This section is from the book "The Lady's Assistant: Family Physician", by P. Davey and B. Law.
When this arises from want of strength in the mother, and the child lies in a natural situ-ation, as also when the mouth of the womb is open, which the midwise is to be sure of by examination, then something cordial should be given, as a small draught of generous wine mulled or otherwise, which may be occasionally repeated: sometimes the mother is teazed with false pains, resembling those of the colic, and then it will be proper to give a grain or two of opium, which will give her ease, and nature will be able to perform her work effectually; besides, this will open and relax the genital parts.
When the genital parts are in fault as being too strait or hard, which sometimes happens at the first birth, especially when the woman is not young; or when the parts are too dry: in these cafes, they must be often anointed with fresh oil or butter, and the mouth of the womb must be carefully dilated with the fingers. When the Womb is preternaturally close by some excrescence or membrane, or the vagina is closed by a coalescence, a surgeon's assistance will be wanted.
Sometimes the midwise is in fault, when she is for hurrying on delivery too hastily, before there is any true labour-pains, and before the mouth of the womb is open, which is a certain sign to distinguish the true pains from the false. In this case, no forcing things should he given, but the mother should be suffered to rest till the true time of birth comes on.
When the fault is in the situation of the child, the care of a skilful person is necessarily required to deliver the mother in the safest manner.