Assuming that those Contraceptives Through the Ages did not exactly work for you (darn that Coca-Cola douche), it’s time to check out what the whole delivery process entailed. The Middle Ages were not so pleasant – if the midwife tried to use any type of pain relief she was put to death immediately. Up until the late 1800s doctors would go straight from autopsies to deliveries (and they wonder why the infant mortality rate was so high). By the early 20th century doctors had the brilliant idea to send women into ‘Twilight Sleep’ so they couldn’t remember a single thing about the life-changing miracle of childbirth.
See how things have changed in Giving Birth Through the Ages…
Giving Birth Through the Ages 1 of 26
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Men Could Touch But Not Look 2 of 26
In the Victorian era male doctors were allowed to help deliver, but they could not look at you while they did it. Find out more at The Hypnobirthing Center Photo via Loyno.
Midwives and Witchery 3 of 26
During the medieval times midwives had to make an oath to the bishop that they would not use magic. If they believed they were using magic they would be killed. Find out more at The Hypnobirthing Center Photo via Mental Floss.
R & R 4 of 26
During the Medieval times, women were told to stay in bed up to 40 days after delivery. After that they could be reinitiated into society. Find out more at The Hypnobirthing Center Photo via Mental Floss.
It was believed in the 15th century that women must suffer through childbirth because it was all part of Eve's curse. Find out more at Loyno Photo via History and Women.
Powdered Sow Dung 10 of 26
Back in Ancient Rome, drinking powdered sow dung was considered a way to relieve pain. Find out more at Sentinel Source Photo via Show Pig.
Men and Pain 11 of 26
In some cultures during the 1400-1600s men would self-inflict pain to suffer with the woman. Find out more at Isis Photo via Jane Austen.
Bring on the Choloroform 12 of 26
In the late Victorian era, it was considered a standard practice to use chloroform during childbirth, yikes! Find out more at Loyno Photo via General Anaesthesia.
No Pain, No Gain 13 of 26
In the early Victorian ages, women were told that wincing in pain was considered cowardly. Find out more at Isis Photo via Live Auctioneers.
Twilight Sleep 14 of 26
In the early 20th century something called 'twilight sleep' kicked in. This was a mix of drugs that would cause the mother to have no recollection of the actual birth. The same cocktail was later used by the military as 'truth serum.' Find out more at Isis Photo via Mental Floss.
Fathers Join the Fun 15 of 26
It wasn't until about the 1970s that men were allowed into the room during childbirth in Western society. Find out more at Sentinel Source Photo via Women Health.
Hello Epudiral 16 of 26
About the same time the 'twilight sleep' phases out, the epidural comes right in which was about the early 1950s. Find out more at Science and Sensibility Photo via Labor Aid.
Barber-Surgeon-Doctor 17 of 26
During the Renaissance, the barber was also the one to deliver your baby. Find out more at Birthologie Photo via BBC.
Opening the Womb 18 of 26
During the Medieval Ages, if a mother was having trouble pushing the baby out, people in other rooms would begin opening doors, cupboards, and shooting arrows in the sky as a way to symbolize the womb opening. Find out more at History Medieval Renaissance Photo via Birth of the Virgin.
From Autopsies to Deliveries 19 of 26
In the early 1880s doctors did not find a correlation between washing hands and sanitation, so they would go from autopsies to delivers in a number of minutes. Find out more at Birthologie Photo via Finding Dulcinea.
Testing the Epidural 20 of 26
In order to try out the modern day epidural, a german doctor named August Bier first tried injecting cocaine into his assistant's spinal cord. Find out more at Birthologie Photo via Baby Birth.
No Knots 21 of 26
In Ancient Greece when a woman went into labor midwives would check the entire room for knots because they were considered a bad omen. Find out more at Parents Photo via ABC.
Sneezing Powders 22 of 26
In France during the 1700s they would give a woman in labor sneezing powder to help push things right along. Find out more at Telegraph Photo via Baby Med.
Screaming in Sympathy 23 of 26
The Zuni Indians would scream out in pain with the laboring mother as a sign of sympathy. Find out more at Parents Photo via Snoww Owl.
Birthing Chair 24 of 26
During the Middle Ages women were advised to use a birthing chair to have their baby instead of laying down.