Parturition Chairs: The Birthing Seats of the 18th Century

By | January 4, 2017

From time immemorial until the 1800s, several gave birth with the help of specially designed seats, known as the parturition chairs. These allowed women to either sit upright or recline on the chair while giving birth.

Although padded leather rests are available for the birthing mother's legs, the parturition chairs happen to come in a number of designs. Some of these had extendable leg rests which are almost the same from modern gynecological stirrups. Other designs were simpler, just giving those individuals assisting with the birth easy access to catch the infant while the mother remained somewhat upright.

Adjustable birthing chair, Europe, 1750-1850


The chairs were considered as heirlooms in some families, passed down from generation to generation. Hopefully during this birthing ages, these chairs get to have a nice, pillowy upgrades.

Parturition chair, Europe, 1601-1700

Science Museum

Parturition chair, Germany, 1701-1900 | Parturition chair, Germany, 1601-1700 | Copy of a 1532 parturition chair