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6 Bizarre Ancient Childbirth Myths

6 Bizarre Ancient Childbirth Myths

There is nothing that anyone can say to prepare you for childbirth. Each woman’s experience is so different; you never know how it will be for you!

Poppy Montgomery

Childbirth has always been a subject that involved utmost danger for women since the ancient times. The ancient childbirth myths depict that women had to undergo some brutal rituals that in today’s generation, people can’t even imagine about. The gynaecology that we have today, is magical as compared to what the woman had to go through back then. The ancient ‘right’ way to carry out the childbirth using no medication and the advanced way of childbirth using painkillers, would have been a tough choice for women. Here are 6 ancient childbirth myths that will sure make you feel sympathy for those women.

1 – Determining Fertility By Sitting On Dirt And Beer

If the gynecological document called the Kahun Medical Papyrus is to be believed, before a woman got into birthing, she had to figure out if she could even get knocked up. One particularly brutal method was to hit the woman on a particular part of her lip, and if that hurt that meant she was fertile. Another worse one was a woman sits on a mound of dirt that’s been soaked in old beer, and possibly mixed with fruit and dates, and every time she throws up, that’s one child she will have in the future.

2 – Putting Hemp & Corn In The Vagina To Induce Labor

The ancient Egyptians had some weird rituals like having honey soaked in hemp or handful of ground corn inside the vagina itself to make labor begin. Some rituals also involved placing an amulet on the pregnant woman’s forehead to cast a spell.

3 – Keeping All Knots Out Of The Delivery Room

A number of superstitions were practiced on the pregnant women for the birthing process to go smoothly. There was one idea of not having any knots in the delivery room so that the delivery happens smoothly. The knots were considered as nasty symbols of general evildoing.

4 – Four Women Shaking Expectant Until She Has Contractions

One of the very weird myths for the childbirth to happen smoothly was shaking the pregnant women. According to the ancient myths, four women shook the pregnant woman hard so that the child became loose and it becomes easy to come out. She was apparently shook ten times or even more.

5 – Stepping Over One Dead Man And One Living Man To Ensure Easy Delivery

Delores LaPratt, a researcher at McGill University claimed that ancient Anglo-Saxon women had their own peculiar way of guaranteeing that their pregnancies would be easy and their births without complications.

“The woman in question would first step over the grave of a dead man, reciting a charm in Anglo-Saxon: “This is my remedy for hateful slow birth, this is my remedy for heavy difficult birth, this is my remedy for hateful imperfect birth.” She’d then get her husband to lie down on the ground and step over him, reciting, “Up I go, step over you with a living child, not a dead one, with a full-born one, not a doomed one.” It’s not clear whether the two elements of this ritual could be performed on separate occasions, or if Anglo-Saxon cemeteries were filled with pregnant women stepping over their husbands.” – as found in bustle.com.

6 – Drinking Goose Semen To Cope With A Difficult Delivery

One seriously gross ritual was to drink goose semen mixed with water, to have a smooth delivery. If the women did not like this option, there were many other equally disgusting, such as drinking the liquid from the uterus of a weasel, or a concoction of powdered sow’s dung. The menu was apparently endless.

Featured Image: Public Domain/via Wikimedia Commons

6 Bizarre Ancient Childbirth Myths
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