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If you were an expectant mother in the Middle Ages, you did not want a doctor to help you with the delivery. Childbirth was a part of life, not medicine, and to help you through labor, you wanted a midwife, who would tend to your health and the baby’s spiritual needs, if necessary.

For more about the medieval midwife’s unique place in her society, read my guest post on Grace Elliot’s Fall in Love with History.

Birth of Catherine of Siena

A 15th century illustration of the birth of Catherine of Siena (public domain image via Wikimedia Commons).