What Was a Midwife in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, childbirth was a natural process that women went through, usually without the assistance of modern medical professionals. Instead, they relied on midwives to help them deliver their babies safely.

But what exactly was a midwife in ancient times? Let’s take a closer look.

Midwives in Ancient Times

In ancient times, midwives were typically women who had experience in assisting with childbirth. They were responsible for helping pregnant women prepare for delivery, providing support during labor and delivery, and ensuring that both mother and baby were safe and healthy after the birth.

The Role of a Midwife

The role of a midwife varied depending on the culture and time period. In some cases, midwives were highly respected members of their community who held important roles in society. In other cases, they were looked down upon as uneducated or even accused of practicing witchcraft.

Regardless of their social status, midwives played an essential role in childbirth. They provided emotional support to expectant mothers and helped them prepare for labor by teaching them breathing techniques and other relaxation methods. During labor, they monitored the progress of the baby’s delivery and helped ease any pain or discomfort that the mother experienced.

After the birth, midwives helped new mothers learn how to breastfeed and care for their babies. They also checked for any signs of infection or complications that could arise after giving birth.

The Tools Used by Midwives

Midwives in ancient times did not have access to modern medical equipment like ultrasound machines or epidurals. Instead, they relied on simple tools like birthing stools and herbal remedies to help ease pain during labor.

They also used their hands to feel the position of the baby during delivery and guide it out safely. In some cultures, midwives even used ritualistic practices like chanting or dancing to help create a calm environment during childbirth.

The Legacy of Midwives

Midwives have played a crucial role in the history of childbirth, and their legacy continues to this day. While modern medical professionals now handle most deliveries in developed countries, midwives still provide essential care for women in many parts of the world.

In recent years, there has been a growing movement to bring back midwifery as a respected profession in developed countries. Many women are seeking out midwives for their personalized care and natural approach to childbirth.


In ancient times, midwives were an essential part of the childbirth process. They provided emotional support, monitored labor and delivery, and helped new mothers care for their babies.

While their tools and methods may have been simple compared to modern medicine, their contributions were invaluable. Today, midwives continue to play an important role in providing care for women during pregnancy and childbirth.