Adjustable birthing chair, Europe, 1750-1850

Made:
1750-1850 in Europe
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Folding, adjustable parturition chair, 18th-19th century

Childbirth is made more comfortable for the mother by the adjustable seat, back and arms of the chair. It is made from wood, padded leather and iron. 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. Some birthing chairs have low centres of gravity so the mother can squat and still be supported by the chair.

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