The maternity is an instinct in every woman. The woman in ancient Egypt was looking forward to the moment in which she knew that she was pregnant.
The ancient Egyptians very cared about the pregnant woman. When the woman developed the symptoms of pregnancy, the surrounding people would pay the great attention and care to this woman for her health and also the fetus.
During the time of pregnancy, the woman prayed to the responsible gods and goddesses for protecting both of her and the fetus.
Among the goddesses of pregnancy and childbirth in ancient Egypt were:
- Goddess Hathor, the goddess of love and maternity.
- Goddess Isis, the goddess of protection, maternity, and nursing.
- Goddess Taweret, the goddess of pregnancy and delivery.
- God Bes, the god of joy and happiness. The main job of this god was to entertain the pregnant woman while delivery.
- God Khnum, the god of mankind who represented in a human body sitting in front of the pottery wheel and giving the breath of life to the coming child.
- God Amun, who alleviated the pains of the pregnant woman while delivery if she said his name.
When the time of labor came, the ancient Egyptians used to bring the pregnant to the delivery room inside the house to deliver her child there.
During the process of childbirth, the woman was sitting in squat position above the delivery chair which was invented by the ancient Egyptian physicians, then it introduced in the ancient civilizations, and it has been using since that time up till now.
Beside the squat position, the pregnant was delivering while standing in a straight pose surrounded by the midwives who represented the goddesses of birth.
After the child has come, there are 7 priests women of goddess Hathor came, they have known also as the 7 hathorics, to the mother to pray for the child.
The ancient Egyptian breastfeeding mother cared about taking all possible measures which guaranteed a healthy and easy nursing.
When the breastfeeding mother felt that the milk decreased, she applied one of those remedies which introduced by the ancient Egyptians, and still in use until nowadays.
One of those remedies was frying the bones of fish in the oil, then grinding it and rubbing the back of the mother.
Another remedy was burning rot bread and mixing it with some herbs, and then the breastfeeding mother had to eat this remedy while stretching her legs.
There were also different amulets taking different shapes, some of these amulets took the shape of the breast or goddess Isis while nursing god Horus.
How did the ancient Egyptians know the gender of the fetus?
The ancient Egyptian physicians have also known different methods to identify the gender of the fetus. The most famous method was getting 2 pots, one of them contained barley, while the other contained wheat.
Then the physician mixed the urine of the pregnant with the barley and wheat.
After few days, if the barley has grown the fetus would be a boy, and if the wheat has grown the fetus would definitely be a girl.
The scientists have tried this method nowadays, and they discovered that it was 100% correct.
So the ancient Egyptians were the first people to introduce different methods of delivery, and making different remedies for the breastfeeding mother, and also knowing the gender of the baby.