Shocking Images of Nude People-Pushing.

 

 

L0016884 A group of physicians wrongly diagnosing the case of a pregn Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org A group of physicians wrongly diagnosing the case of a pregnant woman. Coloured etching by I. Cruikshank, 1803. Coloured etching 1803-1804 By: Isaac CruikshankPublished: 28 January 1804 Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

“A group of physicians wrongly diagnosing the case of a pregnant woman. Coloured etching by I. Cruikshank, 1803.”

I hate it when I have a great idea but none of my usual editors want it. This happens a lot. “No, we’re not going to publish all that advice you found where Dear Abby tells mid-century women that they LIKED being hit.” or “Our readers aren’t really looking to be confronted with a think piece about the hygienic implications of menstrual art.” And so forth.

And I know without asking none of them are gonna touch this AMAZING collection of birthing images I’ve accumulated. They are mostly sourced from the Wellcome Museum and The British Musem…if you want to liven up your Pinterest you should check out those sites. Abortion pills used to (exist, and) be chocolate covered.

So here, all on my own. Some images are very graphic. But so is childbirth. I hope you like this.

First, a little history of the Cesarean Section

L0000846 Gynaecological texts, Caesarean section Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Gynaecological texts, including information about conception, pregnancy and childbirth - Woman who died in childbirth on operating table, with doctor holding knife after delivering baby by Caesarean section, a nurse holding swaddled child Ink and Watercolour Circa 1420-30 MS 49 Apocalypse, (The), [etc.]. Apocalypsis S. Johannis cum glossis et Vita S. Johannis; Ars Moriendi, etc.; Anatomical, medical, texts, theological moral and allegorical 'exempla' and extracts, a few in verse. Published:  -  Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

This is from a gynecological text dated around 1430. Cesareans were then only preformed on women who died in childbirth. The picture shows the pale bloodless mother on operating table, with doctor holding knife after delivering baby by Cesarean, and a nurse holding swaddled child.

 

 Primitive Knife used for Caesarian Section

This knife is similar to one such a doctor would have used. 

C-Section in medical text, 1864

C-Section in medical text, 1864. By then they were just starting to attempt live C-section births. The advent of ether is probably to thank for that. 

Now onto “standard” births. 

M0003964EB Ancient Roman relief carving of a midwife Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Ancient Roman relief carving of a midwife attending a woman giving birth. Published:  -  Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Ancient Roman relief carving of a midwife delivering baby. I love this relief. It’s probably 2000 years old, well detailed, and reinforces the idea that this process has been happening just the same way for everyone, everywhere, always. I get a kick out of that human continuity. 

L0007276 The birth of Henri IV at the castle of Pau. Oil painting aft Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org The birth of Henri IV at the castle of Pau. Oil painting after Eugène-François-Marie-Joseph Devéria. By: Eugène-Francois-Marie-Joseph Devériaafter: E.F.M.F. DeveriaPublished:  -  Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The birth of Henri IV at the castle of Pau. By Eugène-François-Marie-Joseph Devéria. It was common for a queen to give birth in a room crowded full of spectators, especially among the French. Marie Antoinette is said to have fainted dead away from the shame of it. I don’t know if they felt there had to be indisputable witness to the royal line or… that’s just French for FUN. I’ve seen some of their comedies. They’re some weird-ass Gallo-Romans, yo. What’s with the creepy little guys next to the dog? 

fat delivery 1

And from France we move to Italy, where, according to the 1883 source text, this is the birthing position that should be assumed by “very fat women!” As a fat woman myself I applaud my ancient Italian sisters for being able to fold up into a position that only the lankiest yoga teachers could normally achieve, while in labor. Huzzah. 

L0035774 A foldable and adjustable birthing chair Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org A foldable and adjustable birthing chair, made of walnut wood. European Photograph Late 17th Century Published:  -  Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

 A foldable and adjustable birthing chair- Late 17th Century. Utter work of art. Note the gripping handles. Add a few waterproof cushions and many a woman would love to achieve parturition in this beauty. 

touching the female horizontal

Victorian decorum must be observed. Even if it means a physician’s exam is indistinguishable from a clumsy backseat groping. Sight, gentlemen, is becoming one of the more popular of the five senses when concerning medical practice.

 

exam

I think this woman is pretty awesome for keeping her tiara and ballgown on for this exam. Look at that face. “No I’m not embarrassed! I got some first rate junk down there.”

 

delivery upward

A medical text illustration of an upward delivery. The time-waste of which seems to really be frustrating to the patient. “Hurry this up please. That hog ain’t gonna butcher itself.”

L0015387 A birth-scene. Oil painting by a French (?) painter, Åbo, Sw Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org A birth-scene. Oil painting by a French (?) painter, Åbo, Sweden (later Turku, Finland), 1800. The proud father is on the left, the woman giving birth is in the centre, and on the right is a caricature of a midwife or wisewoman. The standing figure pouring water into a bowl may be a personification of Hygiene, as a similar figure appears on a Wedgwood plaque of the goddess Hygieia. At the same time she is the maid who is preparing to wash the baby. The furniture is of an advanced neo-classical type: it would be slightly surprising if such furniture were in Åbo at the time. The painting may be by a French painter in Sweden. Oil 1800 Published:  -  Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The most graphic, honest, and most intriguing depiction of birth in my collection. The image of Hygiene is particularly eye-catching; she somehow centers the scene even more than the birth does. Beautiful. From the Wellcome Museum description: “A birth-scene. Oil painting by a French (?) painter, Åbo, Sweden (later Turku, Finland), 1800.
“The proud father is on the left, the woman giving birth is in the centre, and on the right is a caricature of a midwife or wisewoman. The standing figure pouring water into a bowl may be a personification of Hygiene, as a similar figure appears on a Wedgwood plaque of the goddess Hygieia. At the same time she is the maid who is preparing to wash the baby.”

 

 

One thought on “Shocking Images of Nude People-Pushing.

  1. Fascinating, although it made me wince! That relief at the beginning is just beautiful – and don’t you love the posture of the husband in the last one? A sort of cross between “Eeuww” and “Oh goody!”

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