Patented: History of Inventions


Caesarean section

Ep. 87

A hundred years ago next to no one was born via Caesarean Section. Today, one in five new arrivals on planet earth come via a Caesarean. Its meteoric rise is down to an invention most people won’t know. The Foetal Heart Monitor.

This is a story about how the law of unintended consequences led to Caesarean Section becoming the world’s most common major surgery.

Our guest today is Jackie Wolf, is a historian of medicine and author of Caesarean Section: An American History of Risk, Technology, and Consequence. She’s also a repeat guest on Patented. Go back and check out her episode on Baby Formula if you haven’t heard it.

WARNING: This episode contains descriptions of childbirth and the death of a baby during childbirth.

Produced by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long.

For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here. 

More Episodes