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>the Controversy< Martha and a Man-Midwife Who Was Dr. Ben Page? Summing Up
Smellie Treatise
Smellie Collection
John Blunt, Man-Midwifery Dissected
The man-midwife caricature in the beginning of this section is frequently reprinted in works about early man-midwifery in England. It was the frontispiece of John Blunt's Man-Midwifery Dissected. Neither a physician nor a man-midwife himself, Blunt argued against males as assistants in normal births.Quote frompage VIII



Questions to ask these pages:

1. According to Blunt, how many years before Martha Ballard started her diary in 1785 was the forceps design made public?

2. What did Blunt say persuaded women to employ man-midwives, even in normal labors?

Questions to ask the book:

1. According to Blunt, what were the dangers of employing man-midvives?
Find out in
the archive

2. How did Blunt propose to correct the man-midwife problem?
Find out in
the archive

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  Title Page   Page VIII  


( viii )

ficult occasions ; and justice requires us to acknowledge, that they often happily terminated labours which women could not manage, especially after the forceps were made public, in the year 1733.
   This extraordinary male aid caused the less modest females to engage men to deliver them in common labours, notwithstanding their friends' remonstrances ; but men being awkward herein, they went to Paris to study their business, under men who taught it there about half a century ago.
   Great mischief, however, has been done since men-midwifery become general, owing to the ignorance and impatience of those professors who erroneously imagined, their instruments must be used on all occasions, whether the labours were natural or difficult, which I shall hereafter prove.
   About a century ago, an instrument was invented in Holland, for the pur-


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