In an excellent but out-of-print book, Stepping Stones to Labor Ward Diagnosis, I read how to determine the obstetric type without doing an internal exam. The author was a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist in Australia in the 1950s and into the 1970s. During that time a link was found between bone cancer in pre-adolescent males and routine x-ray for fetal position, size and pelvic compatibility during the ninth month gestation. (Does this sound familiar for ultrasound exam today?) Further studies on x-ray exposure during pregnancy showed other links to fetal anomalies and led to warnings against such exposure.
Betty Peckman is the author of Christian Midwifery, and since retiring from active midwifery, is a labor coach and a doula for ladies from her church. Betty and her husband of 53 years enjoy their 10 grandchildren and four great-grandkids.