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Obstetric forceps, India, before 1936

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Obstetrical forceps are a standard instrument used during childbirth. They have a long history. They grip the baby’s head and assist its progress down the birth canal. The forceps blades are designed with two curves: the cephalic curve fits the child’s head and the pelvic curve corresponds to the curve of the mother’s pelvis. Many modern examples slot together at the handle. However, this Indian set comes in two parts.

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Glossary: obstetrical forceps

An instrument used to assist the delivery of a foetus, usually during a birth where complications have developed. Numerous variations have been developed over time. The fundamental design has two separate looped blades with handles. These interlock to form a grasping instrument.

Glossary: gynaecology

A branch of medicine dealing with the treatment of disorders affecting the female reproductive system.