This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
We shall not attempt to enter into the technicalities of this subject, as this is forbidden both by the object of this work and the space which can be properly devoted to it. We wish especially to emphasize, however, the fact that the art of midwifry is one which is worthy of the very highest skill and ability that can be brought to it. The once popular notion that it is something which should be left to nurses and old women is in the highest degree pernicious. While childbirth is a function which when naturally performed is attended by little risk to either mother or child, and requires but a very moderate amount of skill or knowledge to meet all the necessary requirements, it should be borne in mind that various accidents, irregularities, unnatural conditions, and sundry other deviations from the natural course of events, are likely to occur at any time, and without previous warning, being often of so serious a nature as to threaten the life of both mother and child. To meet some of these emergencies, the very highest skill and the fullest knowledge are often required. Hence this essential art should not be left in the hands of the ignorant; and it is important that the public should be sufficiently informed upon the subject to at least appreciate the necessity for, and the full value of, skill and experience in this department of medical science.
The anatomy, physiology, and general hygiene of the reproductive system, have been considered in the earlier portion of this work, and hence need not be recapitulated here.