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Draper-type obstetrical forceps, London, 1870-1885

Obstetrical forceps were inserted into the mother’s pelvis and gripped a baby’s head during difficult childbirths. These are small, portable and made from nickel-plated steel with wooden handles. They were invented by W. Draper in the 1870s. The blades of the forceps could be folded inside one another, inserted as one and used as a lever. The forceps could then be opened once inserted. Draper claimed the mother would feel no discomfort.

Object number:

A615726

 

Glossary:

Glossary: obstetrics

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.