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A Collection of Cases and Observations in Midwifery (Volume Two)
Smellie, William
Published by Printed for D. Wilson & T. Durham, London
Location of original: Countway Rare Books, Harvard University
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Page 249




In the year 1745, in the morning, called by a midwife to a woman who had been four and twenty hours in labour of her first child. I found the mouth of the womb largely open, the waters pushing down the membranes in a large globular figure, and as the violence of the pain abated, I felt the child’s head resting at the upward part of the Os Pubis. The midwife told me the patient had been in that condition several hours, but that she was afraid of breaking the membranes too soon, because she suspected that the woman was a little disported and the Pelvis narrow: however, the friends being concerned at her being so long in labour and a discharge of blood supervening, she had thought it necessary to take advice. After having twice again examined during pains, and maturely considering the case, I concluded that delivery was retarded by the rigidity of the membranes which seemed to be thicker than usual; for, as the child’s head swam up from the touch and returned, it was plain that it could not be
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