, and other cities, so as to supply qualified midwives not only for our cities, but for villages and country town. If French women are competent to learn and practise the art, are not American, Yankee women? He who says no, slanders his countrywomen.
In several of the German states, such schools are maintained, and women have the general practice. Professor Siebold, in a recent Report of the Royal Scientific Association of Gottingen, on the use of Ether, syas, 'If it is decided to use the vapor of ether in natural labor, may this remedy be placed in the hands of midwives?' Thus intimating that midwives have the management of cases of 'natural labor.'
The Danish government, viewing the employment of men in ordinary cases of midwifery as highly improper, established schools for the instruction of women. A lady of Westfield, in this state, who has resided some time in one of the Danish West India Islands, says the regulation there is, that if a midwife presents herself to a woman needing her assistance, she is entitled to her fee, whether employed or not; and some of the foreign ladies, particularly English and American, are so obstinately attached to their home customs, that, though the midwives are qualified and licensed, they will pay two fees, rather

than miss of having a professional gentleman!!
In Scotland, where may be found as much good sense, and intelligence, and virtue as in any country under heaven, not only the popular sentiment, but that of the most eminent medical instructors, has been in favor of midwives in their profession.a proof that attention was early turned to their education; In the year 1725, a professorship of midwifery was established in the University of Edinburgh; and the town-council at the same time ordained that no woman should be allowed to practise, within the liberties of the city, without having previously obtained from the professor a certificate of her qualifications.
In 'A Comparative View of the State and Faculties of Aman with htose of the Animal World, by John Gregory, M.D., F.R.S., Professor of Medicine in the University of Edinburgh, and First Physician to his Majesty for Schotland,' is the following passage:---
'Every other animal brings forth its young without assistance; but we judge Nature insufficient for that work, and think an accoucheur understands it better. What numbers of infants, as well as mothers, are destroyed by the preposterous management of these artists is well known to all who have inquired into this matter. The most intelligent and successful practitioners, if they are candid, will own, that in common and natural cases, Nature is entirely sufficient, and that their business is only to assist her efforts in case of weakness of the mother, or an unnatural position of the child.'
Dr. James Gregory, son of the author just quoted, and also Professor of the Practice of Medicine, in the University of Edinburgh, as late as 1821, thought women abundantly competent to assist in childbirth, ridiculed the idea of employing physicians, and compared men-midwives to that species of frog, in which according to the allegation of Reaumur, the male draws out the ova from the female, or, to use the naturalist's own words, 'accouche la femelle.' If this is a fact in natural history, this frog practice is doubless the only precedent, in the whole animal kingdom, in favor of accoucheurs and man-midwifery.
The following quotation from the article 'Midwifery,' in the Encyclopedia Brittanica, gives a condensed view of the question. The writer of the article being a physician, and having no particular partiality for midwives, his remarks are not more favorable than

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