ANCIENT AND PREGNANT


Pregnancy in ancient Egypt was a struggle. As it was in every other ancient culture. It was risky and very dangerous but was a necessary journey that women took to try to have families of their own.

Baring children was considered a blessing. But infant mortality rates were sky-high. One child in three was expected to die and childbirth was extremely dangerous.

Egyptian babies had instant value. This surprised the Greeks who were accustomed to leaving unwanted babies to the elements. Every baby born was raised and cared for no matter what.

Pregnancy tests were also common. In one such test, vomiting would be invoked and then the blood vessels in the eyes would be inspected.

In another test women were advised to urinate on wheat and barley seeds over the course of several days; if the wheat sprouted, she was having a girl, and if the barley sprouted, a boy.

When a woman conceived a child the ancient Egyptians believed that the monthly cycle ceased because the blood was being diverted to the uterus to sustain the embryo.

Women delivered their babies kneeling or sitting on their heels. Usually on a cool rooftop or a comfortable space. Underneath them would be a spread of papyrus. Only females were present during delivery.

It is believed that they uttered the words - make the heart of the deliverer strong, and keep alive the one that is coming.

A prayer to Amun to give life. Not take it away.