Loudon I. Obstetric care, social class, and maternal mortality. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1986 Sep 6;293(6547):606-8. PubMed PMID: 3092949; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1341393.
Common sense would suggest that maternal mortality in Britain must have fallen fairly steadily over the past 150 years. Common sense would also suggest that the effects of poverty would have led to a higher maternal mortality in the lower social classes, the difference being greater in the nineteenth century than the twentieth century. On both counts common sense would lead us astray. Infact, from the earliest comprehensive reports on deaths in child birthin 1841(fifth annual report of the registrar general) until the mid-1930s there was no substantial or sustained fallin maternal mortality, inspite of the introduction of anaesthetics(1847),antisepsis(1880s),and caesarean section for obstructed labour(1890-1900).
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