had not advanced far enough to help many disabled infants. Most abnormal
pregnancies underwent spontaneous abortions (miscarriages), or died during
or soon after labor. Pregnancy and childbirth belonged in the women’s
domain, and the female reproductive system remained a mysterious region to
the village doctor. Neighboring women or a midwife were more likely to
assist during delivery. If a child was born with a defect, the physician’s
rudimentary therapies were unlikely to help. Therefore, physicians only
involved themselves in this subject when personally interested.