How Did People Give Birth in Ancient Times?

Giving birth is a natural process that has been happening since the beginning of time. However, the methods and practices used during childbirth have evolved over time.

In ancient times, giving birth was a risky and life-threatening experience for both the mother and child. Let’s take a closer look at how people gave birth in ancient times.

Ancient Egyptian Birth Practices

In ancient Egypt, midwives attended to pregnant women during labor and childbirth. The birthing process was considered sacred, and it was believed that the goddess Isis would protect the mother and child during delivery. Women gave birth while squatting or sitting on a stool with their feet propped up.

Ancient Greek Birth Practices

The Greeks believed that childbirth was a natural process and that women should be allowed to give birth without any intervention from men. Midwives were responsible for assisting women during delivery, but if complications arose, male physicians would step in to help. Women gave birth while lying down on their backs with their legs bent at the knees.

Ancient Roman Birth Practices

In Rome, childbirth was seen as a significant event in a woman’s life. Pregnant women were expected to stay indoors for most of their pregnancy to avoid any harm coming to them or their unborn child. During delivery, midwives would assist women while they gave birth squatting or sitting on birthing stools.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Birth Practices

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for centuries in China to treat various medical conditions, including pregnancy-related issues. TCM practitioners believe that there are five phases of pregnancy, each corresponding with one of the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

During labor and delivery, acupressure techniques were used to stimulate contractions and relieve pain. Women gave birth while squatting or lying on their sides, and it was believed that the mother’s energy and emotions could impact the baby’s health.

Ancient Indian Birth Practices

In ancient India, childbirth was considered a sacred event. Pregnant women were expected to follow strict guidelines to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. A midwife or female relative attended to women during labor and delivery.

Women gave birth while squatting or sitting on birthing stools, and it was believed that chanting mantras could help ease the pain of labor. After delivery, the mother and child would be bathed in warm water with herbs to promote healing.


Giving birth in ancient times was a risky and life-threatening experience for both mother and child. However, over time, practices evolved, and people developed new techniques to improve the safety of childbirth.

Today, we have access to modern medical technology that makes giving birth safer than ever before. However, many people still choose to use traditional methods or alternative medicine during pregnancy and childbirth. Whatever method you choose, it’s essential to prioritize your health and safety during this special time in your life.