Reproduction

James Marion Sims (1813-1883)

By Amanda Andrei

James Marion Sims developed a surgical cure for ruptures of the wall separating the bladder from the vagina during labor, ruptures called vesico-vaginal fistulas, and he developed techniques and tools used to improve reproductive examinations and health care for women in the US during the nineteenth century. Sims's lateral examination position allowed doctors to better see the vaginal cavity, and his speculum, a spoon-like object used for increased view into the vagina, helped to make gynecological examinations more thorough.

Created 2013-04-08

Last modified 2 years 5 months ago

Format: Articles

James Marion Sims's Treatment of Vesico-Vaginal Fistula

By Amanda Andrei

James Marion Sims developed a treatment for vesico-vaginal fistulas in Montgomery, Alabama in the 1840s. Vesico-vaginal fistulas were a relatively common condition in which a woman's urine leaked into her vaginal cavity from her bladder, and many regarded the fistulas as untreatable during the early 1800s. After years of efforts to repair the fistulas with myriad tools, techniques, and procedures, Sims developed the speculum and a vaginal examination position later named for him.

Created 2013-04-12

Last modified 2 years 5 months ago

Format: Articles

Bernard Nathanson (1926-2011)

By Mark Zhang

Bernard Nathanson was an obstetrician and gynecologist in New York City, New York, who argued for, and later against, women's rights to abortion. Between 1970 and 1979, Nathanson oversaw at least 75,000 abortions, 5,000 of which he performed himself, earning him the nickname of abortion king. However, his views regarding abortion shifted in 1973, after he watched an abortion using ultrasound imaging technology. Afterwards, Nathanson began to oppose women's rights to abortion, and he published the anti-abortion book Aborting America and produced the film Silent Scream.

Created 2013-04-22

Last modified 2 years 5 months ago

Format: Articles

Oregon State Board of Eugenics

By Cera R. Lawrence

In 1917 the Oregon State Legislature, in Salem, Oregon, passed a bill titled, 'To Prevent Procreation of Certain Classes in Oregon.' Passage of the bill created the Oregon State Board of Eugenics, an organization that presided over the forced sterilization of more than 2,600 Oregon residents from 1917 to 1981. In 1983, Legislation abolished the State Board of Eugenics, by that time called the Oregon State Board of Social Protection.

Created 2013-04-22

Last modified 1 year 3 months ago

Format: Articles

The Silent Scream (1984), by Bernard Nathanson, Crusade for Life, and American Portrait Films

By Mark Zhang

The Silent Scream is an anti-abortion film released in 1984 by American Portrait Films, then based in Brunswick, Ohio. The film was created and narrated by Bernard Nathanson, an obstetrician and gynecologist from New York, and it was produced by Crusade for Life, an evangelical anti-abortion organization. In the video, Nathanson narrates ultrasound footage of an abortion of a twelve-week-old fetus, claiming that the fetus opened its mouth in what Nathanson calls a silent scream during the procedure.

Created 2013-05-02

Last modified 2 years 4 months ago

Format: Articles

Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973), by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective

By Maggie Pingolt

Our Bodies, Ourselves, a succession to a pamphlet of resources pulled from co-ops of women in and around Boston, Massachusetts was published in New York in 1973 by Simon and Schuster. Retitled from the original Women and Their Bodies, Our Bodies, Ourselves was an effort by a group of educated, middle class women to reinforce women's ownership of their bodies. There have been eight editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves, as well as sequels such as Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth and Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause.

Created 2013-06-21

Last modified 2 years 6 months ago

Format: Articles

David Starr Jordan (1851-1931)

By Jill Briggs

David Starr Jordan studied fish and promoted eugenics in the US during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In his work, he embraced Charles Darwin s theory of evolution and described the importance of embryology in tracing phylogenic relationships. In 1891, he became the president of Stanford University in Stanford, California. Jordan condemned war and promoted conservationist causes for the California wilderness, and he advocated for the eugenic sterilization of thousands of Americans.

Created 2013-06-26

Last modified 2 years 6 months ago

Format: Articles

Human Betterment Foundation (1928-1942)

By Jill Briggs

In 1928 Ezra Seymour Gosney founded the non-profit Human Betterment Foundation (HBF) in Pasadena, California to support the research and publication of the personal and social effects of eugenic sterilizations carried out in California. Led by director Gosney and secretary Paul Popenoe, the HBF collected data on thousands of individuals in California who had been involuntarily sterilized under a California state law enacted in 1909. The Foundation's assets were liquidated following Gosney's death in 1942.

Created 2013-07-10

Last modified 10 months 3 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (1968)

By Britta Martinez

The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA or the Act) was passed in the US in 1968 and has since been revised in 1987 and in 2006. The Act sets a regulatory framework for the donation of organs, tissues, and other human body parts in the US. The UAGA helps regulate body donations to science, medicine, and education. The Act has been consulted in discussions about abortion , fetal tissue transplants , and Body Worlds , an anatomy exhibition.

Created 2013-08-05

Last modified 2 years 6 months ago

Format: Articles

Cocaine as a Teratogen

By Chanapa Tantibanchachai, Mark Zhang

Cocaine use by pregnant women has a variety of effects on the embryo and fetus, ranging from various gastro-intestinal and cardiac defects to tissue death from insufficient blood supply. Thus, cocaine has been termed a teratogen, or an agent that causes defects in fetuses during prenatal development. Cocaine is one of the most commonly used drugs in the US and it has a history of both medical and illegal recreational use. It is a drug capable of a wide array of effects on physical and mental health.

Created 2013-10-17

Last modified 2 years 6 months ago

Format: Articles

Retinoids As Teratogens

By Chanapa Tantibanchachai

Vitamin A (retinol) is an essential vitamin in the daily functioning of human beings that helps regulate cellular differentiation of epithelial tissue. Studies have shown that an excess of vitamin A can affect embryonic development and result in teratogenesis, or the production of birth defects in a developing embryo. Excess intake of vitamin A and retinoids by pregnant women often results malformations to fetuses' skulls, faces, limbs, eyes, central nervous system.

Created 2014-02-28

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

Studies of Thalidomide's Effects on Rodent Embryos from 1962-2008

By Chanapa Tantibanchachai, Joanna Yang

Thalidomide is a sedative drug introduced to European markets on 1 October 1957 after extensive testing on rodent embryos to ensure its safety. Early laboratory tests in rodent populations showed that pregnant rodents could safely use it, so doctors prescribed Thalidomide to treat morning sickness in pregnant women. However, in humans Thalidomide interfered with embryonic and fetal development in ways not observed in rodent tests.

Created 2014-03-07

Last modified 3 years 5 months ago

Format: Articles

Social Implications of Non-Invasive Blood Tests to Determine the Sex of Fetuses

By Ceara O'Brien

By 2011, researchers in the US had established that non-invasive blood tests can accurately determine the gender of a human fetus as early as seven weeks after fertilization. Experts predicted that this ability may encourage the use of prenatal sex screening tests by women interested to know the gender of their fetuses. As more people begin to use non-invasive blood tests that accurately determine the sex of the fetus at 7 weeks, many ethical questions pertaining to regulation, the consequences of gender-imbalanced societies, and altered meanings of the parent-child relationship.

Created 2014-03-23

Last modified 3 years 5 months ago

Format: Articles

US Regulatory Response to Thalidomide (1950-2000)

By Chanapa Tantibanchachai

Thalidomide, a drug capable of causing fetal abnormalities (teratogen), has caused greater than ten thousand birth defects worldwide since its introduction to the market as a pharmaceutical agent. Prior to discovering thalidomide's teratogenic effects in the early 1960s, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not place regulations on drug approval or monitoring as it later did. By 1962, approximately 20,000 patients in the US had taken thalidomide as part of an unregulated clinical trial before any actions were taken to stop thalidomide's distribution.

Created 2014-04-01

Last modified 3 years 4 months ago

Format: Articles

James G. Wilson's Six Principles of Teratology

By S. Alexandra Aston

James Graves Wilson's six principles of teratology, published in 1959, guide research on teratogenic agents and their effects on developing organisms. Wilson's six principles were inspired by Gabriel Madeleine Camille Dareste's five principles of experimental teratology published in 1877. Teratology is the study of birth defects, and a teratogen is something that either induces or amplifies abnormal embryonic or fetal development and causes birth defects.

Created 2014-05-23

Last modified 3 years 3 months ago

Format: Articles

Mitochondrial Diseases in Humans

By Dorothy R. Haskett

Mitochondrial diseases in humans result when the small organelles called mitochondria, which exist in all human cells, fail to function normally. The mitochondria contain their own mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) separate from the cell's nuclear DNA (nDNA). The main function of mitochondria is to produce energy for the cell. They also function in a diverse set of mechanisms such as calcium hemostasis, cell signaling, regulation of programmed cell death (apoptosis), and biosynthesis of heme proteins that carry oxygen.

Created 2014-07-11

Last modified 3 years 1 month ago

Format: Articles

Isotretinoin (Accutane) as a Teratogen

By Chanapa Tantibanchachai

Isotretinoin is a molecule and a byproduct (metabolite) of vitamin A, and in greater than normal amounts in pregnant women, it can cause fetal abnormalities including cleft lips, ear and eye defects, and mental retardation. Isotretinoin is commonly called by its trade name Accutane, and it's a chemical compound derived from vitamin A, or retinoic acid. Doctors prescribe isotretinoin to treat severe acne. For pregnant women, too much vitamin A or isotretinoin can also cause greater than normal rates of stillbirths and fetal disintegrations after the ninth week of gestation.

Created 2014-07-20

Last modified 3 years 1 month ago

Format: Articles

Hwang Woo-suk's Use of Human Eggs for Research 2002-2005

By Anne Safiya Clay

Hwang Woo-suk, a geneticist in South Korea, claimed in Science magazine in 2004 and 2005 that he and a team of researchers had for the first time cloned a human embryo and that they had derived eleven stem cell lines from it. Hwang was a professor at Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea. In the Science articles, Hwang stated that all of the women who donated eggs to his laboratory were volunteers who donated their eggs (oocytes) without receiving any compensation in return. In 2006, Hwang admitted that many of the results were fabricated.

Created 2014-08-12

Last modified 3 years 1 week ago

Format: Articles

Robert Geoffrey Edwards's Study of in vitro Mammalian Oocyte Maturation, 1960 to 1965

By Lijing Jiang

In a series of experiments between 1960 and 1965, Robert Geoffrey Edwards discovered how to make mammalian egg cells, or oocytes, mature outside of a female's body. Edwards, working at several research institutions in the UK during this period, studied in vitro fertilization (IVF) methods. He measured the conditions and timings for in vitro (out of the body) maturation of oocytes from diverse mammals including mice, rats, hamsters, pigs, cows, sheep, and rhesus monkeys, as well as humans.

Created 2014-08-18

Last modified 3 years 5 days ago

Format: Articles

Dennis Lo (1963- )

By Alexis Abboud

Dennis Lo, also called Yuk Ming Dennis Lo, is a
professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong,
China. In 1997, Lo discovered fetal DNA in maternal
plasma, which is the liquid component of a pregnant woman's
blood. By 2002, Lo distinguished the DNA differences between pregnant women
and their fetuses, enabling scientists to identify fetal DNA in pregnant
women's blood. Lo used his discoveries to develop several
non-invasive and prenatal genetic tests, including tests for blood

Created 2014-11-04

Last modified 2 years 9 months ago

Format: Articles

"Transfer of Fetal Cells with Multilineage Potential to Maternal Tissue" (2004), by Kiarash Khosrotehrani et al.

By Alexis Abboud

In 2004, a team of researchers at Tufts-New England
Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, investigated the fetal
cells that remained in the maternal blood stream after pregnancy.
The results were published in Transfer of Fetal Cells with
Multilineage Potential to Maternal Tissue. The team working on that
research included Kiarash Khosrotehrani, Kirby L. Johnson, Dong
Hyun Cha, Robert N. Salomon, and Diana W. Bianchi. The researchers
reported that the fetal cells passed to a pregnant woman during

Created 2014-11-14

Last modified 2 years 9 months ago

Format: Articles

Whitner v. South Carolina (1997)

By Chanapa Tantibanchachai

In the case Whitner v. South Carolina in 1997, the South Carolina State Supreme Court defined the concept of a child to include viable fetuses. This allowed grounds for prosecution of a pregnant womanÕs prenatal activity if those activities endangered or could potentially endanger the fetus within her. The case brought the issue of fetal rights versus pregnant womenÕs rights to light.

Created 2014-11-30

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

Harry Hamilton Laughlin (1880-1943)

By Rachel Gur-Arie

Harry Hamilton Laughlin helped lead the eugenics
movement in the United States during the early twentieth century.
The US eugenics movement of the early twentieth century sought to
reform the genetic composition of the United States population through
sterilization and other restrictive reproductive measures. Laughlin
worked as superintendent and assistant director of the Eugenics
Research Office (ERO) at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold
Spring Harbor, New York, alongside director Charles Davenport.

Created 2014-12-19

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990)

By Jonathan LaTourelle

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 established the legal framework that governs infertility treatment, medical services ancillary to infertility treatment such as embryo storage, and all human embryological research performed in the UK. The law also defines a legal concept of the parent of a child conceived with assisted reproductive technologies.

Created 2014-12-19

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

Elinor Catherine Hamlin (1924- )

By Patsy Ciardullo

Elinor Catherine Hamlin founded and helped fund centers in Ethiopia to treat women affected by fistulas from obstetric complications. Obstetric fistulas develop in women who experience prolonged labor, as the pressure placed on the pelvis by the fetus during labor causes a hole, or fistula, to form between the vagina and the bladder (vesicovaginal fistula) or between the vagina and the rectum (rectovaginal fistula). Both of those conditions result in urinary or fecal incontinence, which often impacts womenÍs social status within their communities.

Created 2015-03-19

Last modified 2 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) in the US

By Alexis Abboud

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is an artificially created hormone first synthesized in the late 1930s. Doctors widely prescribed DES first to pregnant women to prevent miscarriages, and later as an emergency contraceptive pill and to treat breast cancer. However, in 1971, physicians showed a link between DES and vaginal cancer during puberty in the children of women who had taken DES while pregnant. Consequently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned its use during pregnancy.

Created 2015-03-23

Last modified 2 years 5 months ago

Format: Articles

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (1974- )

By Patsy Ciardullo

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is a nonprofit organization that began in 1974 as a joint endeavor by Reginald and Catherine Hamlin and the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia promotes reproductive health in Ethiopia by raising awareness and implementing treatment and preventive services for women affected by obstetric fistulas. It also aims to restore the lives of women afflicted with obstetric fistulas in Ethiopia and eventually to eradicate the condition.

Created 2015-04-13

Last modified 2 years 4 months ago

Format: Articles

The Y-Chromosome in Animals

By Dorothy R. Haskett

The Y-chromosome is one of a pair of chromosomes that determine the genetic sex of individuals in mammals, some insects, and some plants. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the development of new microscopic and molecular techniques, including DNA sequencing, enabled scientists to confirm the hypothesis that chromosomes determine the sex of developing organisms. In an adult organism, the genes on the Y-chromosome help produce the male gamete, the sperm cell. Beginning in the 1980s, many studies of human populations used the Y-chromosome gene sequences to trace paternal lineages.

Created 2015-05-28

Last modified 2 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

Charles Robert Cantor (1942- )

By Alexis Abboud

Charles Robert Cantor helped sequence the human genome, and he developed methods to non-invasively determine the genes in human fetuses. Cantor worked in the US during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. His early research focused on oligonucleotides, small molecules of DNA or RNA. That research enabled the development of a technique that Cantor subsequently used to describe nucleotide sequences of DNA, a process called sequencing, in humans. Cantor was the principal scientist for the Human Genome Project, for which scientists sequenced the entirety of the human genome in 2003.

Created 2015-06-11

Last modified 2 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

"Human Toxoplasmosis: Occurrence in Infants as an Encephalomyelitis Verification of Transmission to Animals" (1939), by Abner Wolf et al.

By Jesse Potestas

In a series of experiments during mid 1930s, a team of researchers in New York helped establish that bacteria of the species Toxoplasma gondii can infect humans, and in infants can cause toxoplasmosis, a disease that inflames brains, lungs, and hearts, and that can organisms that have it. The team included Abner Wolf, David Cowen, and Beryl Paige. They published the results of their experiment in Human Toxoplasmosis: Occurrence in Infants as an Encephalomyelitis Verification of Transmission to Animals.

Created 2015-06-11

Last modified 1 year 2 months ago

Format: Articles

Assisted Human Reproduction Act (2004)

By Kathleen Hammond

The Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHR Act) is a piece of federal legislation passed by the Parliament of Canada. The Act came into force on 29 March 2004. Many sections of the Act were struck down following a 2010 Supreme Court of Canada ruling on its constitutionality. The AHR Act sets a legislative and regulatory framework for the use of reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization and related services including surrogacy and gamete donation. The Act also regulates research in Canada involving in vitro embryos.

Created 2015-07-30

Last modified 2 years 3 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Methylmercury and Human Embryonic Development

By Mandana Minai

Methylmercury (MeHg) is an organic form of mercury that can damage the developing brains of human fetuses. Women who consume methylmercury during pregnancy can bear children who have neurological issues because methylmercury has toxic effects on the nervous system during embryonic development. During the third week of gestation, the human nervous system begins to form in the embryo. During this gestational period, the embryo's nervous system is particularly susceptible to the influence of neurotoxins like methylmercury that can result in abnormalities.

Created 2016-04-18

Last modified 1 year 4 months ago

Format: Articles

Estrogen and the Menstrual Cycle in Humans

By Brendan Van Iten

Estrogen is the primary sex hormone in women and it functions during the reproductive menstrual cycle. Women have three major types of estrogen: estrone, estradiol, and estriol, which bind to and activate receptors within the body. Researchers discovered the three types of estrogen over a period of seven years, contributing to more detailed descriptions of the menstrual cycle. Each type of estrogen molecule contains a slightly different arrangement or number of atoms that in turn causes some of the estrogens to be more active than others.

Created 2016-06-22

Last modified 1 year 2 months ago

Format: Articles

Mary Coffin Ware Dennett (1872-1947)

By Lakshmeeramya Malladi

Mary Coffin Ware Dennett advocated for social reform in the United States in the early twentieth century, particularly regarding sex education and women's rights to access contraception. Dennett authored several publications on sex education and birth control laws. She also worked to repeal the Comstock Act, a federal law that made it illegal to distribute obscene materials through the US Postal Services.

Created 2016-06-22

Last modified 1 year 2 months ago

Format: Articles

The Mother's Health Clinic of Phoenix (1937-1942)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

The Mother's Health Clinic opened in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1937 and provided women in central Arizona with contraception and family planning resources. A group of wealthy philanthropic Phoenix women founded the clinic under the guidance of birth control activist Margaret Sanger. The clinic was the second birth control clinic to open in Arizona and the first to serve the central and northern Arizona residents.

Created 2016-10-12

Last modified 10 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Clinica Para Madres (1934-1950)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

The Clinica Para Madres (Mother’s Clinic) opened in Tucson, Arizona, in December of 1934 as the first birth control clinic in Arizona. After moving to Tucson, birth control activist Margaret Sanger, along with a group of local philanthropic women, founded the clinic to provide Arizona women with contraception. During the early 1900s in the US, contraception was illegal under the federal Comstock Act. Additionally, many viewed contraception and sex as obscene and not to be discussed in public or outside of marriage.

Created 2016-10-12

Last modified 6 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

Margaret (Peggy) Goldwater (1909–1985)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

Margaret Goldwater advocated for birth control and reproductive rights in the United States during the twentieth century. Goldwater was a socialite and philanthropist and was married to Barry Goldwater, US Senator from Arizona. She spent much of her life working to further the women's reproductive rights movement, which sought to expand women's legal, social, and physical access to reproductive healthcare, including contraception and abortions.

Created 2016-10-13

Last modified 10 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

Margaret Higgins Sanger (1879-1966)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy, Lakshmeeramya Malladi

Margaret Higgins Sanger advocated for birth control in the United States and Europe during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Although people used contraceptives prior to the twentieth century, in the US the 1873 Comstock Act made the distribution of information relating to the use of contraceptives illegal, and similar state-level Comstock laws also classified discussion and dissemination of contraceptives as illegal.

Created 2016-10-13

Last modified 10 months 4 days ago

Format: Articles

Title X Family Planning Program (1970–1977)

By Patsy Ciardullo, Nevada Wagoner

The Family Planning Services and Public Research Act of 1970, often called Title X Family Planning Program, is a US federal law that provides federal funding for family planning services to low income or uninsured families. The US federal government passed the law, Public Law 91-572, in 1970 as an amendment to the Public Health Services Act of 1944. The Act created the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) under the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (here called the Secretary).

Created 2016-10-21

Last modified 10 months 5 days ago

Format: Articles

Jeter v. Mayo (2005)

By Jennifer E. Chapman

In Jeter v. Mayo, the Court of Appeals of Arizona in 2005 held that a cryopreserved, three-day-old pre-embryo is not a person for purposes of Arizona's wrongful death statutes, and that the Arizona Legislature was best suited to decide whether to expand the law to include cryopreserved pre-embryos. The Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by the Maricopa County Superior Court to dismiss a couple's wrongful death claim after the Mayo Clinic (Mayo) allegedly lost or destroyed several of their cryopreserved pre-embryos.

Created 2016-10-22

Last modified 10 months 4 days ago

Format: Articles

Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson (1950-1977)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

Established in 1950, the Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson provided Arizona women with family planning resources until 1977, when it expanded to locations outside of Tucson and became Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona. The Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson was formed after the Clinica Para Madres, the first birth control clinic in Arizona, merged with the national organization Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Created 2016-10-22

Last modified 10 months 4 days ago

Format: Articles

Barry Morris Goldwater (1909–1998)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

Barry Morris Goldwater was a Republican Arizona Senator and US presidential candidate in the twentieth-century whose policies supported the women's reproductive rights movement. Goldwater, a businessman and Air Force reservist, transitioned into politics in the 1950s. He helped align popular support for a conservative Republican Party in the 1960s. Throughout his life, he worked to maintain personal liberty and to limit governmental intrusion into citizens' private lives. Goldwater, influenced by his wife Margaret (Peggy) Goldwater, supported women's rights to abortions.

Created 2016-10-28

Last modified 9 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Planned Parenthood Committee of Phoenix (1942-1978)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

The Planned Parenthood Committee of Phoenix was established in 1942 to expand Arizona women's access to family planning resources. The Planned Parenthood Committee of Phoenix was formed through the merging of The Mother's Health Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, with the national Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The clinic was primarily based within the Phoenix Memorial Hospital campus but expanded to other locations in the late 1960s.

Created 2016-11-08

Last modified 9 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

The Infant Incubator in Europe (1860-1890)

By Kelsey Rebovich

In the nineteenth century, obstetricians in Europe began to construct devices to incubate infants in increasingly controlled environments. The infant incubator is a medical device that maintains stable conditions and a germ free environment for premature infants born before the thirty-seventh week of pregnancy. Records show that physicians had used infant incubators since 1835. However, Jean-Louis-Paul Denuce, a physician who worked in Bordeaux, France, first published about incubator technology in 1857.

Created 2017-02-11

Last modified 6 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

Pierre Budin (1846-1907)

By Kelsey Rebovich

Pierre Constant Budin worked in France to improve the lives of newborns and their mothers during the late nineteenth century. Budin stressed the importance of proper nutrition in infants and educated new mothers on breastfeeding and infant care. Budin established infant care facilities and created a nutritional check-up system for infants. Budin helped design early artificial nipples, breast pumps, and incubators for premature newborns. He also began the practice of consulting with new mothers after they gave birth, redefining the roles of obstetricians.

Created 2017-02-11

Last modified 6 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

John Chassar Moir (1900–1977)

By Dorothy Haskett, Patsy Ciardullo

John Chassar Moir lived in Scotland during the twentieth century and helped develop techniques to improve the health of pregnant women. Moir helped to discover compounds that doctors could administer to women after childbirth to prevent life-threatening blood loss. Those compounds included the ergot alkaloid called ergometrine, also called ergonovine, and d-lysergic acid beta-propanolamide. Moir tested ergometrine in postpartum patients and documented that it helped prevent or manage postpartum hemorrhage in women.

Created 2017-02-11

Last modified 6 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

Virginia Apgar (1909-1974)

By Carolina J. Abboud

Virginia Apgar worked as an obstetrical anesthesiologist, administering drugs that reduce women’s pain during childbirth, in the US in the mid-twentieth century. In 1953, Apgar created a scoring system using five easily assessable measurements, including heart rate and breathing rate, to evaluate whether or not infants would benefit from medical attention immediately after birth. Apgar’s system showed that infants who were previously set aside as too sick to survive, despite low Apgar scores, could recover with immediate medical attention.

Created 2017-02-16

Last modified 3 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

“Elective Induction of Labor” (1955), by Edward Bishop

By Carolina J. Abboud

In 1955, obstetrician Edward Bishop, a physician specializing in childbirth, published the article “Elective Induction of Labor,” in which he proposed the best conditions for pregnant women to elect to induce, or begin, labor. Elective induction of labor requires an obstetrician to administer a drug to help a pregnant woman to start her contractions, and to rupture the fluid-filled sac surrounding the fetus called the amniotic sac.

Created 2017-02-16

Last modified 3 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

John Hunter (1728–1793)

By Nevada Wagoner

John Hunter studied human reproductive anatomy, and in eighteenth century England, performed one of the earliest described cases of artificial insemination. Hunter dissected thousands of animals and human cadavers to study the structures and functions of organ systems. Much of his anatomical studies focused on the circulatory, digestive, and reproductive systems. He helped to describe the exchange of blood between pregnant women and their fetuses. Hunter also housed various natural collections, as well as thousands of preserved specimens from greater than thirty years of anatomy work.

Created 2017-02-17

Last modified 6 months 6 days ago

Format: Articles

“Pelvic Scoring for Elective Induction” (1964), by Edward Bishop

By Carolina J. Abboud

In the 1964 article, “Pelvic Scoring for Elective Induction,” obstetrician Edward Bishop describes his method to determine whether a doctor should induce labor, or artificially start the birthing process, in a pregnant woman. Aside from medical emergencies, a woman can elect to induce labor to choose when she gives birth and have a shorter than normal labor. The 1964 publication followed an earlier article by Bishop, also about elective induction.

Created 2017-02-23

Last modified 3 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

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