A Realistic Depiction of Childbirth

I found the following story in Judith Schneid Lewis's In the Family Way: Childbearing in the British Aristocracy 1760-1860. It contains what Lewis describes as 'surely one of the most astonishing descriptions of childbirth ever to appear in medical literature" (71).

The below is an extract on childbirth written by a Dr. Christian Augustus Struve in his 1801 book, A Familiar Treatise on the Physical Education of Children (page 170).

Struve writes about what women should expect in childbirth–and it's really not so horrible as everyone makes out, ladies! "The full period of pregnancy having arrived, the woman is seized with the pains of labor . . . . Scarcely has a minute elapsed when, to her utmost astonishment and extacy [sic], she perceives that delivery is accomplished. She beholds in her lap a lovely full-sized infant, fresh as the morning dew".


Unless the 'morning dew' you're talking about is placenta.

I am utterly convinced that this Dr. Struve has not only never been present in a birth, but doesn't have a basic grasp of biology. Please, someone in the 19th century, revoke his medical license IMMEDIATELY.

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