ABSTRACT

It is sometimes argued that child-bearing is a normal physiological process of the body, automatic, self-regulating and entirely remote from disease. Ideally this may be so, but without the doctor and the nurse this process is associated with a maternal mortality in the neighbourhood of 25 per 1000, and an infantile mortality which in India may be as high as 35 per cent … Clearly if the medical profession are not to see obstetrics pass from their hands to the midwives, it is essential that they undertake to attend cases of childbirth, not only in those hospitals and maternity homes to which they have access, but also in the house of the people, and much of this work among the poorer classes must of necessity be free and subsidised. 1