Jacob Ruf - Museum für medizinhistorische Bücher Muri
Jacob Ruf

JACOB RUF

A RIGHT FUNNY COMFORT BOOKLET, 1569

Pictures of different presentations of the unborn child in the uterus are part of every pre-modern obstetrics book. The midwife must know the position of the child, palpate with her hands and intervene at the right time, especially when the presentation makes a birth impossible.

The kneeling position of the child with arms stretched out to the sides makes the birth more difficult. The midwife must therefore attempt to grasp the knee with one hand and the feet of the child with the other hand in order to push them into a better position.

If the rotation does not work, she is to warm the labouring woman with a blanket and fortify her with a strong broth. Through different positions and a relaxed, confident mood, the child may change its position by itself.

Ruf repeatedly stresses that the midwife, the helpers present and the mother must never  give up, and he encourages and comforts women.