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Obstetrical instrument set, England, 1851-1900

The instruments contained in this chamois leather bag belonged to an obstetric physician. They were used during childbirth. The full set consists of three sets of obstetric forceps, two perforators, one blunt hook, one crotchet, one combined hook and crotchet, one trocar and one pair of bone cutters. Some, such as the forceps, were standard delivery tools. Others, such as the perforators and trocar, were destructive tools. Most births during the 1800s were attended by women. These were usually relatives and a local midwife. Man-midwives, or obstetricians, were only called to the rich or when the lives of mother and baby were at risk.

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Glossary: obstetrics

A branch of medicine dealing with the care of women. This care occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period of recovery from childbirth.

Glossary: compendium instrument

A selection of instruments incorporated into a single package to allow convient use together