A History of Accouchement Forcé: 1550–1985
Version of Record online: 31 MAR 2007
Volume 13, Issue 4, pages 241–249, December 1986
How to Cite
Ashford, J. I. (1986), A History of Accouchement Forcé: 1550–1985. Birth, 13: 241–249. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-536X.1986.tb01055.x
- Issue online: 31 MAR 2007
- Version of Record online: 31 MAR 2007
ABSTRACT: ‘Accouchement force’or forcible delivery referred originally to the internal podalic version and extraction descibed by French surgeon Paré in the 1500s. The term was later used by DeLee and others to describe several methods of forcible cervical dilatation and delivery. American obstetrics literature from 1903 to 1958 describe several devices and techniques for “accouchement forcé”: manual dilatation, metal cervical dilators, hydrostatic bags, cervical incisions, and prophylactic episiotomy and forceps. The use of postural change or abdominal support to facilitate the mother's expulsive efforts has been rare. Current methods of forcible delivery include the use of oxytocin, laminaria, prostaglandins, and cesarean section. Methods of ‘accouchement forcé’were first used only for complicated cases, but intervention eventually became widespread. Older forms of ‘accouchement forcé’have been abandoned in favor of safer, more refined methods. But debate continues over the use of forcible techniques in normal labor.