Upwards of Forty Cases or
Observations in that valuable
Art, ſelected from many Others, in
the Courſe of a very Extensive
With many neceſſary Cautions and
uſeful Instructions, proper to be
obſerved in the moſt Dangerous and Critical
Exigencies, as well when the Delivery is
difficult in its own Nature, as when it becomes
ſo by the Raſhneſs or Ignorance of Unexperienc’d
All Female Practitioners in an
Art ſo important to the Lives and Well-Being
of the Sex.
Printed for T. Cooper, at the Globe in PaterNoſter
To the Queen’s Moſt Excellent Majeſty.
Forgive my preſuming to approach Your Majesty with the following Sheets; a liberty I ſhould not dare to take with the greateſt of Queens, was I not at the ſame time encouraged by that Univerſal Benevolence, which ſtiles You A the vi A1v vi the Nurſing-mother of a moſt happy people.
Your Majesty’s tender regard to our Sex’s modeſty, makes a Treatiſe of Midwifery implore Your Royal Protection; the practice of which is generally ſo little underſtood by Women Midwives, eſpecially in the Country: where tho’ the Women are commonly more robuſt, and pure Nature in great meaſure aſſiſts, the leaſt difficulty has frequently baffled the Midwife’s judgment, and ſhe often forced to ſend for a Man; when the Labour has been no more than a common Caſe, as a Child’s pitching wrong, &c. And vii A1v vii And there’s another misfortune, that ’tis rare to find in the Country, Gentlemen that are grave and old experienc’d Practicioners; which forces our Sex to ſubmit to every boyiſh Pretender; by which our modeſty is expoſed, and the Midwife’s reputation hurt: to prevent which (as far as in my power) I reſolv’d to publiſh ſome Obſervations in my Practice; in hopes they’ll prove inſtructive to ſome Women Midwives, eſpecially thoſe of the lower claſs. And in this undertaking, to whom can I fly for Protection, but to Your Majesty, the Fountain of all perfect Virtue,A2 tue, viii A2v viii tue, and the generous Encourager of all Arts and Sciences.
I will not venture to touch on Your Majesty’s Excellencies; that many learned pens have tried, and all fell infinitely ſhort of: and therefore muſt unwillingly be ſilent where I ought to expreſs moſt; and, imploring Your Majesty’s Royal Protection and Forgiveneſs, beg leave to ſubſcribe myſelf,
The Preface to the Reader.
The Occaſion of my publiſhing this ſmall Treatiſe is, in hopes it may prove inſtructive to ſome Women Profeſſors in the Art of Midwifery; and inform them in a right, ſafe, and juſt practice of that Art: that they may be able to deliver in difficult Labours, as well as thoſe that are not ſo. For I cannot x A3v x cannot comprehend, why Women are not capable of compleating this buſineſs when begun, without calling in of Men to their aſſiſtance, who are often ſent for, when the Work is near finiſh’d; and then the Midwife, who has taken all the pains, is accounted of little value, and the young men command all the praiſe. Which unskilful practices of Women-Midwives being often repeated, give occaſion for Pregnant Women to beſpeak them, ſo that it is become quite a faſhion; eſpecially with the Briſtol Ladies.
I am well aſſured, unleſs the Women-Midwives give themſelves more to the Study of this Art, and learn the difficult part of their buſineſs, that the Modeſty of our Sex will be in great danger of being loſt, for want xi A4r xi want of good Women-Midwives, by being ſo much expoſed to the Men profeſſing this Art: for ’tis arrived to that height already, that almoſt every young Man, who hath ſerved his Apprenticeſhip to a Barber-Surgeon, imnmediately ſets up for a Man-Midwife; altho’ as ignorant, and, indeed, much ignoranter, than the meaneſt Woman of the Profeſſion.
But theſe young Gentlemen‑ Profeſſors put on a finiſh’d aſſurance, with pretence that their Knowledge exceeds any Woman’s, becauſe they have ſeen, or gone thro’, a Courſe of Anatomy: and ſo, if the Mother, or Child, or both die, as it often happens, then they die Secundum Artem; for a Man was there, and the Woman-Midwife bears all the blame. Then it is, that xii A4v xii that our young and well-aſſur’d pretenders boaſt, had they been there ſoon, neither ſhould have died. Tho’ I have made it my Obſervation within theſe few years, That more Women and Children have died by the hands of ſuch Profeſſors, than by the greateſt imbecillity and ignorance of ſome Women-Midwives, who never went thro’, or ſo much as heard of, a Courſe of Anatomy. For, give me leave to tell thoſe young Gentlemen pretenders, who undertake the Practice of Midwifery with only the knowledge of diſſecting the Dead, that all the Living who have or ſhall come under their care, in any difficulty, have and may ſeverely pay for what knowledge they attain to in the Art of Midwifery; eſpecially ſuch young ones as now pretend to practiſe: by xiii a1r xiii by whom (I am well aſſured) there are many ſufferers both Mothers and Children; yea, Infants have been born alive, with their Brains working out of their Heads: occaſion’d by the too common uſe of Inſtruments: which I never found but very little uſe to be made of, in all my practice. I have had the opportunity of going thro’ a great number of difficult Labours, living in and near Taunton, a place where there was no Man-Midwife, and a town wholly depending on the Woollen Manufactory, the Combing and Weaving Part, which many Women are bred to there; and, I believe, has been the occaſion of many Wrong Births and Bad Labours, which I was obliged to be at, among the poorer ſort of Women. And as I never a found xiv a1v xiv found Inſtruments requiſite above four times in my life; ſo I am certain, where twenty Women are deliver’d with Inſtruments (which is now become a common practice) that nineteen of them might be deliver’d without, if not the twentieth, as will appear in my Obſervations. Wherefore it is my intention (with God’s aſſiſtance) to inſtruct my Siſters of the Profeſſion; that it may be in their power to deliver all manner of Births, with more eaſe and ſafety, than has hithero been practis’d by many of them, and without expoſing the Lives of their Women and Children to every boyiſh Pretender. For diſſecting the Dead, and being juſt and tender to the Living, are vaſtly different; for it muſt be ſuppoſed that there is a tender regard one Woman bears xv a2r xv bears to another, and a natural Sympathy in thoſe that have gone thro’ the Pangs of Childbearing; which, doubtleſs, occaſion a compaſſion for thoſe that labour under thoſe circumſtances, which no man can be a judge of.
I have ſeen ſeveral Women open’d; and ’tis not improper for all of the Profeſſion to ſee Diſſections, and read Anatomy, as I have done. But had I inſpected into them all my life, and not been inſtructed in Midwifery by my Mother, and Deputy to her full ſix years, it would have ſignified but little; nor ſhould I have dared to have undertaken ſuch a Profeſſion, leſt any Life ſhould have been loſt thro’ my ignorance; which I am well aſſured, thro’ the bleſſing of God, has never happened.a2 pened. xvi a2v xvi pened. I am not in the leaſt condemning juſt Practitioners, men of erudition, grave and ſedate, and whoſe judgments are unqueſtionable: they, without doubt, are juſtly to be eſteem’d. But my whole deſign in this ſmall piece is to be plain in my inſtructions, that Midwives of the loweſt capacity may be able to Deliver their Women, without calling in, or ſending for, a Man, in every little ſeeming difficulty; but if they have not ſtrength, which I take to be the occaſion of requiring their aſſiſtance in ſome circumſtances; I would adviſe the Midwives of Briſtol, to take ſpecial care to ſend for a juſt Practitioner; and, if poſſible, one without partiality: who values a Mother’s and Child’s Life, and the Midwife’s Reputation,tation, xvii a3r xvii tation, more than his own ſiniſter Ends.
In my humble opinion, it is neceſſary that Midwives ſhould employ three years at leaſt, with ſome ingenious woman practiſing this Art. For if ſeven years muſt be ſerved to learn a Trade, I think three years as little as poſſible to be inſtructed in an Art where Life depends.
I believe I ſhall make it appear, that a great part of the Miſcarriage of many Midwives, occaſioning the ſufferings of ſeveral Mothers and Children, is for want of knowledge when to aſſiſt a Woman, and when to omit it. I have often been call’d to the aſſiſtance of many Midwives, and have found Mothers and Children in the utmoſt danger; which has been by begininging xviii a3v xviii ing their work before its due time; they imagining every uncertain Pain a Woman hath, to be her Labour: which Pains are common, and attend many Women a Month or Six Weeks before their Time of Delivery (which I have found by experience.)
I ſhall not fill any part of this book, with needleſs diſcourſes on the Parts of Generation, nor the Reaſons of Conception; neither ſhall I concern myſelf, or give my opinion, why ſome Women do not conceive; many Authors being copious on ſuch Subjects. For my part, I think all the Diſorders of Teeming Women do not belong to Midwives; but they ought to commit themſelves to the Care of a Phyſician; a Midwife’s buſi neſs xix a4r xix neſs being only to be well inſtructed in her Profeſſion: then with a good Reſolution, and the Bleſſing of God, ſhe needs not fear going thro’ the moſt difficult part of her buſineſs, with as good ſucceſs as I have done theſe five and thirty years. For I am well aſſured, that abundance of hard Labours are owing to the want of good judgment in the firſt beginnings of Travail.
Excuſe me if I have been guilty of Prolixity, Tautology, or Circumlocution; my deſign in this Treatiſe being to inſtruct the meaneſt capacity, and not to meddle with thoſe of Erudition, &c. I heartily wiſh what I have wrote may be of ſervice to my Siſters Profeſſors in the Art of Midwifery: and that the xx a4v xx the Omnipotent, Omniſcient, and Omnipreſent God, may grant you All Succeſs, is the hearty and ſincere Prayer, of
Your True and Faithful Friend and Servant,
From my Houſe in Piccadilly, over-againſt the Right Hon. the Earl of Burlington’s.
The following Letter being from a Gentleman juſtly celebrated in his Profeſſion, I ſhall take the liberty to prefix it to this Work; and hope for the Author’s excuſe as well as that of the Publick, for ſo doing: the Motive for it being far from That of Vanity or Conceit; tho’, I think, any Perſon may take an honeſt Pride in the Approbation of the Worthy.
A Copy of a Letter from Dr. Allen of Bridgewater, to Mr. Stone.
I Received Your’s of the ---1818th, by which I find You and Mrs. Stone are removed from Briſtol, b and xxii b1v xxii and are ſettled in London; which I very heartily wiſh may be greatly to your Advantage. Sure I am, if Knowledge and Skill in Your Profeſſions; Honeſty, Induſtry, and Care, will procure You Buſineſs, You will not want for a Recommendation to as many as ſhall be ſo happy as to have any Knowledge of You. You know the only Objection I had to Your leaving Briſtol for London, was my Fear how You would be able to get an Acquaintance in London, at Your Time of Life; but I hope, That by Your own and Mrs. Stone’s Qualifications above mentioned, You will be able to ſurmount your Difficulty. We have three or four Midwives in this Town at preſent, but they bear very poor Characters. The Place was much happier in that reſpect when Mrs. Stone began her xxiii b2r xxiii her Practice here. I remember ſhe exercis’d her Art, tho’ then very young, with great Applauſe and Succeſs, having been taught her Skill by the famous Mrs. Holmes her Mother, the beſt Midwife that ever I knew. The great and populous Town of Taunton enlarged her Experience, and Briſtol perfected and fitted her for the Metropolis, London; where, I hope, ſhe will reap a very plentiful Harveſt, anſwerable to her true Merit.
You acquaint me that ſhe is going to publiſh ſome Obſervations of her own, in the Art of Midwifery: She was ſo kind ſome Time ſince to ſhew me, in MSS. a few of thoſe Caſes; and indeed ſome of them were very curious and inſtructive. I wiſh it may gain her great Credit and Reputation. I ſhall be glad to have xxiv b2v xxiv have the Pleaſure of ſeeing it when it comes abroad, and ſhall truly rejoice to hear of both Your Succeſs and Proſperity in all Your Affairs; and, according to the Compliment of the Seaſon, wiſh You a happy New Year, and very many of them; who am,
BridgwaterBridgewater, 1736-12-25Dec. 25, 1736.
Your Affectionate Friend and Servant,
A Complete Practice of Midwifery.
The Delivery of a Woman, her Child being lodg’d on the Share-Bone.
At Bridgewater, Somerſetſhire, 17031703. I was ſent for to Huntſpill, to a Farmer’s wife, who had been in Labour three days: her Pains were declining, and ſhe reduced B to 002 B1v 2 to the utmoſt degree of Weakneſs; not having been in Bed all that time, (which is the common, but very bad, practice of the Country Midwives.) When I came, I found her Spirits quite exhauſted; and her Midwife, being alſo fatigued, was in a sound ſleep. I laid the Woman on the Bed, and by Touching her, found the Child lay on the Os Pubis (or Share-Bone.) The Waters being gone, made the remaining part of her Labour the more difficult: however, relieving her Child from the Os Pubis, I deliver’d her of a Daughter alive, and that in the ſpace of three hours; to the grand ſurprize of her Midwife, when awake, who ſeem’d glad the Child was born alive, ſhe believing it dead the day before.
The Delivery of a Woman, being four days in Labour, and her Child very much Putrified.
Iwas ſent for to Bromfield, to a Farmer’s wife, who was one of my mother’s Women; and my mother being then dead about three months, ſhe had ſpoke to me: but ſome of her friends prevailed with her to have another Midwife. The reaſon was, I was then thought too young, and that an elderly woman would do better. But when I came, I found the woman bolſter’d upright, breatheingB2 ing 004 B2v 4 ing very ſhort, her Noſtrils working, and her Pulſe very quick and irregular, as tho’ Life was departing.
I ask’d the Midwife, How long ſhe had been in that manner? ſhe told me from Thurſday, and this was on the Monday morning following. The Woman ſaid ſhe had not felt the Child from Friday; and, probably, it might be dead longer, by the putrefaction of the child. I could not help letting the Midwife, and women that were with her, know, That her life was in the utmoſt danger, proper aſſiſtance having been too long neglected; and it was my opiinion, ſhe could not long ſurvive. They deſir’d me to deliver her, which, thanks to the Omnipotent, I did, in thirty minutes, tho’ with great difficult; by reaſon 005 B3r 5 reaſon the child was ſo putrefied; notwithſtanding which the Woman did well.
The Delivery of a Woman in a violent Flooding, and her Child dead.
Iwas ſoon after ſent for to Petherton, two miles from Bridgewater, to a Taylor’s wife. When I came to her ſhe was lying on the bed ſpeechleſs; for ſhe had flooded in ſo violent a manner, that ſhe never ſtain’d a Cloth at, or after, her Delivery. When I had ſtated her dangerous Caſe, I Touch’d her: the Secundine, I found, preſented firſt; but Searching further, found 006 B3v 6 found the Waters not gone; wherefore having two beds in one room, I order’d the other to be ready to receive her ſo breaking the Waters, the Child’s head preſented: but ſhe being faint by the prodigious loſs of blood, I examin’d for the Feet; which in ſearching for, I found the Navel-ſtring without the leaſt Pulſation; a plain demonſtration the Child was dead. However, I found the Feet with leſs Difficulty than I ſometimes have, and deliver’d her in leſs than fifteen minutes of a large boy, who, by all circumſtances, had been dead about eight hours; which, no doubt, happen’d thro’ her great loſs of blood. As ſoon as I had deliver’d her of the Child and After-Birth (aſſiſted by the Women) we laid her in the other bed. ’Twas a full hour 007 B4r 7 hour before ſhe ſpoke; when ſhe recover’d her ſpirits ſhe declar’d, ſhe remember’d not any thing of her being deliver’d. She lived and did well: for riding that way about five weeks after, I called to ſee her, and found her out of danger, but weak, and her Legs inclin’d to ſwell, which is common in ſuch caſes: but this was ſoon removed, by taking a few doſes of proper Phyſick, when capable of receiving it. ’Twas 5 months before ſhe recover’d ſtrength enough to ſtir abroad; tho’ had her Midwife had judgment to have deliver’d her, as ſoon as ſhe fell into ſuch Floodings, the Child’s life might have been ſaved, and the mother preſerved from extreme danger; beſides the expences that ſuch weak Lyings-in occaſion, which are 008 B8v 8 are very chargeable to poor people.
The Delivery of a Woman, her Child being fixed on the Os Pubis, or Share-bone.
In a ſhort time after I was ſent for to Bromfield, to a Farmer’s wife, who had been in Labour about eight and forty hours, her Midwife being all the time with her. She was a woman of very low ſpirits; her Pains were ſhort, by reaſon the Child’s head fix’d on the Os Pubis (or Share-bone.) I have obſerved, in all ſuch Labours, the Pains are very ſhort, and extreme ſharp: The reaſon is, the 009 C1r 9 the Pains force the Child’s head on the Os Pubis, which proves injurious both to Mother and Child. The practice of Midwives, in general, in this caſe, is to preſs hard on the back part of the body; when, indeed, they have not the leaſt occaſion to preſs any where; but to paſs by, or thro’ the Vagina, and gently feel for the Entrance or Mouth of the Womb; and if it be in a wrong ſituation, to place it right, or dilate it, as there is occaſion: which I ſhall ſhew as my Obſervations give me leave. In this caſe, I examined the Matrix, and found the Inner Orifice lay very high to her Back, and open enough to admit of my Fore-finger, which I ſoon dilated to the admittance of my next finger, and with them both gently drew the MatrixC trix 010 C1v 10 trix (or Womb) towards the Os Pubis (or Share-bone;) and as I dilated with my two fingers, at the ſame time, I relieved and kept back the Child’s head from the Os Pubis. Which practice I have always found ſucceſsful: for by ſuch proceeding the Child is retarded (or kept back,) the Pains ſtrengthened, and the Labour happily finiſh’d in a little time; as it hath happened to me innumerable times, in ſuch Labours. I deliver’d this Woman in two hours, as I aſſured her ſhe would be, when I firſt came to her: ſhe ſeem’d not to credit me, but found it truth. I have attended the ſame Woman divers times; all her Labours are near the ſame, yet ſhe and the Children do well, and hath tolerable Lyings-in.
The Delivery of a Woman whoſe Life was deſpaired of, her Child lying ſo long on the Os Pubis.
Iwas ſent for to North-curry, to a Shoemaker’s wife; I found her in a very deplorable condition, and by all her friends given to Death; for they told me, That the Shoemaker’s former wife was in the very ſame caſe as this, and ſhe died undeliver’d; and they were ſure this Woman would alſo. The poor Woman ſitting up in a chair, with the ſymptoms of Death in her face, and all ſpectators pronouncingC2 nouncing 012 C2v 12 nouncing Death againſt her, I Touch’d her, and aſſur’d them all, that, with God’s aſſiſtance, I did not doubt of delivering her in two hours; which I accordingly did: both Mother and Child did well. I have deliver’d her of ſeveral Children ſince, and ſhe is yet alive. I could not help ſmiling, to hear how the womens ſentiments alter’d; for they were poſitive in their opinions, That had I been with the firſt wife, ſhe had not died. This Woman’s Caſe was much like the Woman’s in the fourth Obſervation. The Matrix was open, and the Midwife had taken great pains to deliver this poor Woman: but inſtead of relieving the Child off the Os Pubis, ſhe work’d on the Back; a practice too much approv’d of by moſt authors. My principal aim in this, 013 C3r 13 this, is to inform my ſiſters in the Profeſſion, That if they know how to relieve the Child from the Os Pubis, they need not fear; the Back-part will ſoon yield full faſt enough for any Woman to bear: I always found it ſo; and have been oblig’d to ſupport the Back-part with my hands, to prevent its being injured.
The Delivery of a Woman, in the uttermoſt danger of Life, by the After-Burthen being left behind eight days.
Iwas ſent for to a Tucker’s wife in Taunton, in High‑ Street. She was taken with a Convulſion Fit, was two and twenty weeks gone with Child, and in the Fit the Child came from her; her Midwife, who liv’d the next door, was inſtantly call’d to her aſſiſtance, but could not bring the Secundine (or After-Birth) away. The poor Woman lay in an extreme weak condition, with continual Floodings;ings; 015 C4r 15 ings; a Phyſician attended her, and order’d her Medicines to ſtop them. As ſoon as he was gone, her Midwives (for then ſhe had three with her) conſulted, and agreed to boil Herbs, and give her, to force the Secundine (or After-Birth) away. But ſoon after, ſhe being to all human reaſon expiring, the Phyſician was ſent for again, to ſtop her Floodings; and in that deplorable condition ſhe lay eight days, when I was ſent for. I Touch’d her, and found the Mouth of the Matrix open, about the breadth of a Shilling. I introduc’d my fore-finger, and then the ſecond; and with great difficulty I brought off the After‑ Birth in divers pieces, very rotten and offenſive. I was obliged gently to preſs my left hand on her Belly, to keep the Matrix ſteddy 016 C4v 16 ſteddy, or elſe it could not have been done. The Woman recover’d, and liv’d many years, and had one Child after; contrary to the opinion of her Midwives, they thinking it impoſſible for her to recover. The Phyſician met me the next morning at her houſe, and gave me thanks for the ſervice I had done his Patient. He ſaid, ’twas always his opinion it muſt be brought off; but her Midwives ſaid it could not be done. It was near five months before ſhe recover’d ſtrength to go abroad.
The Delivery of two Women, their Children having a Dropſy in their Heads.
At Taunton I attended an Inn-keeper’s Wife. She was taken in Labour on a Thurſday, and ſent for her Midwife, who gave her hopes of a ſpeedy Delivery. About midnight the Waters broke, and Pains a little abated, till Friday evening, and then her Pangs return’d very violent. She remain’d in that extremity till I was ſent for, which was on Sunday evening: I found her more likely to die than to live, which made me D unwilling 018 D1v 18 unwilling to undertake her Delivery; but ſhe deſired me, for God’s ſake, to do it, if ſhe died the next moment. Her inconſoleable caſe oblig’d me to undertake her Delivery. In Touching her, I found the Child came with the Breech foremoſt, and both Feet lay acroſs the Neck: whereupon, exerting my utmoſt ſtrength, I brought the Feet to the Knees; and, with the aſsiſtance of a woman, extracted the Child to the Neck: but finding the Head ſtick, I ſearch’d, and found the Head very large, and protuberant with water; the Coronal Sutures being ſeparated at leaſt two inches from each other, occaſioned by the large quantity of water contain’d in the Child’s Head. I made an Inciſion between the Sutures; the water flow’d freely:ly: 019 D2r 19 ly: I then had but little difficulty to bring the Head, and ſoon after brought away the Secundine (or After-Birth.) It was very black; owing, I believe, to a Mortification ſhe had in her Belly; of which ſhe died the third day after Delivery. When dead, I perceived her Belly to be as green as graſs, being mortified. It proceeded, as I conceive, from a great preſſure often repeated, by the Women, in keeping her Belly down, according to her Midwife’s directions. The reaſon ſhe gave me for it was, That all the Woman’s Pains, inſtead of Bearing down, every Pain roſe up the Child, and ſtraiten’d her Belly, round her Navel, as tho’ it would have broke thro’. I laid my hand on her Belly, and it ſeem’d to me, that all the ſubſtance between D2 the 020 D2v 20 the Child’s Head and my hand, was not thicker than fine paper. The Woman told me, That after her Waters were gone, ſhe never had one Pain like thoſe ſhe uſed to have of her former Children; ſhe having had ſeven before. I eaſily perceiv’d the reaſon, when I found the Child’s Head erected as high as poſſible; for ’tis common for Children, whilſt alive, to make the ſtrongesſt efforts to be born the way the Head lies: but after this Child was dead, the largeneſs of the Head hindered the Pangs being ſucceſsful, but, on the contrary, became very injurious. I put a Tunnel in the Child’s Head, where I made the Puncture, and pour’d in five full pints of water, and judg’d it would have held half a pint more , which made the Head prodigiouſly 021 D3r 21 prodigiouſly large, and impoſſible to be born of any woman in the world. And for want of this Woman’s being deliver’d, when her Waters broke, ſhe loſt her life: which is very plain; for a Smith’s wife, a near neighbour, and intimate acquaintance of her’s, was at that time about twelve weeks gone with Child, She was often with the Woman, and ſaw the Child; which was a great imbecility in her, and ſo it is with any Woman that is pregnant, to ſee any thing that may affect their Infants, as this did: for two months before her Time was expired, ſhe ſent for me, and deſir’d my aſſiſtance whenever her Labour came on, ſhe telling me, ſhe was poſitive her Child would be the ſame as her deceaſed friend’s. She told me ſhe was in the ſame way as 022 D3v 22 as her friend; ſhe had heard her complain often, whilſt with Child: and, indeed, it proved too true. For when I was ſent for to her, I found her Labour, and the Situation of the Child, and the Dropſical Head, with every particular, as the Innholder’s wife. As ſoon as the Waters broke, I ſearch’d for the Feet, ſo brought the Child’s Body; but was oblig’d to make an Inciſion in the Head, as in the former Child. Her whole time of Delivery exceeded not an hour; the Child’s Head contained near the ſame quantity of Water as t’other Child. She did very well, and had ſeveral Children after: which is a plain demonſtration, if the other woman had been deliver’d as ſoon as her Waters broke, (the only time to deliver all Wrong Births) ſhe 023 D4r 23 ſhe might have lived; for their Labours begun equal, the Children exact alike; the bulk of the Head, and the diſtance of the Sutures, as tho’ it had been the firſt Child born twice. I hope it will be a warning to all Breeding Women, that may read or know it, not to be at Difficult or Uncommon Labours.
The Delivery of a Woman, who was likely to be ruined thro’ the ignorance of her Midwife.
Afew days after I was ſent for, by St. Mary Magdalen’s Church, to a Woman who 024 D4v 24 who had been in Labour two days and three nights. The Midwife that was with her told her friends, ſhe believ’d ſhe could not be Deliver’d. They hearing I was near (for I was attending on a Gentlewoman who was near her Time) ſent for me. When I came, I found the Woman extremely fatigued, in a violent Tranſudation, that even her gown was wet with Sweat: I never ſaw a Woman in greater extremity. I Touch’d her, and found the Child lay right, but over the Os Pubis. I was ſurpriz’d in Touching her, to find her Fundament ſpread broader than the palm of my hand. I ask’d the Midwife what ſhe had been doing: ſhe told me that in opening the outer gate, (as ſhe call’d it) was the way, ſaid ſhe, to help the inner. I was aſtoniſh’dniſh’d 025 E1r 25 niſh’d at her ignorance; but have found ſince that it is too common a practice, even among the Men (but not the judicious) as well as Women Midwives, to work on the Back-part, which they have no buſineſs to meddle with; unleſs it be to ſupport it from the injury ’tis often in danger of. I immediately endeavour’d to deliver her, by paſſing my two fore-fingers between the Os Pubis and the Child’s Head. I ſoon reliev’d it, and in one hour and a quarter I deliver’d her of a luſty Boy. Both Mother and Child did well. ’Tis my Opinion, had I not aſſiſted this Woman, ſhe muſt ſoon have been ruin’d, if not loſt her Life.
The Delivery of a Woman, the Child’s Arm being without the Birth four days.
In Bridgewater I was ſent for to a ſtreet below Huntſpill, to a Farmer’s wife, who had been in Labour four days. Her Midwife told me, That her Waters had broke, and the Child’s Arm preſented on Thurſday night, and then her Pangs left her: which is very common in all Wrong Births. They ſent for me on Sunday morning. I ask’d the Midwife, Why ſhe had not help ſooner? She reply’d, She 027 E2r 27 She waited for Pains. I then inform’d her, That in all Wrong Births Pains were of no Uſe, but, on the contrary, pernicious. The poor Woman had been ſo ill uſed, that it was ſome time before I could perſuade her to ſuffer me to Touch her, ſaying ſhe choſe to die, rather than go through any more Pain in that manner. I aſſurd her, with the Omnipotent’s leave, I would deliver her in leſs than half an hour. She then conſented I ſhould try. I laid her a-croſs the Bed, on her Knees, with a bolſter and pillow under her Stomach, that her Belly might lie hollow; which I have found, in general, to be the eaſieſt and beſt way, giving liberty for turning a Child. I Touch’d her, and found the Child’s Arm hal’d out, as far as the Shoulder, and E2 broke 028 E2v 28 broke in two places. I ſlid my hand gently along the Child’s Arm and Ribs, with ſome difficulty, ſo advanced further, till I found one Foot, and drew it towards me; the other ſoon follow’d. I wrap’d them in linnen, for the better hold, and deliver’d her, altho’ the Child was much ſwell’d. I ſuppoſe the Infant had been dead from the Friday before. In her Delivery ſhe never complain’d once of any Pain. I ask’d her, How ſhe could bear the turning of her Child, and Delivery without complaining? She told me, She had endur’d a thouſand times more Pain by the hands of her Midwife; and ſome Handy Women (as they call them) which were about her, told her, That ſend for whom ſhe wou’d, ſhe could never be deliver’d; but they 029 E3r 29 they were ſoon convinced of their abſurdity and brutiſh dealing with the poor Sufferer; for ſhe was deliver’d, and laid in her Bed in a comfortable manner, in leſs than half an hour, to their great ſurprize. She had a good Lying-in, and was abroad in three Weeks.
The Delivery of a Woman, whoſe Child had been dead four Months, and not Putrified.
In Taunton, a Smith’s wife, being a Waſher-woman, deſired my aſſiſtance when ſhe ſhould want it. She told me She had not felt the Child, ſince ſhe 030 E3v 30 ſhe quicken’d, for a month. For hanging ſome cloaths on a line to dry, it being out of her reach, ſhe felt a prodigious Motion of her Child, and never felt it afterwards. Her Reckoning being almoſt out, ſhe deſir’d my aſſiſtance; (If ſhe was with Child?) I told her, I did not doubt but ſhe was; but ’twas my opinion the Child was dead from that time. She ſhew’d me her Breaſts, which were as full of Milk, as if ſhe had been a Nurſe. She was obliged to milk them twice a day; and never milk’d leſs than half a pint a day, out of each at a time.
She went a Month beyond her Reckoning, and then ſhe had ſeveral Pains. That day ſhe ſent for me in the evening: I Touch’d her, and found her Water ſunk without the Neck of 031 E4r 31 of the Womb: the skin that retain’d it was ſo very thin, that with the leaſt touch it broke. I received ſome of the Water in my hand, found it very clear, and without the leaſt putrid ſmell; which I wonder’d at: it being uſual when a Child is dead to be offenſive. Her Pains being trifling, and the Matrix lying high, and out of my power to reach, I order’d her to Bed, and to continue there till her Pains grew ſtronger: which being done, about four in the morning, ſhe ſent for me. I then found her in ſtronger Pains; ſhe ſaid they were not like the Bearing Pains ſhe uſed to have with her former Children. I found the Child preſented with its Breech foremoſt, and brought it off in a little time: but the Burden adher’d ſo cloſe to the Matrix, 032 E4v 32 Matrix, I was obliged to peel it off, in the manner you would the rind from a young tree. And, what is worth obſervation, the Burden was at leaſt two inches thick, but full as pale as the Lungs of any animal. ’Tis, therefore, plain, that altho’ the Child was dead, yet that grew more than in a living Child. The Woman did exceeding well, and was capable of waſhing in three weeks after. When the Child was born, the Navel-ſtring was ſeven times round the Neck: which palpably ſhews, as the Mother was throwing a ſheet over a line, the ſudden jerk occaſion’d the Child’s being ſtrangled with the Navel-ſtring, the Child being whole and entire, without the leaſt Putrefaction; notwithſtanding it had been dead at leaſt four months: an inſtance I 033 F1r 33 I never met with in all my Practice. I wiſh this may be a warning to all Women with Child, to take care not to overreach themſelves; that being often the loſs of many Infants, as well as Mothers.
The Delivery of a Woman with the Child’s Shoulder foremoſt.
Iwas ſent for in Taunton, to a Cobler’s wife, who had been ſome time in Labour. Her Midwife told me her Child was right, which made her wonder the Child did not come forward, with ſo many ſtrong Pains as F ſhe 034 F1v 34 ſhe had for a Day and Night. I ſoon inform’d her ’twas the Child’s Shoulder, and not the Head. I endeavour’d to place the Child right, which I did, tho’ it ſoon return’d to the former Poſition. I plac’d it right three times, and ſtill it return’d again; tho’ ſome Authors have adviſed, when the Child lies not right, it muſt be placed ſo, then deliver the Woman. But I believe ſuch Authors wrote, what they never practiſed; if they did, they ought to have inform’d the Readers how the Child’s Head ſhould be kept in the right Poſition when plac’d, and how they ſhould procure Pains to accompliſh ſuch a Delivery: for as ſoon as I had placed the Child’s Head right, all her Pains ceaſed; which is common in ſuch Births; and obliged 035 F2r 35 obliged me to ſearch for the Feet. I brought the Child as far as the Head; then was forced to put my two fore-fingers of my left hand into its Mouth, and gently preſs down the Chin to its breaſt with my right hand on the ſhoulders, and compleated the Delivery.
The Child when born had not the leaſt appearance of life in it; but the Mother did very well ſoon.
The Delivery of a Woman, her Child being Dead, and much Putrified.
Iwas ſent for to Pitmiſter, to a Woman who had been in Travail four days, and her Child dead the greateſt part of the time; for the Skin of it flay’d off, as I deliver’d her. The Woman being very low and weak, I thought it would be leaſt Pain to her to unbrain the Child, I being well aſſured it was dead, by the black offenſive Water the flow’d from the Matrix. In ſuch Caſes, where there is a certainty of the Child’s 037 F3r 37 Child’s being dead, and the Head foremoſt, it is the eaſieſt and quickeſt way of Delivery. But I think it vile practice to take ſuch methods whilſt the Child is alive, and a Woman in full ſtrength; tho’ ’tis not become too common a practice: there being many Infants born crying, with their Brains working out of their Heads. But how ſuch Operators can clear themſel;ves of the blood of the Infants so deſtroy’d, I cannot imagine; nor what their thoughts may be in ſuch vile performances: I doubt it will give them no conſoleable reflections on a dying bed. (This by way of digreſſion.) Having no inciſion‑ knife with me, I was obliged to uſe a penknife. I ſecured the blade with a piece of rag near the point, and directed that to the 038 F3v 38 the Sutures of the Child’s Head, guarding the point under the firſt joint of my fore-finger, to prevent injuring the Woman. I made a large Puncture in the Head, and then perform’d the remainder with my fingers, by taking ſevral large pieces of the Skull and Brains; then taking hold of the back-part of the Neck, I deliver’d her in a little time. The Child was very much putrified, as was the Secundine, but the Woman did well. She had two Midwives with her, yet did little ſervice towards her Delivery; which they told me they wonder’d at. I made them ſenſible the difficulty was occaſioned by the Child’s lying on the Os Pubis; for, by all circumſtances, ſhe might have been deliver’d, at leaſt, two days before, had either of 039 F4r 39 of the Midwives underſtood how to have proceeded in ſuch a Labour.
The Delivery of a Woman, with the Child’s Arm foremoſt, and much ſwelled.
Iwas ſent for to a Weaver’s wife in St. James’s Pariſh, a buſineſs ſhe was oblig’d to follow herſelf, altho’ a work very injurious to Pregnant Women, eſpecially ſhort women. I have been with a great many wrong and difficult Births, I believe owing to the Woollen Trade, in which many women are obliged to be employ’d, in that town, and 040 F4v 40 and places adjacent, and no Man‑ midwife in the place, nor any Woman that was capable to go thro’ the leaſt difficulty; ſo that the whole of bad Labours lay heavy on me: which frequently happening, render’d it ſo fatiguing and pernicious to my health, as to oblige me to leave the place; and tho’, thank God, I have recover’d ſince, yet I have been much concern’d to hear that many Mothers and Children have loſt their lives, ſince my departure. One great reaſon of my recollecting theſe Obſervations, is, That as I cannot be ſerviceable in my perſon, I may be doubly ſo to thoſe who profeſs or undertake the Art of Midwifery; and not to ſet down the leaſt practice of any other perſons, but faithfully to diſtribute, with the Omnipotent’stent’s 041 G1r 41 tent’s leave, my own performances. When I came to the aforemention’d Woman, I found the Arm hal’d out as far as the Shoulder. I ask’d, What Midwife had been with her? They ſaid none; but I aſſur’d them ’twas falſe, and inſiſted on knowinf who ſhe was. Then they told me it was the Midwife that lived by; and when ſhe heard of my being ſent for, ſhe went home: becauſe I had been often after her bad works, and could not help condemning her for keeping Women long in hand, as ſhe uſually did, not ſuffering me to be ſent for till the Child was dead, and the Woman in great danger. She had been with this Woman two days and one Night. I ſent for her, to admoniſh her not to keep Women in ſuch dangerous conditions,G tions 042 G1v 42 tions, ſo long. She refuſing to come, I thought it high time to deliver the Woman: I then ſearch’d for the Feet, but found them very difficult to be come at, ſhe being a little ſhort Woman, and a large Child dead; the Arm and Shoulders much ſwell’d, which render’d her Delivery much more troubleſome. I gently puſh’d the Child’s Arm back as far as I could, which gave me a little room to ſlide my hand as far as the Ribs; but being ſeiz’d with the Cramp, oblig’d me to withdraw it: after rubbing it a little, I enter’d again, and got hold of one Foot. The Cramp ſeizing me a ſecond time, I was obliged to let go my hold; but kept my hand ſtill to eaſe it, and give the Woman reſt: for, ’tis to be obſerved, when the hand is in the body, 043 G2r 43 body, and in motion, it creates great pain to the Woman. Therefore they who undertake ſuch Deliveries, muſt be endow’d with great patience, juſtice, good judgment, and full reſolution, with God’s bleſſing, to go thro’ ſuch Deliveries. I drew the Foot towards me, which gave room to take hold of the other Foot. As the Feet advanc’d the Arm drew back. But after I had brought the Child as far as the Knees, I was obliged to have the aſſiſtance of a woman, and we both us’d all our ſtrength to bring it to the Shoulders. I then brought down one Hand and Arm, for more room, and left the other, to prevent the Matrix from contracting round the Neck, which ſometimes happens. I put two fingers of my left hand into the Child’s mouth, G2 and 044 G2v 44 and my right hand upon its ſhoulders, ſo happily deliver’d her. I brought off the Secundine entirely whole. And notwithſtanding her hard Labour, ſhe was capable of working in her Loom a fortnight after.
The Delivery of a Woman with Twins, the one came right and the other wrong.
Iwas ſent for to a Woman near St. James’s Church; ſhe had been in Labour from Tueſday to Friday. I found her in a low, weak condition; and, to the eye of reaſon, very near Death. I underſtood by herſelfſelf 045 G3r 45 ſelf and women, That ſhe had been in ſtrong Labour all that time, and quite tir’d out. Her Pulſe was very low, her Breath ſhort, her Noſtrils working, ſo that I thought her near expireing. I ask’d her Midwife the reaſon, Why ſhe did not deliver her? She told me, Becauſe God’s time was not come: (a common ſaying amongſt illiterate and unskilful Midwives.) I told her, ’Twas my opinion, when the ſigns of Travail appear’d ſo plain, and the Matrix open, the Waters voided, and ſtrong Pangs, (as had been this Woman’s caſe, by her own confeſſion, the Tueſday night before, and this was Friday in the afternoon) that it appear’d to me to be God’s time then; and, doubtleſs, a Midwife’s place to do her duty. The Midwife told me there was anotherother 046 G3v 46 other reaſon why ſhe had a bad time, ſhe perceiv’d the Child had long hair. ’Tis a reaſon I have heard often given; but, I think, ſhews ignorance in abundance.
I have been frequently ſurprized to hear ſuch ſilly reaſons given, by Women practiſing where life is concern’d. I Touch’d the Woman, and found the Child fixed on the Os Pubis. I told the Midwife, I believ’d the Child had lain where it was, a conſiderable time. She ſaid, Indeed ſhe had not perceiv’d it to move (as ſhe was pleas’d to term it) the length of a barley-corn ſince Tueſday night. I put the Woman on a ſtool, which was the way ſhe choſe; for I think it beſt for Midwives to adviſe their Women to the ſafeſt way of Delivery; which, in my opinion, none 047 G4r 47 none ſo good as the Bed: (and next to that the Stool) yet I don’t approve of compelling Women to any particular place againſt their inclinations. In half an hour I releas’d the Child from the Os Pubis, which increas’d her Pains, ſo that in leſs than one hour I deliver’d her of a Boy. It was alive, but very weak. In ſearching for the Secundine, I met with ſome Membranes full of Water, which I broke, and found another Child coming with its Arm foremoſt. I ſearch’d for the Feet, which I ſoon found, and deliver’d her of a ſecond Son, and with ſmall difficulty brought away the After-Births entire. I put the Woman to Bed, ſeemingly tolerable well for her Condition; but the next day ſhe had a violent Fever and Purging, which 048 G4v 48 which continu’d till the fifth day, and then died.
Without diſpute her Fever and Purging, proceeded from the many hot forcing things they gave her in her long and painful Travail; which is an uſual, but an intolerable practice. The firſt Child lived two days, the ſecond three; ſo that the Life of the Mother, and two Children were loſt for want of judgent, and good management.
The Delivery of a Woman, the Child preſenting the Face foremoſt.
Iwas ſent for to Wilton, to a Woman in Labour. I found her in ſmall Pain, but the Child coming with the Face foremoſt, and ſhe very low-ſpirited, becauſe her Labour alter’d very much from what it uſed to be with her former Children. I told her, If ſhe would keep herſelf on the Bed, lying on her Back till ſhe had ſtrong Pains, that there was no danger, and that ſhe’d do well. She continu’d that day in ſmall H Pains 050 H1v 50 Pains till the next morning five o’clock, when I was ſent for again, and about ſeven deliver’d her of a ſtout Girl, and well, except the Face, which was a little ſwell’d and black; a Caſe common when the Face preſents firſt. In theſe Deliveries, if Midwives are not very careful, they may do a great deal of hurt to the Face and Eyes of the Child, as I ſhall ſhew in my next Obſervation, where it proved ſo.
A Woman in the country being deliver’d before I got to her Houſe, and the Child much injured.
Iwas ſent for to Curry‑ Mallet to a Tanner’s wife, about eleven o’Clock at night, it being very bad weather, and bad roads as ever were rode, ſo that before I got there, the Child was born. I did not go up ſtairs directly to ſee the Mother and Child. The Women ſaying all was well, I thought proper to dry my cloaths, being very wet and tired, (for ’twas eight long miles.) When I had dry’d and H2 recover’d 052 H2v 52 recover’d myſelf, I went up ſtairs, and to my great ſurprize ſaw the Child with one Eye out, and the whole Face much injur’d, having no skin left on it, and the upper Lip tore quite hollow from the Jaw-bone was extremely ſwell’d, ſo that the Child could make no uſe of it. I put ſome warm water and ſugar in the Child’s mouth, with a ſmall ſpoon, and reſting it upon the Tongue, the poor Infant ſuck’d it down. I ask’d the Midwife, How the Child’s Face came to be ſo miſerably hurt? She told me the Mother fell down two days before ſhe was in Travail, and, as ſhe thought, hurt the Child, for ſhe was ſure it was born right. I told her I was ſenſible the Child came Head foremoſt, but the Face preſented to the Birth; and the damagemage 053 H3r 53 mage the Child received was from her fingers. She could not make any defence for herſelf: I found her extremely ignorant.
I returned home, and ſent proper dreſſings for the Child’s Face. It did very well, and was a pretty girl, excluding the loſs of her right Eye. (I ſaw her when ſhe was five years of age.)
I think this Obſervation worth taking notice of, to caution Midwives to deal in a tender manner, when the Child preſents with the Face foremoſt, which may be known by touching the Child. The Eyes, the Mouth, the ſoftneſs of Cheeks, will ſufficiently diſcover if the Face comes firſt; and then there muſt be waiting with patience. I have had ſeveral ſuch Births in 054 H3v 54 in my time; but, I thank God, never had a Child received the leaſt hurt, tho’ a little ſwell’d, and blackiſh; which is common in thoſe Labours.
Of a Woman and Child both dying, thro’ the ignorance and weakneſs of her Midwife, and the ſhortneſs of the Navel-ſtring.
Iwas ſent for to a Comber’s wife in Eaſt-ſtreet. The Woman was deliver’d of her Child about One o’clock mid-day: I was ſent for at eleven at night; but it was too late; for I found the Woman dying. The relation of this misfortune, 055 H4r 55 misfortune, which I had from the Midwife and women, was this. The poor Woman was taken in Labour about twelve o’Clock, and ſent for her Midwife and neighbours, who lived very near her, and by one o’Clock her Child was born. Her Midwife deliver’d her ſtanding on her feet; (a way I cannot, in the leaſt, approve of, tho’ too commonly practis’d in the country) who being a feeble ancient woman, when the Child was born, could not bring the Secundine away; and the ſtring breaking cloſe to the head of it, occaſion’d a violent Flooding, even to death: in which ſtate I found her, quite drained, and paſt recovery. I deſir’d to ſee the Child, and was prodigiouſly ſurprized, to ſee ſo fine a Child ſo unhappily and quickly loſt; for 056 H4v 56 for the Bowels were in the Omentum or Cawl, without the Belly: and ſearching into the cauſe of ſuch a misfortune, found it occaſion’d by the ſhortneſs of the Navel-ſtring: the Woman’s ſtanding on her feet, and the weakneſs of the Midwife; ſo that the Woman’s Pains being ſtrong and forcing, the Child was born very ſuddenly: and for want of the Body thereof being ſupported, the weight of it broke the Navel-ſtring cloſe to the After-Birth; and, at the ſame time, tore out the Child’s Bowels. It was born alive, but expired in half an hour. I remember about three or four years after this misfortune happen’d, I was ſent for to a gentlewoman, who I had deliver’d of ſeveral Children. She had generally very good Times, and I 057 I1r 57 I always deliver’d her in her Bed (which I take to be the only beſt way for Mother and Child.) When the Child was born to the pit of the Stomach, I found it would not proceed any farther, without the utmoſt ſtrength. The aforemention’d accident came in my head, and reſolving to be ſatify’d, I ſlid my hand to the Child’s Belly, and felt the String ſtrain’d very much: I then ſlid my fingers a little farther, and ſecured the Child from danger. I kept my fingers faſt on the Navel-ſtring, and with my left hand on the back-part of the Child, accompliſh’d the Delivery. The ſhortneſs of the String occaſion’d its breaking cloſe to the Secundine; however, I brought the After‑ birth in leſs than ſeven minutes. The Mother and Child did well; I and 058 I1v 58 and as I have deliver’d her of ſeveral Children ſince, ſo I don’t doubt but the other caſe, being of this nature, both Mother and Child might have been preſerv’d, if the Woman had been in her Bed, and had had a Midwife of judgment and activity, which is of grand ſervice in our Profeſſion. I have help’d into the world many Children with ſhort Navel-ſtrings, but never had any misfortune attend either Mother or Child. This Gentlewoman’s Child’s String was not ſix inches long, the other about that length; the ſhorteſt I ever ſaw.
The Delivery of a Woman, the Child having a large Tumour on the Back, and other ways deform’d.
Iwas ſent for to a Woman of my own, which uſed to have very good Times, but this did not prove ſo. I brought the Child’s Head to the Shoulders with great difficulty: and then it ſtuck ſo faſt, that I was obliged to uſe all my ſtrength to bring the remaining part of it; which difficulty was occaſion’d by a large tumour on the Back, which reach’d from the Shoulder-blades to the Fundament.I2 ment. 060 I2v 60 ment. In uſing ſo much ſtrength the Tumour broke, and there was at leaſt ſixteen ounces of black matter, that reſembled the Child’s Excrements, if it was not the ſame. It appear’d when full to be quite round, and about the bigneſs of the crown of a child’s hat; it broke in the middle of the upper part, that being the thinneſt. A Surgeon was ſent for to take care of it, whilſt ſhe lived, which was but eight days. I thought it a great mercy to the Infant ſhe died. The aforeſaid part on the Back being laid open, all the Backbone lay bare; and ſhe had no Muſcle in the Fundament, but a little triangular hole, as tho’ made with the point of a ſmall ſword. The Excrements ſqueezed thro’ as often as the Child’s Legs were moved. The Kneepanspans 061 I3r 61 pans were under the Hams, the Feet in the place of the Ancles, and the Toes of one Foot, always lay on the Toes of the other; but it had the moſt beautiful Face and Hands that ever I ſaw an Infant have.
The Mother did well, and had Children afterwards.
A Woman in great danger of her life, being extreme coſtive, but relieved by a Glyſter.
Iwas ſent for to Ennore, to a Gentlewoman who was very Hyſterical and Melancholy, and ſix Months gone with Child. Her 062 I3v 62 Her Huſband ſent for a relation that lived in Taunton, and deſir’d me to ride with her. ’Twas ſix long miles, eight o’Clock at night, and a very bad road; ſo that ’twas ten before we got there. I found her very full of Pain, and a little delirious for want of reſt, not having any for a week. Her Phyſician had given her many medicines to prevent a Miſcarriage, which could do her no ſervice, as will appear; but what he did was occaſion’d by her Midwife’s informing him ſhe was in danger of miſcarrying: ſhe told me the ſame, viz. That her Waters were broke, and ſhe was ſure ſhe would miſcarry. I deſired to ſee ſome of the linnen that was wet with the Waters: They told me they were wash’d, therefore could not preſently be a judge of her 063 I4r 63 her Caſe; and being a ſtranger to her, ſhe would not admit of my Touching her: but her huſband and relations at laſt prevail’d with her, to ſuffer me to ſatisfy myſelf and them of her condition. It was then about three o’Clock in the morning. I told them ſhe muſt have a Glyſter: but ſome of her friends and the Midwife were entirely againſt it, thinking it needleſs; and the reaſon they gave was, her being a very little eater. I told them ’twas impoſſible to inform myſelf, whether ſhe had any Symptoms of Miſcarriage, till the Excrements were removed; which could be no other way, with ſecurity, done, than by a Glyſter. I could not perſuade them of the uſefulneſs of it, till five in the morning, when the Glyſter was given, and ſhe 064 I4v 64 ſhe (ten minutes after) evacuated ſuch a large quantity as ſurpriz’d them all; and after her ſecond ſtool (for ſhe had but two, and indeed ’twas enough) ſhe dropt aſleep, and did not wake till two of the clock in the afternoon, when ſhe found herſelf eaſy, and quite compos’d. I then Touch’d her, but could not diſcover the leaſt Symptoms of Miſcarrying. She went out her Time, and did very well. She and her friends were then convinced of the advantages that did occur from that advice, I being well aſſured all her Pangs proceeded from the want of an Evacuation. I have obſerved it to be a common caſe among Women with Child, and always relieved them with a Glyſter, and found it a means to prevent Miſcarrying; altho’ it is very uſeful 065 K1r 65 uſeful to promote Delivery, when Women are at their full Time.
The Delivery of a Woman who had Twins, her firſt Child being born the day before.
Iwas ſent for to Biſhop’s Lead-Yard, to a Woman in the utmoſt extremity. She was taken in Labour on Friday, and on Saturday about Noon ſhe had one Child. Her Midwife put ſome warm water in a cloſe-ſtool, and ſet her on it, and deſir’d her to ſtrain with her Pains. The firſt Child fell into the pan of water; notwithſtanding which K it 066 K1v 66 it was alive when I came there. Her Midwife endeavouring to fetch the Secundine, found there was another Child, and told the Woman when the other apple was ripe, it would alſo fall. (O ignorance!) But ſhe found herſelf miſtaken: for un Sunday morning, her Husband came for me in a violent hurry, telling me he fear’d his Wife could not live till I got there. We rode as faſt as poſſible, and ’twas but five miles from Taunton, yet we had two meſſengers ſent after us for expedition, for all her Women thought her dying. When I came there I found the Child ſo fixed to the Os Pubis, that I had an hour and half as hard work as ever I had in my life: tho’ the Child was born alive, and lived till the Saturday following. The firſt Child died 067 K2r 67 died the Wedneſday before. I met with great difficulty in bringing the After-Births: they were very large, and extremely cloſe join’d to the bottom of the Matrix. With my left hand I was oblig’d to keep her Belly down, with all my ſtrength, whilſt with my right hand I peel’d off and looſen’d the Secundines from the Matrix. My hands were ſeiz’d with the Cramp twice; which oblig’d me each time to hold my hand ſtill till the Cramp was gone: which made it near twenty minutes before I could bring them both away. It was the longeſt time that ever I was in performing that part of my buſineſs; tho’ had I been with her when the firſt Child was born, I ſhould have deliver’d her of the ſecond Child in fifteen minutes or leſs. For ’tis K2 certain, 068 K2v 68 certain, if a Midwife underſtands her buſineſs as ſhe ought, ſhe might bring the ſecond Child ſoon after the firſt: for generally in the Birth of Twins, when the firſt is born, the other ſhould be brought by Art; for I never found there was any occaſion either to wait for Pains, or to put a Woman to any more than ten or fifteen minutes pain, after I had deliver’d her of the firſt Child: eſpecially if the firſt comes right, and the ſecond wrong, as it generally proves.
The Delivery of a Woman, who was kept in hard Labour many hours, by the ignorance of her Midwife.
Iwas ſent for to Hill-Biſhops, to a Soap-boiler’s wife. Her own Midwife could not be had. Her Husband came for me; I went with him, and about a mile before we came to his houſe, a man met us: he was running very faſt. He ask’d the man that rode before me, Whether he had ſeen ſuch a Midwife? naming her name. He anſwer’d he had been for her, but ſhe was eight miles off. When I came to 070 K3v 70 to the Soap-boiler’s houſe, I found the Woman in a good natural Labour: I deliver’d her in two hours: ’twas about ſeven o’Clock in the morning. As ſoon as ſhe was deliver’d, I deſir’d them to ſend to the afore-mention’d poor man’s Wife, to know if they had got a Midwife; if not, I would go to her. They ſent me word they had one, and they believ’d ſhe would be deliver’d in a little time; but about eleven o’Clock, as I was riding home, I call’d at the houſe, to know if ſhe was deliver’d: they told me no, but ſhe would be in a quarter of an hour, ſo they would not give me the trouble of going in to ſee her. I then rode home, and about four o’Clock in the afternoon, her Husband came for me, to deſire me to ride to his Wife, for 071 K4r 71 for the women told him, they believ’d ſhe’d never be deliver’d. I can’t but ſay it diſpleas’d me, that they refus’d my ſeeing her, when I was ſo near. I went with him, and when I came, found the Woman in violent Labour. The Midwife told me the Child lay as it did ever ſince ſeven o’clock in the morning. As ſoon as I Touch’d her, I was ſenſible of the reaſon of this poor Woman’s being kept ſo long in diſtreſs. I ſat down by her. She was on her Knees, one of the uſual ways in the Country, but a wretched one. I found ſtrong Pains had been ſo long upon her that I could round the Head of the Child with my whole hand, when ſhe had no Pains. The firſt Pain ſhe had, after I was with her, I broke her Waters, and was forc’d to be very quick to 072 K4v 72 to receive the Child; for her Pains being violent, and the Child ſo long confin’d by the thickneſs of the Skin that held the Waters, as ſoon as the Child had liberty, it was born in leſs than half a minute, which aſtoniſh’d the Midwife and Women: they would fain have prevailed on me to have told them what I did; but I choſe not to inform them at that time. It is very evident, that this Woman ſuffer’d ſeven or eight hours Pain more than ſhe need have done, had ſhe had a Midwife of judgment in the beginning of her Travail.
I have often been ſent for to the aſſiſtance of Women in the ſame circumſtances, and have ſeveral times found them flooding. The only reaſon has been, for want of breaking the Waters, the 073 L1r 73 the violent Pains opening ſome of the Veſſels, and looſening part of the After-Birth. For ’tis an undoubted rule, If Pains do no good, they do a great deal of harm.
The Delivery of a Woman, who had a great Flux of Blood, a month before her Time.
Iwas ſent for into Eaſtſtreet, to a Comber’s Wife, one of my Women. When I came I found a violent Flowing of the Menſes; and believe ſhe loſt near a gallon of Blood. She being up, I order’d her to Bed. L I 074 L1v 74 I ask’d her, How near ſhe was to her Reckoning? She told me one Month. Touching her I found little Symptoms of Labour: I told her my opinion was, ſhe Long’d for ſomething. She ſaid ſhe did not Long, but had been in pain twelve hours before her Flooding: which confirm’d my opinion touching her Longing. She ſtill deny’d it, till I told her that both ſhe and the Child would doubtleſs loſe their lives, unleſs ſhe ſpeedily had what ſhe had an Inclination for: ſhe anſwer’d, What ſhould poor people Long for? I aſſur’d her if ’twas any thing could be had, I would get it, let the price be what it would. She knew nothing ſhe Long’d for, except a Peaſecod, that ſhe ſaw a boy hold up againſt the Sun: ſhe preſently after had Pains, (which 075 L2r 75 (which was the day before.) Inquiring I heard of a Gentleman that had a preſent of ſome, ſent him from a garden in the country, and the firſt that were in the town. I got ſome of them for her: as ſoon as ſhe had eaten them her Menſes ceas’d. She went the Time of her Reckoning, and had a good Labour. I deliver’d her of a Son: the Child and Mother both did well. Such things as theſe frequently happen.
Therefore have reaſon to believe that Forc’d Deliveries in theſe Caſes, have deſtroyed many Lives. I could give various Inſtances of this kind in my practice, but chuſe only this by way of caution, becauſe Women are very apt to conceal their Longings, which makes them often very great ſufferers thereby.
The Delivery of a Woman, with great difficulty, her Child preſenting the Arm firſt.
Iwas ſent for to a School‑ Miſtreſs: when I came, I found her Pains ſmall, her Waters broke four days before: ſhe was very ill, and had a Fever. I Touch’d her, and found the Child lay a-croſs. One Arm and the Ribs preſenting firſt, the Waters being paſt, and her Body hot and dry, I apprehended ’twould be a difficult Labour; and ſo it proved: for as I ſlid my fingers along the Ribs, to ſearch for 077 L3r 77 for the Feet, my Hand and Arm was ſo ſeized with the Cramp, as obliged me to withdraw my Hand for fifteen minutes. I attempted again, but without ſucceſs. I was very uneaſy, knowing ſuch attempts put the Woman to freſh Pain. In ſhort, I was forced to reſt till my Arm was better, when I made another attempt, and, with God’s leave, perform’d the Delivery, without withdrawing my Hand any more, although my Hand was ſeveral times numbed, before I could reach the Feet: but as I advanced I found the Child alive, and ſuck’d my finger in the Womb, which concern’d me; fearing it impoſſible for the poor Infant to be born alive, becauſe of the circumſtances already given; the Mother’s weakneſs, and the Child’s largeneſs. But recovering 078 L3v 78 recovering my thoughts, I reſolved to do my duty for the poor Woman’s ſake, and leave the event to the Omniſcient God. I was obliged to be exceeding careful and ſlow, yet reſolved with all my ſtrength, and a full reſolution, to accompliſh what I was about. When I had hold of one Foot, I found it hard work to hold it, and draw it towards me, by reaſon I could hold it but with my two fore-fingers at firſt. However, I kept my hold, and in a ſmall time brought the Feet out of the Uterus (or Womb.) I brought alſo the Legs out to the Knees; then I wrapt them in a linnen cloth, and gave them to two ſtrong Women, and deſir’d them to draw in a ſtrait line, whilſt I took care of the Woman’s body, to 079 L4r 79 to prevent any injury, and ſecure the Child that it might be brought off whole; which, thro’ mercy I compleated. The Secundine ſtuck cloſer to the Matrix than is common in theſe Caſes; which, I believe, was owing to the dryneſs of the Womb from her Fever. The Child had not the leaſt appearance of life, and ’twas impoſſible it ſhould: this Delivery being at leaſt an hour and half’s hard work, which ſeldom happens: for in common wrong Births it is very rarely more than half an hour, and often not fifteen minutes. I don’t remember above four ſuch terrible Labours, in all my practice. The Woman did well. I have ſet this Obſervation down as plain as poſſible, to encourage Midwives, that they may with juſtice and ſafety go thro’ the moſt 080 L4v 80 moſt difficult part of their work, as well as that which is eaſy. I could not turn in my bed, without help, for two or three days after, nor lift my Arm to my Head for near a week; and forced to bathe my Arm with Spirit of Wine ſeveral times a day.
The Delivery of a Woman, the Child having two Tumours on the Head.
Iwas with a Comber’s wife, a near neighbour to the Woman mention’d in my laſt Obſervation: ſhe had been in Labour, and her Midwife with her ſeveral days. I ask’d the Midwifewife 081 M1r 81 wife the reaſon why ſhe did not deliver her. She could give me no account, whether the Child was right or wrong; but Touching her, I found the Shoulder-blade preſented firſt. I advanc’d farther in ſearch of the Feet, and found the Child’s Navel-ſtring without the leaſt Pulſation, which ſatisfy’d me ’twas dead. I found the Feet, and drew them towards me, ſo compleated the Delivery in leſs than half an hour. Viewing the Child, I ſaw on the back part of the Head two large Tumours, one above the other, as if the Water contain’d in the under Tumour, did, when full, aſcend to the upper one, which reached to the Crown of the Head. The biggeſt was as large as a Gooſe’s egg, and the other about half that ſize. I open’d them both; M ’twas 082 M1v 82 ’twas only clear Water that iſſued out of them: it lay between the hairy Scalp and the Skull. The Woman did well; but had a Fever for five days; which I imputed to ſome ſtrong waters given her for her Pains, as they ſaid; which I think a pernicious Cuſtom.
A Woman in the country being deliver’d before I got there, her Child being very much mangled.
Iwas ſent for to Hatch, to a Farmer’s wife, but before I could get there a Midwife had deliver’d her: ſhe was in a very low 083 M2r 83 low condition, more likely to die than to live. The Child was ſew’d up in a piece of Flannel, and cover’d with Flowers in order for its Burial. I deſir’d to ſee the Child, but the Midwife refus’d for ſome time. I inſiſted on its being undreſs’d, which was accordingly done. When I ſaw the Infant, I was much ſurprized; for the left Arm was tore off, in a moſt indecent manner. I ask’d the Midwife, If ſhe was ſure the Child was dead before ſhe proceeded in ſo raſh a manner? She told me ſhe did not know but it was: for the Arm had been in the world above thirty hours. I never ſaw a Child ſo mangled in my life. The Midwife ſeem’d to have more Courage than Judgment. The Woman likewiſe received great M2 hurt; 084 M2v 84 hurt; but taking my advice ſhe recover’d. I heard from her every other day, till ſhe was out of danger. I could not conſtantly attend her, it being eleven miles from me, and very bad roads.
I ſhould not have mention’d this error of the Midwife’s, had it not been to caution others againſt attempting to ſuch Deliveries without knowledge. I told her, if ſhe had proceeded in a regular manner, as ſoon as her Waters broke, to have ſearch’d for the Feet, ſhe might have turn’d it, and deliver’d the Woman, without mangling the Child, or injuring the Mother. She acknowledg’d what I ſaid was very juſt, and that ſhe would not proceed ſo raſhly for the future.
The Delivery of a Woman, the Child’s Arm preſenting firſt; two Midwives endeavouring to deliver, but could not.
Iwas ſent for to a Comber’s Wife, who had two Midwives with her for a Day and a Night, endeavouring to turn the Child; but finding it not in their power, they then deſir’d my aſſiſtance. I found the Woman leaning forward on the back of a chair, and both the Midwives at hard labour; but the poor Woman at much harder. I laid her on the bed, on her left ſide, and 086 M3v 86 and ſearch’d for the Feet, which I eaſily found. I turn’d the Child, and deliver’d her with a great deal of eaſe in leſs than ten minutes. For the Midwives endeavouring to return the Child’s Arm (as they told me they had done ſeveral time, but it would not remain in the Body) had made ſuch way, that occaſioned the Delivery to be eaſy to me, altho’ the Woman was a great Sufferer by ſuch management. I never found any occaſion in thoſe Births to return the Arm; I always found liberty enough, with gentle proceeding and ſtrength, to paſs by the Arm, and come at the Feet, which always ſucceeded well. The Child had been dead ſome time, but the Mother recover’d.
The Delivery of a Woman whoſe Child was dead, being very ſillily manag’d Six Weeks before her Time.
In Paul’s Street, I was ſent for to a Woman that thought herſelf in Labour; but I told her the Pain ſhe had was the Cholick. I order’d her ſomething to take, and advis’d her to go to bed. I went home, it being after ten at night. I ſent the next morning to know how ſhe did: her mother ſent me word ſhe had a good night, and was then aſleep.
I was ſent for to a Gentlewoman in the Country on a Miſcarriagecarriage 088 M4v 88 carriage that morning, where I remain’d that day. In the afternoon the Woman was ſeiz’d with the Cholick again: her Husband came for me; but I being with the Gentlewoman, they got another Midwife. I came home about ſix in the evening, and went to ſee how the Woman did. Her Husband met me at the door, and told me that not being at home, he had got another Midwife; and that his Wife was like to be deliver’d in a little time: I ſaid I was ſure ’twas impoſſible. I went home without ſeeing the Woman, but ſent three times that night, to know how ſhe was; the conſtant anſwer was, ſhe was on the pinch of Delivery. I heard nothing of her for three days after; and then I was told the poor Woman was not deliver’d. The 089 N1r 89 The news did not ſurprize me, I being well aſſured her Time was not expired; nor her Pains, when I was with her, the leaſt tending to Labour. I immediately went to ſee her, and found her in a very low condition; her Midwife and Women with her. They told me they had been with her all that time: Her Eyes were ſwell’d with weeping; her Midwife having told her, ſhe thought ſhe could never be deliver’d. I ask’d the reaſon, Why ſhe kept the Woman ſo long in hand? She ſaid, Becauſe God’s time was not come: I told her, I then thought ſhe had no buſineſs with her. The reaſon ſhe gave for trying to deliver her, was becauſe ſhe had Pains. I Touch’d the Woman, but found not the leaſt Symptoms of Labour, only the N Birth 090 N1v 90 Birth extended and ſwell’d, thro’ the ill uſage and ignorance of her Midwife. I order’d her to be put to bed, and gave her things to eaſe her Pains, which had been much increas’d by ill management. I bid them keep her in bed three or four days, till all her Pains were gone. I order’d Fomentations for the parts ſwell’d. She went Six Weeks after this, in which time I often ſaw her: ſhe continually complain’d of a conſtant Motion of the Child, which made her ſo weak for want of reſt, that ſhe was incapable of doing any buſineſs. At the Six weeks end ſhe ſent for me, about eight of the clock at night, and told me ſhe had Pains; but had not felt her Child for two days. I Touch’d her, and told her ’twou’d be her Labour; but I could 091 N2r 91 could be no ways ſerviceable to her till morning. I bid her keep in her bed till her Pains came ſtronger, which ſhe accordingly did; and about nine the next morning ſhe ſent for me again. About eleven o’clock, I deliver’d her of a Boy, which, I believe, had been dead the whole time ſhe had not felt it. It was like a Skeleton, cover’d with a beautiful white Skin; but the Bones and Ribs plainly appear’d thro’ the Skin. It was exceeding tall. I doubt not but the Child’s being diſturb’d before its Time, was the Cauſe of its continual Stirring; and, conſequently, of its extreme Thinneſs and Death.
This Obſervation I have ſet down to caution thoſe profeſſing the Art of Midwifery, to be well N2 aſſur’d 092 N2v 92 aſſur’d of a True Labour, before they begin their Work.
The Delivery of a Woman, in a violent Flooding, the After-Burthen preſenting firſt.
Iwas ſent for into the Country, about ſeven miles diſtant from my houſe, to a Butcher’s Wife. Her Husband told me, the Women order’d him to make all poſſible haſte, for they fear’d ſhe would die before I got there. I found her very low and weak; for ſhe had had a continual Flowing of the Menſes for a Fortnight, and then floodeded 093 N3r 93 ed ſo violently, that ſhe was given over. She had two Midwives with her: they ſaid that the Woman told them, ſhe was Six Months gone with Child; but they could not believe it; for by ſearching her they could not perceive any Child. I then thought it highly neceſſary to inform myſelf of the reaſons of her violent Flooding; and Touching her found a great deal of Coagulated Blood, which I brought off, and then perceived the After-Birth to preſent firſt: I got that immediately; and then brought off the Child. ’Twas a fine Boy, and lived about half an hour. By its Largeneſs, I believe, ſhe was near Seven Months gone. The Woman lived and did well, but it was ſome Time before ſhe recover’d her ſtrength.
The Delivery of a Woman being ſeized with the Small Pox, and brought in Labour before her Time.
Iwas ſent for to North Curry, to a Woman that had been in Labour two days and one night; but in no more likelihood of being deliver’d, than when her Midwife was firſt with her, as ſhe told me; altho’ ſhe had been in ſtrong Pains ever ſince, and in a high Fever. I Touch’d her, and found it not a natural Labour: but being kept ſo long in hand endeavouring to procure a Delivery, the Waters 095 N4r 95 Waters were gone, and part of the Child’s Head bare. The Child being dead, I thought it proper to uſe my utmoſt endeavour to deliver her, which I accordingly did, and in a ſhort time brought off the Secundine. It was very whole and ſound; but after her Delivery ſhe complain’d of a violent Pain in her Back, and ſaid ſhe was almoſt as bad now as when in Labour. I conſider’d what might be the reaſon of her Complaint, knowing ſhe was ſafely deliver’d; I was ſatisfied her Pangs could not proceed from her Labour. I ask’d her, If ſhe had ever had the Small Pox? She told me No; and that ſhe had been ſix miles from home, and in the houſe where ſhe lay there was a perſon in the Small Pox, who ſurpriz’d her very much: ’twas three days 096 N4v 96 days before ſhe fell ill: ſhe ſaid she had six Weeks longer to Reckon. I order’d her Husband to ſend for a Phyſician, for by her violent Fever, and Lightheadedneſs, ſhe was in great danger of Life; and ſo it proved: for ſhe did not live above eight and forty hours, but died delirious. Her Daughter-in-law came to me after ſhe was bury’d, and told me ſhe was prodigiouſly full of the Small Pox and Purples; and that it was the opinion of the Phyſician, had they ſent for him at firſt, when ſhe ſent for the Midwife, both ſhe and the Child might have been preſerved: for her Midwife, whilſt with her, had given her ſtrong Waters, and her Husband’s Water with the juice of Leeks, and other things of the ſame nature, keeping her out of her bed; all 097 O1r 97 all which management increas’d her Fever, and forc’d her Labour; tho’ all her Pains at firſt were only Symptoms of the Small Pox.
The Delivery of a Woman, the Child’s Breech preſenting firſt.
Iwas ſent for to Creech, to a Gentlewoman that I uſually deliver’d. She told me ſhe had Pains, but believed ſhe ſhould die. She was always a timorous, fearful Woman, but now more ſo than formerly. I found her Child was wrong, and was ſome time before I could perſwade her to go to bed: I O prevail’d 098 O1v 98 prevail’d with her at laſt, and got her in bed without breaking her Waters, which anſwer’d my ends. I laid her on her left ſide, and the firſt and ſecond Pains ſhe had, after ſhe was in bed, I dilated the Matrix, which ſunk the Waters very low and large; in her third Pain I broke the Waters, and ſlipt my finger in the Bending of the Child’s Thigh, for it came Breech foremoſt, and ſo deliver’d her in leſs than three minutes. But notwithſtanding ſhe had ſo quick a Delivery, and good Lying-in, and that both Mother and Child did well; yet ſome of her Women ſaid they ſhould not like a Midwife to bring a Child ſo quick; but they lik’d a Midwife to ſtay and wait till Pains brought the Child: as will appear in the following Obſervation,tion, 099 O2r 99 tion, where they kept the Woman a long time in ſuſpence, without ſending for me, for fear I ſhould deliver her too ſoon.
The Delivery of a Woman, the Child’s Arm being out of the Birth to the Shoulder eight days.
Some Time after I was ſent for, in the Pariſh of Creech, to a Woman who had been in Labour nine days. Her Husband came for me on a Saturday in the Afternoon, and the Child’s Arm had been out of the Birth to the Shoulder the Saturday before; which was eight whole O2 days, 100 O2v 100 days, and, by circumſtances, near as long dead. Her Midwife told me her Pangs came on ſtrong the Friday ſennight before in the Evening, and early on Saturday morning her Waters broke, and then the Child’s Arm came forth from the Womb, and her Pains immediately went off. She had had none ſince that time till now, and ſhe believ’d the Child dead from the Saturday noon; for whilſt it was living it often claſp’d its hand round her finger, but had long ceaſed to do ſo. She had look’d on the Hand and Arm of the Child, and found it black, and much ſwell’d; which is common as ſoon as a Child is dead: the Blood always ſettling in that manner. Her information ſeem’d to be very right; for had it been dead and bury’d three 101 O3r 101 three months, I think it could not have been more putrified nor offenſive. I inſtantly endeavour’d to deliver the Woman, by ſearching for the Feet, but her Pains were ſo violent, as to force the Child ſo ſtrong againſt my hand, that my attempts proved all in vain. I then conſider’d I ſhould want an Inciſion-knife, to take off the Arm at the Shoulder, (a thing I never had need to attempt before.) But having neither Inciſion-knife, nor Pen-knife, I took hold of the Arm, to try if I could twiſt it off, and with a very ſmall pull it dropp’d from the Body. I then proceeded to ſearch for the Feet, which I ſoon found. The firſt Foot I got hold of I drew towards me, but it immediately ſeparated from the Knee: I laid it 102 O3v 102 it down, and ſearch’d for the other, and that came off likewiſe: then I took hold of one Thigh, and brought that to the Birth; and with my other hand got hold of t’other Thigh, and brought both together in a ſtrait line. The Woman’s endeavours with her Pains very much aſſiſted me to bring off the remaining part of the putrid Body, which I brought off together very ſoon, and reſcu’d the poor Woman from the Jaws of Death. For the violence of her Pains had diſtracted her ſo, that ſhe often begg’d the Women to kill her. Had ſhe not been deliver’d ſoon ſhe muſt have died; for when I came there, I beheld her an object in ſuch violent bearing Pains, I believe the ſtrongeſt that ever were ſeen or felt. Which confirm’d me in my opinion, 103 O4r 103 opinion, That Women never die undeliver’d for want of Pains. For had her Child been right, it would have been born with two or three ſuch Pains, without a Midwife; but as it lay wrong, it was impoſſible to be born by the ſtrength of ten, without judgment.
I compleated the Delivery of the Child and After-Birth, within three quarters of an hour. The Woman recover’d, and did well, although her Blood was as green as the top of a ſtanding pond; which was occaſion’d by her Child’s being ſo long dead, and giving her ſuch quantities of ſtrong Waters, and her Husband’s Water with the Juice of Leeks; which is a notable Preſcription among Country Midwives, but a horrid Medicine, and as often miſchievous as preſcrib’d.ſcrib’d. 104 O4v 104 ſcrib’d. The Midwife told me, The reaſon of giving theſe hot things was to promote her Pangs: I told her, I never gave one thing to increaſe Pains in all my Practice. For Pains were no longer uſeful in Wrong Births, than till the Waters broke. And if ſhe would know whether a Child lies Right or Wrong, before the Waters break, ſhe muſt ſearch very gently between the intervals of her Pains; for then the Waters ſlacken, and ’tis eaſily diſcover’d what part of the Child preſents firſt. If ’tis Wrong, a Midwife ought to be in readineſs, to Deliver her Woman; which may be done in fifteen or twenty minutes.
The Delivery of a Woman of a Multitude of Bladders of Water.
Iwas ſent for to a Sergemaker’s Wife: She told me ſhe was in the Seventh Month of her Pregnancy. She was taken with a violent Flowing of the Menſes. She ſent for her Midwife; but ſhe doing nothing for her, ſhe ſent for a Phyſician: he gave her medicines that retarded them for a time. In about a fortnight they return’d again, and ſo continu’d every twelve or fourteen days, till her Life was deſpair’d of. She P told 106 P1v 106 told me ſhe had commonly ſmall Pains, before the return of her Flooding. I told her ’twas my opinion, That at the return of thoſe Pains, what was in the Matrix muſt be brought off. I alſo aſſur’d her, I did not think it was a Child: ſhe ſaid ſhe was ſure it was, tho’ it might be weak, for ſhe felt it. I took my leave of her for that time: about eight days after ſhe ſent for me in great haſte, her Pains being return’d; but by the time I got there her Pains were almoſt gone. On examining, I found the entrance of the Matrix open enough to admit the top of my fore-finger, and by force I advanc’d my ſecond finger. I was obliged to preſs my left hand ſtrenuouſly on her Belly, to keep the Uterus ſteddy, and with my two fingers I brought off a 107 P2r 107 a great quantity of Bladders of Water; the largeſt about the ſize of a Pigeon’s Egg, and ſome as minute as a ſmall Pin’s-head. I brought off near twenty parcels that hung togther, with a putrified Fleſh. I put it in a large baſon, for her Phyſician to ſee. It was his opinion ’twas a Falſe Conception: but ’tis my opinion ’twas a True Conception for the firſt ten Weeks, and at that time ſhe loſt the Child; the After‑ Birth remaining behind, grew to that Subſtance. For I have often obſerv’d the Secundine, in many Miſcarriages about eight or ten Weeks gone, to have been no other than a ſpungy Subſtance, full of ſmall Bladders of Water, the bigneſs of Pepper‑ Corns, and ſome much ſmaller, and the Fœtus ſeated in the middle of a Bladder of Water, P2 as 108 P2v 108 as large as a Hazel-nut. This Woman miſcarried ſix times before ſhe had a living Child: then ſhe had a Son, and a good time. The next time of being Pregnant ſhe miſcarried about the uſual time; and never miſcarried without imminent danger of Live, thro’ a great loſs of Blood. I have thought her dead when I have enter’d the room, but as ſoon as I Touch’d her (I thank the Omnipotent for that knowledge) I never failed ſtopping her Flooding. I brought off all her Conception, before I could venture to leave her. When Pregnant again, (which was the ſecond time of conceiving after her Son) it proved to be of the ſame nature as the former, conſiſting of Bladders of Water, to the quantity of two quarts. She did not 109 P3r 109 not exceed twenty two Weeks, before ſhe was in the ſame dangerous condition; when her Pains being tolerable ſtrong, I brought it off in fourteen minutes: and yet, after this, ſhe went her Time with a Daughter, and I left her well, with the Child ſucking at her Breaſt. In ſix or ſeven Months after I left Taunton, which was the place of her reſidence, I was inform’d by her friends, that ſhe had wean’d that Child, and was Breeding again. I was concern’d to hear it, but wiſh’d ſhe might go her Time and do well; but was inform’d to the contrary in leſs than three Months after, and that ſhe was dead, and ended Life with a violent Flooding, the Conception not being brought off.
The Delivery of a Woman the Child’s Knee preſenting firſt.
Iwas ſent for to a Weaver’s Wife in Eaſt-ſtreet. She had had ſeveral Children, but all dead born by the misfortune of their lying wrong. This was the firſt time I was with her. I found the Child Wrong, and could not inſtantly diſcover what Part preſented firſt; her Pains following ſo faſt, that they would not give the Waters time to ſlacken. As ſoon as her Waters broke, I found it was the Knee preſented. I then endeavour’ddeavour’d 111 P4r 111 deavour’d to ſlide my Finger in the Bending of the Knee, which I brought forward: I got the other, but with ſome ſtrength, which forced the Woman’s Pains. I ſoon deliver’d her of a Son alive and well. I always found when a Child comes that way, it may be born with little difficulty, without ſearching for the Feet (which ſome Authors direct to) and that without any hurt to Mother or Child; having deliver’d many Women of ſuch Births. The greateſt difficulty I ever found, was to be very quick in bringing the Child to the Birth, whilſt the Pains were ſtrong, juſt on the breaking of the Waters: and not to be too buſy in ſuch Labours, till there is a ſufficient proſpect; then the Work will be ſoon finiſh’d with credit.
A Woman being brought into great Pains and Danger before her Time by her Midwife, but went her Time out after, and both Mother and Child did well.
Iwas ſent for to a Shepherd’s Wife at King’s-Clift. Her Husband told me ſhe had been in Labour from Saturday, and he came for me Monday in the Afternoon. I found the Woman much fatigu’d, having had a great many ſmall Pains, but found they were not Labour Pangs; although her Midwife often call’d for the Receiver to 113 Q1r 113 to take the Child, on Sunday night. When I came and heard what had been done, I told her I was certain the Symptoms of Labour the Woman had upon her, were the effect of her too frequently Touching her. For I found the Uterus open the breadth of a Crown-Piece. I then ask’d the Woman if her Reckoning was out? She told me ’twas not full nine Months ſince ſhe had her firſt Child, and ſhe went but eight Months with it; which made her Midwife and Women to believe ſhe would go no longer with this. I told them, in ſhort, ’twas not her Labour, and if ſhe would follow my directions, I did not queſtion but ſhe would go her full Time. They ſaid they would not believe it: but the Woman herſelf ſaid, She would take my advice.Q vice. 118 Q3v 118 vice. I order’d Nurſe to put her to bed, and keep her there at leaſt two Days; and told her what Fomentation to make, and to uſe it warm three times a Day, till all her Diſorders were taken off, which the Midwife had brought on her, by her too buſy Touching. I charg’d the Woman, when ſhe was taken in True Labour (which I inform’d her how to know) That ſhe ſhould keep her bed, and not riſe as ſoon as ſhe felt her firſt Pangs: a way common in the country; nor to ſend for her Midwife too ſoon. She told me ſhe hoped I would come to her: I anſwer’d, I was ſenſible her Time would be ſo quick, that it would be in vain to ſend for me; neither would ſhe have any occaſion: for a good Motherly Woman might be able to deliver 119 Q4r 119 deliver her; and I am ſure, many Women would fare much better, if they committed themſelves to God and Nature, than to employ ignorant Midwives. I went home, and ſent her proper Medicines to eaſe her Pain, and the Saturday following, which was our market-day, her Husband came to me, and told me his Wife was brave and well; he hoped ſhe would go her Time out, and have a live Child; the firſt being born dead. I told him I did not queſtion it.
That day three Weeks he came to my houſe again, and told me his Wife was deliver’d of a Daughter, about two of the clock that morning. And as I obſerved to her it happen’d; for before the firſt neighbour could get to his houſe, the Child 120 Q4v 120 Child was born. His Wife and Child were both well. In ſix Weeks after ſhe came to ſee me, and return me thanks for my advice: and told me ſhe was certain her firſt Child would have been born alive, had ſhe ſent for me, and herſelf freed from a great deal of miſery, that ſhe went through ſhe alſo affirm’d ſhe was better, and ſtronger in one Week, than ſhe was of the firſt Child in three Months.
The Delivery of a Woman, the Water being broke, and kept flowing above ſix weeks before ſhe fell in Labour, but did not go out her time.
Iwas ſent for to a Gentlewoman, that I had deliver’d of all her Children, ſhe having had ſeveral before this. I found her in a great ſurprize; ſhe told me ſhe thought herſelf five months gone with Child, but, as ſhe ſat at Dinner, her Water broke, and a large quantity came off; it ſtill continued, yet ſhe declared ſhe had not the R leaſt 122 R1v 122 leaſt pain. I told her there was no Danger in her Caſe, if ſhe would take my advice, To keep herſelf very quiet. She asked me if I thought ſhe ſhould go her Time? I anſwered, I much queſtion’d it; but keeping herſelf quiet, was the only thing I could adviſe, to prevent Miſcarrying. She continued ſix weeks and four days, her Waters conſtantly running all that time: She was then taken with ſmall Pains, and ſent for me; I told her it would prove her Labour, though not ſo quick as her other Labours uſsed to be, when at her full time. She was in Bed when I went to her, it being early in the morning; I deſired ſhe would keep herſelf there, which ſhe did, and about three hours after, her Pains came ſtronger, that in a little time I delivered 123 R2r 123 delivered her of a Son, alive, and in good caſe, conſidering the time ſhe went with it, which was ſix months fourteen days. There did not appear the leaſt Diſorder in the Child, from her Waters being broke ſo long before its time. The Child being born ſo long before the uſual time, was the occaſion of its death, for he lived but a few hours; and the reaſon of her Travail being more lingering than when at her full time, was from the Unnaturalneſs of her Labour, which I have obſerved is ſeldom otherwiſe in caſes where Women come before their time. I ſhould not have mentioned this, (becauſe I have had many ſuch Births in my Practice) were it not that many Women are apt to be much diſcouraged when ſuch CircumſtancesR2 ſtances 124 R2v 124 ſtances happen to them. About five Years ago, one of my Women ſent for me, and, when I came, told me ſhe was much ſurprized and frighted, for her Waters were broke, and that without Pain: She had a month longer to reckon, and fear’d it was a token of her death, becauſe her Children always followed her Waters; I gave her for reaſon of this Alteration, That it often happen’d, from the thinneſs of the Membranes, and the weight of the Waters, and told her it was my opinion ſhe would go her time, as many had to my knowledge. I gave her many inſtances of this nature. She went a month longer, which completed her Reckoning; but ſhe fatigued me daily, ſending for me, and telling me that one Friend and another ſtrove 125 R3r 125 ſtrove to perſuade her that they were certain ſhe muſt be in great danger, and asked why ſhe did not ſend for a Man, and be delivered? I told her, ſhe might uſe her pleaſure, for my part, I apprehended no Danger attending her, and that I never had one Woman do amiſs in my Life in her Caſe, and did not doubt her doing well, when her time was expired. And ſo ſhe did, and had the quickeſt and beſt time that ever ſhe had before or ſince.
The beſt Advice I can give, and what I always found ſucceſsful, whenever a Woman’s Water breaks (let the time be long or ſhort, before their Reckonings are expired) is, to keep themſelves as Quiet as poſſible, and take care they get no Cold, and then to wait with Patience, 126 R3v 126 Patience, and not to lay any Streſs on Nature, nor in the leaſt to uſe any Art, or Endeavours to promote a Delivery.
The Delivery of a Woman who of her former Children had injured herſelf by too Strait Lacing.
A Farmer’s Wife that lived two Miles in the Country, came to ſpeak with me, and told me, ſhe had four months to reckon, tho’, by her Bigneſs, I thought ſhe could not have one; but ſhe told me, ſhe was ſure it was ſo. I then told her, I fear’d ſhe 127 R4r 127 ſhe laced very tight; ſhe ſaid it was what ſhe was adviſed to by her Midwife, and Acquaintance in the Country. I anſwer’d, it was a great Error, and that ſhe ought to give herſelf all the Liberty poſſible; ſhe ſeemed very much rejoiced, for ſhe ſaid ſhe was uſually ſick, and fainted three or four times a day. She begg’d I’d let her Husband hear my opinion; for of her two former Children ſhe was in Labour a week each Child, and both dead born, which the Women told her Husband was owing to her not lacing ſtraight enough. Her Husband returning to my houſe in about half an hour, I told him the Advice I had been giving his Wife, but that ſhe did not incline to follow it without his approbation. He immediately acquieſced to what 128 R4v 128 what I ſaid, and deſiring her to lace moderately the reſt of the time, he declared ’twas a great concern to him to ſee her in thoſe fainting Fits; but that his greateſt deſire being to have a Child alive, made him perſuade her to bear her lacing. I cannot imagine what Advantage any Woman can receive from ſevere lacing; but, on the contrary, have known it very injurious, eſpecially to ſuch ſhort Women as this was; for the Pelvis in ſuch being much ſhorter, of conſequence muſt be leſs than in tall Women; and were they to lace below the Os Pubis, they could not walk. So that all the room above the Share-bone being little enough to contain a Child, certainly ſuch people as do adviſe ſtraight lacing, never ſaw a Woman open’d 129 S1r 129 open’d, undeliver’d; if they had, they could not be of that Opinion, but adviſe them rather to wear no ſtays; for to ſee in what little room the Bowels are confined, and eſpecially when the Child is very large, it is aſtoniſhing that Women and Children do well; what can be ſaid for it is, the Omniſcient that form’d us in the Womb, hath ordered it ſo.
According to the Woman’s Reckoning, about four months after, I was ſent for about ten at Night, and finding her up, order’d her to bed; ſhe ask’d me, What ſhe ſhould do there, for ſhe never went to bed when in labour all her life? However, ſhe agreed to be ruled by me, and went to bed. About eleven o’clock, I ſat down by her, and found my aſſiſting her, (in putingS ing 130 S1v 130 ing my two fingers juſt within the entrance of the Uterus) ſtrengthened her Pains, and with every Pain brought it forward to the Os Pubis. Her Child proceeded very faſt, for by this method I am always capable of ſtrengthening and lengthening a Woman’s Pains, if in true Labour. About twelve of the clock, ſhe began to be very impatient, and deſir’d to riſe, but was no ſooner up, than ſhe begg’d to go to bed again. I told her, if ſhe would go to bed again, there ſhe muſt be delivered; and, accordingly, about one o’clock I laid her in a proper poſture for that purpoſe, and, (by the before-mentioned method of bringing the mouth of the Matrix, above the Os Pubis, with every Pain, till the Child’s head was 131 S2r 131 was quite clear from it) I delivered her, in about an hour, of a Son, a very ſtout Child, and alive.
I have endeavoured to be very plain in this Obſervation, that if the Readers profeſſing the Art of Midwifery have the leaſt genius, they may ſoon arrive to be great proficients in this Art.
The Delivery of a Woman who had been in Labour two Nights and one Day, and her Pains gone, but recover’d by an Anodyne.
Iwas ſent for to a Comber’s Wife, by Eaſt Gate. I found ſhe had been in Labour two nights and one day. Her Midwife told me her Pains were gone, and altho’ ſhe had given her their uſual Preſcriptions, a large quantity of Dr. Stevens’s Water, and her Husband’s Water, with the juice of Leeks, (often mentioned) they did not ſtrengthen her Pains. I found her 133 S3r 133 her Pangs ſmall, and a great diſtance between them; notwithſtanding I could round the Head of the Child to the Ears. I order’d her Nurſe to warm the bed hot, it being cold weather, and, as ſoon as ſhe was in bed, gave her an Anodyne, (which I have always found ſucceſsful in lingering Labours, to remove unprofitable Pains, and facilitate the Birth in true Labours) which, according to my expectation, ſucceeded; ſhe ſoon fell aſleep, and continued ſleeping and doſing for ſix hours; ſoon after ſhe wak’d, her Pains came on ſtronger; I was ſent for again, and found her Pains, with my aſſiſtance, (as in the former Obſervation,) anſwered the deſired Ends of a ſpeedy Delivery: but her Child was dead; and, its skin being full of 134 S3v 134 of bliſters of water, appeared to have been dead ſome time. However, the Woman did well, notwithſtanding the length of her Labour.
A Woman delivered of her Child five Days before I was ſent for, and unable to make Water, relieved by a Catheter
Iwas ſent for to Eaſt-Street, to a Gentlewoman who had been delivered five Days, and made no Water in all that time, but brought up moſt ſhe took, and was in continual Pain. She was extremely ſwelled, and her Belly 135 S4r 135 Belly much bigger than it was before her Delivery. I was obliged to make uſe of a Catheter, and immediately drew off more than a gallon of water, which gave her great eaſe for the preſent. She had a Phyſician from the ſecond day; he order’d her Fomentations to her Belly three times a day. I was forc’d the next day to draw off her water again. When her Phyſician ask’d me my opinion, what was the matter with her? I told him I thought an Inflammation of the Womb: He ſaid, that was very contrary to what her Midwife told him. I gave him for reaſon, that in Touching her, I found the Womb exceedingly ſwelled, and very hard. I continued to draw off her Water once a day, for eight days. Her Vomiting ſtill continued,tinued, 136 S4v 136 tinued, with a violent Fever, and her Cleanſings quite ſtop’d; and altho’ her Phyſician, (a Gentleman of Erudition and Judgment) ordered her a great many proper medicines for that caſe; yet ſhe continued a fortnight more like to die than to live; but the ſixteenth day after her Delivery, ſhe was taken with a violent Purging, and had near forty ſtools in twenty-ſix hours, and, though what ſhe voided was very black, and inſupportably offenſive, yet, by the care of her Phyſician, ſhe recovered, and did well.
The Delivery of a Woman whoſe Child’s Arm preſented firſt.
Iwas ſent for to a Comber’s Wife in St. James’s Pariſh, about eight of the Clock at night, but, being very ill of the Cholick, could not go. They told me ſhe had a Midwife with her, but ſhe could not deliver her; and about twelve o’clock I was called again; but continuing very ill, they ſent for another Midwife. About five of the clock in the morning, they ſent again, and told me the Woman would die, if T I did 138 T1v 138 I did not go to her aſſiſtance, for neither of her Midwives could deliver her. This oblig’d me to riſe and go with them, altho’ I was ſo ill as to be forced to hold by the Woman’s Husband and another. When I got there, I found the Child’s Arm out of the Birth; I immediately ſearched for the Feet, which I ſoon found, and in a little time completed the Delivery. I was led home, and in my bed before the clock ſtruck ſix. This fixed my Reſolution of leaving Taunton, for the Country Buſineſs was too hard for me; having no conveniency in any Illneſs, but obliged to go on horſeback, or foot, which had ſo impaired my health, that, notwithſtanding it is ſixteen years ſince I left it, I enjoy more health and ſtrength, than I did 139 T2r 139 I did at that time; for I brought at leaſt three hundred Children a year into the World, for many years before I left the town. I could enumerate vaſt numbers of theſe Obſervations; but have ſet down only a few, which, I hope, will prove beneficial to my ſex in general, when in my grave.
The Delivery of a Woman in a very deplorable Condition, the Child’s Head lying on the Os Pubis.
Iwas ſent for to Paul’s Street, to a Gentlewoman, her own Midwife being from home. She T2 ſaid 140 T2v 140 ſaid ſhe uſually had very good Times, but was more uneaſy the laſt three months of her time, with this Child, than ever ſhe was before, altho’ this was her eighth child. She ſaid her Child lay exceeding forward, which occaſioned her a great deal of Pain, in the lower Part of her Belly and Groin. When I Touch’d her, I ſoon let her know the reaſon of her Pain; the Child was a little lodged on the Os Pubis, which cauſed a ſharper Travail than any ſhe had before, although I delivered her in the ſpace of two hours. Her Huſband’s relations perſuaded her it was owing to the Change of Midwives; however, ſhe was willing to have me at her next Delivery, but they would not conſent to it; ſo ſhe had her own Midwife again, and had 141 T3r 141 had as good a time as ever; which confirmed her relations in their opinion, that the fault was in the Midwife. But being with Child again, ſhe very often complained that ſhe was in the ſame manner, and as uneaſy as ſhe was of the Child that I delivered her of. When her time was expired, and ſhe was in Labour, ſhe ſent for her former Midwife about ſix of the clock in the morning; ſhe continued in ſhort Pains, but very ſharp, till two in the Afternoon, and from that time, till nine of the clock at night, ſhe had violent ſtrong Pains, and very faſt; and then her Midwife and Friends admitted me to be ſent for. When I entered the chamber, ſhe was juſt laid on the bed, and looking very fierce in my face, clapp’d her hands 142 T3v 142 hands together, in great Agony, and ſaid, She ſhould never be delivered; I ſaid, I hop’d ſhe would. I Touch’d her, but was terribly ſurprized, for I never found a Woman ſo ſwell’d, and was at a great ſtand to think how the Child could be born with ſafety. I turn’d to the Midwife, and ask’d her, How ſhe could be guilty of ſo much cruel uſage to her fellow creature? She anſwer’d, ſhe knew ſhe was very much ſwell’d; I told her, had it been her own caſe, ſhe would have thought it very harſh uſage. I proceeded to relieve the poor Woman out of her diſtreſs, and found in every Pain the Child preſs’d hard on the Os Pubis, as the former one did, when I was with her, and reliev’d the Child, and delivered her in two hours. As 143 T4r 143 As ſoon as I had clear’d this Child from the Share-bone, I was obliged to keep it back with all my ſtrength, three Pains, before I dar’d ſuffer it to be born, (for fear of ill conſequences) the mother being ſo much ſwell’d. I thank God I delivered her very ſafe, the ſeventh Pain, after I was with her, and her Child was born alive, to her great Satisfaction, but was obliged to poultis and foment the Parts for eight days before ſhe could turn in her bed. She recovered and did well. Her Midwife told me, that her Child had lain from ſeven of the clock in the morning, without any Alteration as ſhe perceived, notwithſtanding ſo many hours extreme Pain. I did not doubt the truth of it; but ask’d how ſhe could expect a Delivery, as the 144 T4v 144 the Child lay: For it was impoſſible it could come through the bones. I deſired to know what advantage ſhe gained by working ſo violently on the Woman’s Body, telling her it was very detrimental to the Woman that was under her care.
When I left Taunton, ſhe was with Child again, and gone half her time, and was greatly troubled at my departure.
The Delivery of a Woman taken with a violent Flooding before her time.
Iwas ſent for to a Gentlewoman in Vine-ſtreet, in Briſtol, who was about ſix months gone with Child, taken with a violent Flowing of the Menſes: ’Twas about four of the clock in the morning. I found her Phyſician with her, who had order’d her ſeveral Medicines, but ſhe continued flooding very violently. I Touch’d her, but found no ſymptoms of Labour. I ſoon ſtopp’d her Flooding for that U time, 146 U1v 146 time, and ſhe went to ſleep. I was call’d again, about eight the ſame morning, in great haſte, her Flooding being return’d with violence. As ſoon as I Touch’d her, I ſtopp’d it again, as I have often done in my Practice, and always ſucceeded in ten minutes, or leſs, after Touching of a Woman; though it would often return again, as this Gentlewoman’s did; wherefore I told her Phyſician it was my opinion the ſooner ſhe was delivered, the better; but he thought it beſt to ſtay, and defer it, if her Flooding did not return. But about five in the afternoon it returned; I then purpoſed a Delivery, though no ſymptoms offered but her flowing, which had caus’d the mouth of the Matrix to be relaxed: She deſired me to deliver her; I put 147 U2r 147 I put my Fore-finger in the Mouth of the Womb, and ſo a ſecond, and, by degrees, and a little ſtrength, my whole hand; and, finding the Child lie acroſs, I ſearch’d for the Feet, which I ſoon found, and brought them forward, and ſo completed the Delivery in twenty minutes; and the Gentlewoman told me, ſhe was ſtronger this time in one week, than ſhe had been in three months of ſome of her former Children, in the ſame Circumſtances; for ſhe had ſeveral ſuch before. But the only reaſon of her weakneſs, was want of a quicker Delivery, before ſhe had loſt ſo much Blood, as, ſhe told me, they always ſuffer’d her to do, before they deliver’d her. I attended her of ſeveral Children after, at her U2 full 148 U2v 148 full time, with little or no danger, more than common. I have been with many Women that have flooded prodigiouſly, ſome in Miſcarriages, and ſome at their full time; but, thank God, I never loſt any Life in that caſe, through all my Practice. It is a ſecret I would willingly have made known, for the benefit of my Siſters in the Profeſſion: But, having a Daughter that has practiſed the ſame Art theſe ten years, with as good ſuccess as my ſelf, I ſhall leave it in her power to make it known. There are a great many that will acknowledge, that (with the Omnipotent’s leave) I have preſerved the lives of many in Miſcarriages; ſome ſix, ſeven, nay eight times miſcarrying, before they have 149 U3r 149 have had a Child to live, and every time attended with violent Floodings, yet all did well.
The Delivery of a Woman with the Child’s Face towards the Belly.
Iwas ſent for on St. Philip’s Plain, to a Woman who had been in Pain a night and a day; but when I Touch’d her, I found her Pains were but the beginning of Labour. I gave her an Anodyne that night, and returned home. Her Pains abated; I attended her the next day, and found but little Alteration; I ordered her the ſame the Night follow- 150 U3v 150 following. The next day her Pangs ſeemed to ſtrengthen, but her Labour was not forward enough for my aſſiſtance; I repeated the ſame Draught that night. They ſent for me the next morning, which was the fourth day after my firſt attending. I Touch’d her, and found the Matrix open, the breadth of a Six-pence; the Child lay very high, which was ſurprizing, her Pains being extreme ſtrong: She told me they had been ſo violent from one of the clock in the morning, and this was about five. I endeavoured to dilate the Womb, tho’ to little purpoſe, nor could I get the Child’s head off the Os Pubis, which did not anſwer my expectation, nor the poor Woman’s Pains. I then ſuſpected the Child came wrong, notwithſtandingwith- 151 U4r 151 withſtanding it preſented the head firſt; and I deſired to relinquiſh my place, inſiſting on having a Man-midwife ſent for; but the Woman wou’d not ſuffer it, and told me, if I would not deliver her, ſhe would die, for ſhe’d not conſent for any one elſe. She was a Woman of exceeding good Spirits, and did not want for Pangs, yet her Pains proved injurious to her Delivery. I again urg’d the Woman, her Mother, and Friends, to ſend for a Man; but they would not conſent, unleſs I poſitively affirm’d I could not deliver her. I could not ſay that, and ſpeak truth. I then laid her croſs the bed, with a bolſter and pillows under her ſtomach, to give the more liberty for her belly to lie hollow, that I might the better be able 152 U4v 152 able to ſearch her, and find which way the Head came; it was with a good deal of difficulty I obtained ſatisfaction, by reaſon of the ſtrength of her Pains. I found the Child’s Face came to the Belly; it was a prodigious long-headed child, and her firſt, and was every way very large. I then deſpaired of delivering her without an Inſtrument, which I did not care to uſe; ſo deſired them again to ſend for a Man-midwife; but they would not conſent. I was well aſſured the Child could not be born with the Head foremoſt without an Inſtrument, neither could it be born unleſs the Child’s Head was unbrain’d, with ſafety to the Woman; wherefore, being certain the Child was alive, I came to a Reſolution to turn the Child, and 153 X1r 153 and bring it by the Feet, which I concluded would be the ſafeſt way for the Woman, but fear’d it would be too hard for the Child, yet reſolv’d, with God’s help, to do my duty; and ſo, leaving the event to the Omnipotent, I ſearch’d for the Feet, but her Pains were ſo violent as to make it very difficult to get hold of a Foot; however, in about fifteen minutes, I got hold of one, and brought it towards me with all my ſtrength; the other followed, and in half an hour, I deliver’d her of a live Child. I was greatly fatigued in turning and keeping the Face to the Back; yet had not that been done, it would not have anſwer’d a ſafe Delivery. The Woman and Child did well. I have deliver’d her X of 154 X1v 154 of five Children ſince; her third Child came the ſame as the firſt, and all her Childrens Heads were prodigiouſly big, and very long; I was oblig’d to turn that Child alſo; but the Mother and Children did well.
I have had ſeveral Children come with their Faces upwards, and the Mothers have had good Times, when the Childrens Heads have been very round, and they not large. The reaſon of my being particular in this Obſervation is, having been inform’d of ſeveral Women that have been delivered with Inſtruments, and rent both in one, when Children have preſented their Heads firſt, and Faces to the Belly, having long Heads; when theſe young Profeſſorsfeſſors 155 X2r 155 feſſors fixing a Hook in the poor Babe’s Head, and bringing the Child off by Force (with great Strength and little Knowledge) have ruin’d many Women and Children, that I have heard of. I can ſpeak it with ſincerity, and truth, that I never injured a Woman in all my Practice, nor did I ever hear my Mother had any one ſuch accident in all her’s. Nor do I remember that I ever heard of above two, before I went to Briſtol, that ſuffer’d in that manner: But the Information I have had from ſome Nurſes, and the unfortunate Sufferers, proves it not to be very uncommon there, through miſmanagement in the firſt beginnings of Labour; wherefore it is neceſſary that an exact judgment ſhould be made, X2 whether 156 X2v 156 whether the Child’s Head is ſituated right or wrong; or if the Child preſſes forward on the Os Pubis, which if it ſhou’d, it is beſt to adviſe the Woman to lie in her Bed, and on her Back, during her ſmall Pains; for, by that means, her Child will ſettle to the Back, where it muſt come, before it is born. For my part, I never found when a Child was clear of the Os Pubis, but it would be born without preſſing back on the Os Sacrum, as is the practice of many, and, in my Judgment, without any Foundation. I have read many Authors that adviſe ſuch practice, and even give directions to preſs back the Os Sacrum with all one’s ſtrength, the breadth of one’s hand: Which Practice I muſt 157 X3r 157 I muſt condemn, as being very prejudicial to Women; for I never found it once ſucceſsful, but very much to the contrary.
The Delivery of a Woman, the Bottom of the Womb falling through its Neck.
Iwas ſent for to a Woman in Labour; I found her Pains very ſtrong; as ſoon as I Touch’d her, I found the Child lay right, but the Mouth of the Womb was ſunk conſiderably below the Child’s Head; ſhe being in her bed, I kept her on 158 X3v 158 on her Back, and, with the two fore-fingers of my right hand, I raiſed the Womb, and the Child came forward, and was ſoon born; but, to my great Surprize, going to fetch the After-burden, I felt a great Subſtance, not unlike a Child’s Head ready to be born, and finding the After-burden faſt over it, I immediately ſuppoſed what it proved to be, the Bottom of the Womb fallen through its Neck; I directly put my fiſt againſt the Subſtance, and return’d it, but not without a good deal of ſtrength and difficulty, and I held my hand ſtill till I found the mouth of the Womb begin to contract itſelf; then I peeled off the After‑ burden as you would the Rind from an Orange, and brought it 159 X4r 159 it away with little trouble, and the Woman did very well; I kept her in bed ſome days longer than ſhe uſed to be of her other Children, and ſhe had not the leaſt Complaint after, although near three months before her Delivery ſhe complained of a great Bearing down, inſomuch that ſhe was not able to ſtand nor walk; but lay on a couch when out of bed, which diſorder occaſioned her to ſpeak to me. She is ſtill alive, and well; it is about four years ago, and the firſt and only Caſe of this kind I ever met with. I had not ſo much as Touch’d the Navel-ſtring, when I perceiv’d this Accident; therefore the Occaſion of it muſt proceed, as I conjecture, from the weakneſs of the Woman, and her 160 X4v 160 her having ſuch a Bearing-down ſo long before her Labour, and the ſtrength of her Pains, that cauſed the bottom of the Womb to follow the Child. The reaſon of my being ſo plain in this Obſervation is, that a few Years before this Accident happened to me, a Midwife was very much blam’d on account of a Woman that died in this caſe, in leſs than two hours after her Child was born, the Midwife taking the inverted Womb for another Child; and ſhe endeavouring to deliver her, as ſhe told her friends about her, till the Woman fainted, and then a Man‑ midwife was ſent for; and he not being at home, they called another, and they both met near together at the Woman’sman’s 161 Y1r 161 man’s houſe, but neither of them could return the Womb into its place, but they brought off the After-burden, and the Woman immediately expired.
I was informed that the Men-midwives condemned the Woman-midwife, telling her ſhe had pulled the Navel-ſtring with Violence, or elſe this Accident would not have happened; but ſhe declared ſhe did not; and what ſhe ſaid might be true; for if every Womb ſhould be inverted by fetching the After‑ burden by the String, although with a conſiderable Strength, there would be many ſuch accidents, which, experience tells us, ſeldom happen. But, I think, they would have done well, to have informed this Y Midwife 162 Y1v 162 Midwife that, as ſoon as ſhe felt the afore-ſaid ſubſtance, ſhe ſhould have uſed her art and ſtrength to have returned it.
But, if ſhe wanted knowledge, as I doubt ſhe did, ſhe ſhould have preſently ſent for farther advice; for ſuch Caſes admit of no delay; therefore Midwives ought to be well inſtructed in every Particular of this ſo uſeful an art; for I queſtion whether the Womb might be returned, unleſs it be done in a few minutes after its being inverted; for I am ſatisfied it was not more than four minutes after the Child was born that I was ſenſible of my Woman’s Caſe, and I preſently endeavoured to return the Womb; but I found 163 Y2r 163 found it a difficult work; and it is not to be done without knowledge and reſolution; but, praiſed be the Almighty God, I accompliſhed it.