The Chamberlens' Secret: How a Century of Women were Robbed of Safe Childbirth
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In pre-modern times, before the advent of general anesthesia and operative delivery, the fate of a woman in childbirth depended entirely on her ability in labor to move the baby through the birth canal. When the passenger was larger than the passageway, the labor became obstructed and both mother and baby died. This was the plight of women through all of human history. But in the late-16th century, in Southampton England an immigrant family who had fled religious persecution in France constructed an instrument to overcome this lethal problem. With this device, they and their successors saved many lives, and inaugurated a new era in medicine. Nevertheless, they resolved to keep their invention a family secret for five generations, and thus deprived millions of women of its benefits, all while serving as physicians to the Royal family of England. This book tells the Chamberlens' story, and ultimately, relates it to current practices in childbirth.


2013, 280 pages

ISBN: 978-1-481948-75-3

 

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