Obstetric phantom, Italy, 1701-1800: Manipulating the cloth ‘baby’ in the womb of this almost life-size model of the female torso shows how birth takes place. It also shows how abnormal positions of the child affect the process. The wood and leather model was used to teach medical students, and possibly midwives, about childbirth. Using instruments to intervene in delivering a live child was still quite rare in the 1700s. Caesarean sections were rarely attempted. The obstetric phantom came from the Hospital del Ceppo in Pistoia, near Florence, Italy. This is one of the earliest hospitals in Europe, founded in 1277.
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