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Decapitating hook, London, England,1851-1900

This steel decapitating hook was a destructive obstetric tool. It is shaped like an umbrella handle. It removed a dead foetus from within the mother’s body. The simple design inserted into the mother’s birth canal and hooked onto part of the child. The sturdy handle gave the physician good grip when extracting the body. This decapitating hook is serrated on the inner edge. It extracted the whole body or parts of the body. It was made by London-based surgical instrument makers Down Brothers.

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

Glossary: decapitating hook

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