Mothers who gave birth in Guadalajara, Mexico’s public Hospital Civil during the turn of the twentieth century encountered obstetricians who worked to craft an image of modernizing professionals through their use of tools, technologies, protocols, and record keeping. This study examines how these doctors observed a host of public health problems in the maternity ward and created narratives out of their clinical records that served a twofold purpose. The clinical narratives tell a story of how public health problems among birthing women threatened the nation’s progress, and they cast male obstetricians as the group most qualified to resolve these problems during childbirth. The Hospital Civil also served as a teaching hospital for the Universidad de Guadalajara, and the hospital clinical records alongside educational archives reveal how clinical narratives are more a practice of self-fashioning and less an exact account of women’s childbirth experiences.