Extraction of the placenta
Plaster relief from a series illustrating the stages of childbirth, undated (c.1900)
The serene expression of this model is strangely at odds with
the extremely physical process of childbirth. The figure appears
unconcerned by the intervention of a surreally disembodied hand
removing her placenta. Recalling Christian 'mother and child'
iconography, such models may have served an ideological as well as
a pedagogical purpose, by promoting pregnancy as sacrosanct.