Adjustable Birthing Chair, c. 1750-1850

chair

This chair, made of wood, leather and iron, offered optimal birthing comfort two centuries ago:

The seat shape allows a clear route for the emerging baby and access for those assisting the birth. The chair is also known as a parturition chair. They were used from ancient times until the 1800s. The grooved parts on the bottom of the frame were used for leg rests, which the mother would use for support and to press against.

Link -via Curious History | Photos: The Science Museum

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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There are birthing chairs that are designed just like this, alternatively, no chair, but in squatting position. I cannot think of the reference right now, but should be easy to Google.
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This is a very nice design. At some point, in-hospital birth using a table became the norm, at least in the U.S.A. The position may have been adopted for the comfort of the obstetrical staff, but forces a mother to deliver a baby against gravity. I wonder if there are birthing chairs or tables that are designed more rationally, making the comfort of the mother and success of birth the priority.
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