Palfijin obstetrical forceps, Europe, 1720-1730
Jan Palfijin (1650-1730), or Palfyn, introduced these obstetrical forceps in 1716. They aided difficult childbirths. The spoons or ‘iron hands’ as he called them, gripped the baby’s head. They could be used separately or tied together. This was one of many designs produced from the early 1700s onwards.
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A branch of medicine dealing with the care of women. This care occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period of recovery from childbirth.
Glossary: obstetrical forceps
An instrument used to assist the delivery of a foetus, usually during a birth where complications have developed. Numerous variations have been developed over time. The fundamental design has two separate looped blades with handles. These interlock to form a grasping instrument.