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Mauriceau-Levret manipulation

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The classical method of assisted breech delivery. The after-coming head is delivered with the child resting on the physicians forearm: Straddling the baby over the right arm, the index finger of that hand is introduced into the mouth of the child and applied over the maxilla: two fingers of the other hand are then hooked over the neck, grasping the shoulders. Downward traction is made until the occiput appears under the symphysis pubis. The body of the child is then raised up toward the mother’s abdomen and the mouth, nose, brow, and occiput are successively brought over the perineum. This manoeuvre was of great importance before the forceps and Caesarean section.

The originator of this technique was Jacques Guillemeau (1550-1613). Guillemeau was also the first to employ podalic version in placenta praevia. English translation, London, 1612.


  • J. Guillemeau:
    De l'hereux accouchement des femmes.
    Paris, Nicolas Buon, 1609.
  • F. Mauriceau:
    Traité des maladies des femmes grosses et accouchées.
    Paris, chez l'auteur, 1668.
  • W. Smellie:
    Treatise on the theory and practice of midwifery. London, 1752.
  • G. von Veit:
    Über die beste Methode zur Extraktion des nachfolgenden Kindeskopfes.
    Greifswalder medicinische Beiträge, Danzig, 1863, 2.

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