Childbirth in the Ancient Roman World: The Origins of Midwifery

In the ancient Roman world childbirth was a dangerous event with uncertain outcomes for mother and child. Rates of infant and maternal mortality were high, as they are in modern communities without obstetric care.(1) Pain relief and general sanitation were lacking and traditional methods of childbirth were largely influenced by folklore and religious practices in an agrarian environment.

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About Author: Don Todman

Don Todman, MD, is a physician in practice in Brisbane, Australia, and at the School of Medicine University of Queensland. He completed an MA in Ancient History in 2005 and has a research interest in ancient medicine and childbirth practices.

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