Few instruments garner the colorful history, diversity and occasionally, the complexity afforded the obstetrical forceps
Were among the first devices used to safely facilitate delivery
At times, when all other measures failed, the accoucheur was compelled to sacrifice the fetus with a destructive procedure in an effort to save the mother. For this purpose alone, an extraordinary variety of amazing and frequently complex, instruments were designed. In general, these procedures were only performed in extreme cases where all else had failed an were abhorred by obstetricians who went to great length to assure fetal demise prior to proceeding.
Division of the symphysis pubis served to increase the pelvic diameters to facilitate delivery in cases of cephalopelvic disproportion.
Pelvimeters afforded the skilled accoucheur a method for ascertaining the adequacy of a woman’s pelvis for childbirth
Repair of lacerations of the female perineum were frequently required after childbirth or following the removal of large tumors.