At the present time, an increasing proportion of women approach their first childbirth at an age much greater than formerly, either because of late marriage or because, for economic or other reasons, child-bearing has been voluntarily postponed. Many of these women have much fear of labor, for lay tradition has assured them that they are particularly prone to have a difficult time.
Practical obstetric experience has shown that, although a certain proportion of these women do have serious difficulty, occasionally even a woman near the menopausal age may have her first baby with surprising ease and rapidity. Apparently, then, age is not the only factor involved or always the most important one. It was for the purpose of evaluating these factors and of determining, if possible, a more intelligent basis for prognosis and treatment that this study was undertaken.
The subject has not received the attention in the American literature