Obstetric model of the womb and genitalia, 18th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This 18th century wood and leather model of the foetus in the womb and the female genitalia is almost life size and is known as an 'obstetric phantom'. It can be manipulated to show how birth takes place and how abnormal positions of the child affect the proces. It was used at the Del Ceppo Hospital in Pistoia, Italy, posibly for teaching midwifery. Formal training and registration of midwives did not begin in most countries until the late 19th or early 20th century.