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There is no way of estimating the mortality from childbirth in China, but it must be very large. Ignorant midwives attend most of the cases. A physician is rarely sent for, and when he comes, so far as I can learn, he is not supposed to examine the patient, but merely feels her pulse and writes a prescription for the particular complication from which she is suffering. A woman in labor is considered unclean, and ordinarily a Chinese doctor would not be willing to pollute himself by coming in contact with the discharges from a labor case. Among the higher classes, especially, the relatives of a puerperal woman will not come into her room until a month after her delivery. She is taken care of by midwives and female servants. The result of such neglect can easily be imagined.
One of the first obstetric cases I saw after
VENABLE WH. SOME OBSTETRIC EXPERIENCES IN CHINA.. JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(15):1267-1269. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.25220410043002e