Say what?! The absolute crazy reason women started giving birth lying down 1 year ago

Say what?! The absolute crazy reason women started giving birth lying down

It seems a MAN is to blame for this one.

When it comes to giving birth, countless research and studies and sheer, logical sense will tell us that there are many, many advantages to giving birth in positions such as squatting, kneeling or even getting on your hands and knees. Pretty much anything is better than lying on your back when it comes to giving birth, in other words.


What's more; most evidence will tell us that lying on your back can contribute to prolonging labour and slowing down contractions.

So why exactly is it that despite all this, most women today, who give birth in hospitals, do so while lying on a bed, more or less on her back?

Bizarre, no?

Even more strange – it wasn't always considered the norm for women to be lying down while giving birth. In fact, some of the earliest records of labour show women adopting a sitting, squatting or standing position while in labour. An ancient sculpture from Egypt shows Cleopatra (69 - 30BC) kneeling down to give birth, surrounded by five attendants. And historians have found evidence of birthing stools and chairs being used to aid women in labour dating back to Babylonian times.

Interestingly, the earliest depictions of birth (in this case Cleopatra) all show women giving birth in positions other than lying on their backs.

It turns out, according to, that the concept of women giving birth reclined in bed has only been widespread in Western culture for the past 200 years – and King Louis XIV of France is apparently to blame.


It turns out Louis, who ruled France from 1643 to 1715, is to blame for the rise of the lying down position... for a very odd reason. According to legend (and a handful of historians), the king — who had over 22 children by both wives and mistresses alike — had a fascination with watching women give birth.

According to this study, Louis "enjoyed" watching his mistresses give birth, and disliked the upright or squatting positions for "obstructing" his view of the process."


"Since Louis XIV reportedly enjoyed watching women giving birth, he became frustrated by the obscured view of birth when it occurred on the birthing stool, and promoted the new reclining position," wrote the American Journal of Public Health. "The influence of the King's policy is unknown, although the behaviour of royalty must have affected the populace to some degree."
So there you go, guys. Did YOU give birth lying down? Did you find this made your labour more difficult than it could have been if you had been in a more active position? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @herfamilydotie