In 1907, researchers Bernhardt Kronig and Carl Gauss combined the drugs morphine and scopolamine to induce twilight sleep in women during childbirth. Physicians in the early twentieth century in Germany used twilight sleep, Dammerschlaf, to cause women to enter a state of consciousness in which they felt no pain and did not remember giving birth. Twilight sleep was associated with increased use of forceps during delivery, prolonged labor, and increased risk of infant suffocation. Because of those disadvantages, physicians stopped using morphine and scopolamine to prevent pain during childbirth. Morphine and scopolamine were among the first anesthetics to be used during childbirth, and after physicians stopped using them, researchers searched for safer alternatives.

In 1996, Michael R. Harrison published “Fetal Surgery” in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In the article, Harrison describes the importance of fetal surgery and the techniques used to correct defects in fetuses. As a fetus develops in the uterus, it can develop abnormalities that may become debilitating or fatal. Harrison discusses cases that show how physicians can use fetal surgery to repair such abnormalities, including obstructions in the heart or urinary tract, or organs or muscles whose malformations impair function. Harrison states where knowledge is lacking within the field or where surgery would be inappropriate, such as in the modification of a cleft lip, which can be fixed after birth and as such does not merit the risks of surgery. In the article, Harrison provides a summary of what information existed about fetal surgeries in 1996, which helped physicians explore fetal surgery and make further advancements.

Jane Eliot Sewell presented “Cesarean Section--A Brief History” in 1993 as a brochure in the National Library of Medicine’s exhibit on the history of cesarean sections, hereafter c-sections, in Bethesda, Maryland. A c-section is a surgical procedure that doctors use to deliver a fetus through an incision in a pregnant person’s abdomen. The National Library of Medicine’s exhibit included a collection of artwork and photographs that coincide with the historical account of the procedure, and the brochure presents that information in print form. Sewell describes the chronological advancements and evolution of the c-section as well as other medical technological improvements that helped increase surgical survival rates. The brochure and accompanying exhibit provide background and history of the procedure available to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, for whom it was published, and the general public. “Cesarean Section—A Brief History” provides a cohesive explanation of the chronological history and advancements of c-sections, a procedure that millions of people undergo to give birth each year.