I. T H E R E F O R E, She who would discreetly undertake
MIDWIFERY, ought not to begin the Practice
too YOUNG, nor continue it till grown too OLD: For the one
will want, perhaps, due Experience, as well as decent Gravity
and Solidity; the other will, peradventure, want requisite
Strength and Vigour of Body, as well as the Free Exercise,
and ready Use of her Senses.
II. SHE ought to be no weak, infirm, or diseased
Person, incapable of undergoing the Fatigues which the Business
too often requires: Such as watching Night and Day; turning
the INFANTS, when in a wrong Posture; or extracting them
at length; which Action frequently requires the full Strength
of a strong MAN, instead of a weak Woman. For thus
the most learned and excellent Fabricius d'Aquapendente, testifies
of himself, that he has often been so weary and tired, that
he has often been obliged to leave the Work for his Assistant to
finish; and as Daventer also (a robust Man) relates of himself,
that in the coldest Time of Winter, being but thinly cloathed,
and at a Distance away from any Fire; his Hair has been
wet, and all his Body in a SWEAT, and both
his Loins and his Limbs have aked egregiously some Days
after delivering a Woman.
III. SHE ought not to be too Fat or Gross, but especially
not to have thick or fleshy Hands and Arms, or large-Bon'd
Wrists; which (of Necessity) must occasion racking Pains to
the tender labouring Woman.
IV. SHE ought not to be lame or maim'd, nor have
stiff or crooked Fingers, Hands, or Arms; for these Parts
are to be used in different Manners and Postures, even so
that the Success of the LABOUR often depends
upon their Readiness and Agility.
V. SHE ought not to be, negatively speaking, a conceiv'd
or Child-bearing Woman; because This may be of bad Consequence,
not only to the labouring Woman; (who depends on her, for more
than she's able to perform, especially in a strong LABOUR)
but also to the conceiv'd MIDWIFE herself, and her own INFANT.