Childbirth in ancient Rome: From traditional folklore to obstetrics
Article first published online: 8 MAR 2007
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume 47, Issue 2, pages 82–85, April 2007
How to Cite
TODMAN, D. (2007), Childbirth in ancient Rome: From traditional folklore to obstetrics. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 47: 82–85. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828X.2007.00691.x
- Issue published online: 8 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 8 MAR 2007
- Received 06 October 2006; accepted 10 November 2006.
- ancient medicine;
- history obstetrics;
- Roman childbirth
In ancient Rome, childbirth was a hazardous event for both mother and child with high rates of infant and maternal mortality. Traditional Roman medicine centred on folklore and religious practices, but with the development of Hippocratic medicine came significant advances in the care of women during pregnancy and confinement. Midwives or obstetrices played an important role and applied rational scientific practices to improve outcomes. This evolution from folklore to obstetrics was a pivotal point in the history of childbirth.