The creepy history behind why women give birth lying down.

[A]ccording to a paper written by Professor Lauren Dundes and published in the American Journal of Public Health, women didn’t always give birth lying down. It’s a relatively new concept.

“Since Louis XIV reportedly enjoyed watching women giving birth, he became frustrated by the obscured view of birth when it occurred on birthing stool, and promoted the new reclining position,” Professor Dundes wrote in the American Journal of Public Health.

During her research Professor Dundes found the French obstetrician, François Mauriceau, also played a role in making the lying down position more popular as he thought it was more “convenient”.

According to a 2013 survey, conducted by Evidence Based Birth, 78 per cent of Australian women now choose to give birth lying down.

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