Child-bearing, though a physiologic function, is not without danger to both mother and child. Danger arises from two distinct sources. The first is external to the mother, and depends on her environment, in which her safety is menaced by infections that may occur during gestation, during labor, and during the period of lying in. The second source of danger is internal in nature. It belongs within the woman herself, growing out of conditions that make the passage of the passenger unsafe or impossible. It finds expression in faulty physical development for which our modern methods of living are largely responsible; in faulty development of the parts concerned in parturition, and in accidents of mechanism.
The treatment of the first source of danger must be prophylactic and remedial, while that of the second must be mechanical, and includes a wide range of surgery. If a perfect prophylaxis is observed, remedial measures will fall into disuse, while a thorough knowledge of, and training in, methods
BOOT EH. THE STUDY AND TEACHING OF OBSTETRICS.. JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(9):510-512. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450610012001c