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July 11, 1931

The Theory of Obstetrics: A Functional Study of Child-Bearing Based on a New Definition of Normal Labour and on a New Theory of Uterine Inertia, and Illustrated by a Detailed Statistical Analysis of 100 Consecutive Labours, and Some Records of Cases of Painless Labour.

JAMA. 1931;97(2):127. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730020055037

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A most unusual book on obstetrics is presented by De Garis, an Australian physician. In the belief that pain in labor is unphysiologic and that it is the cause of inertia uteri, he presents a new definition of normal labor: "A normal labor is one in which the uterine contractions act thoroughly and efficiently, leading in a short time to the spontaneous delivery of a healthy baby, and causing little or no distress or suffering to the mother." This standard may be achieved, according to the author, by proper management of the prenatal period. Diet and the eradication of infective foci are stressed to this end. No real contribution to the conduct of present prenatal care, however, is made. The most interesting section of the book is part II, devoted to a detailed analysis of 100 consecutive obstetric cases occurring in his general practice. In conclusion, he suggests the need

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