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Parturition chair, Germany, 1701-1900

Parturition chairs are also known as birthing chairs. Use of the parturition chair is thought to have originated in Germany. They were at the height of their popularity by the late 1700s. They were used by female and male midwives. Parturition chairs ranged from simple designs to ornate affairs. Pillows and padding were sometimes present, together with hand grips, reclining backs and ascending seats. This example incorporates some of these refinements.

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Glossary: parturition chair

Chair used during parturition, a seat in which a mother may give birth to her child

Glossary: obstetrics

A branch of medicine dealing with the care of women. This care occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period of recovery from childbirth.