The Mechanics of Labor taught by Andrew Taylor Still, MD Kirksville, Missouri and interpreted by W.J. Conner, DO, Kansas City, MO

Short volume in which the author, who had known Dr A.T. Still since he was a child, narrates some anecdotes regarding the master and recalls his teachings in the osteopathic field.

 

Publisher: unknown

Year of publication: 1928

Number of poages: 50

 

 

 

 

W.J. Conner describes how A.T. Still was contrary to the use of forceps claimed to be able to deliver babies without causing any laceration to the mother while also reducing childbirth pain.

Having worked in the obstetrics clinic of Kirksville for five years after having earned the diploma from the ASO, where he had enrolled in 1894, W.J. Conner gives his own interpretation of the master’s words in this sector, affirming that, to completely understand the dynamics of childbirth, it is necessary to abandon the principle of the uterine contractions to embrace that of the hydraulic pressure. 

The book is completed with explicative photographs on the position to assume to facilitate the passage of the fetus through the birth canal. 

Of great historical interest for the information provided on Dr A.T. Still before he became famous, it also offers some details on the school and on the clinic. It can be a source of reflection on the founder’s teaching, some of which have not been fully passed on to us.

Strengths: One of the rare documents dealing with the practical modalities with which A.T. Still reduced pain and lacerations in women giving birth.

Weaknesses: The text is very laconic and the author specifies that this is his own interpretation of A.T. Still’s words.

In 1905 a quote by Julia B. Foraker, wife of an Ohio Senator: “If dr. A.T. Still had discovered nothing  new in medical science but what he has done for women, his name would go down the ages as the greatest physician of any age”, The Philadelphia Journal of Osteopathy, May-June 1905, v.7, n.3:90.

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