Medieval Lives: Birth, Marriage, Death

A Good Birth

Season 1, Episode 1 of 3

For a medieval woman approaching the moment of labour and birth, there were no antiseptics to ward off infection or anaesthetics to deal with pain. Historian Helen Castor reveals how this was one of the most dangerous moments a medieval woman would ever encounter, with some aristocratic and royal women giving birth as young as 13. Birth took place in an all-female environment - the male world of medicine was little help to a woman in "confinement." It was believed that the pains of labor were the penalty for the original sin of humankind so, to get through them, a pregnant woman needed the help of the saints and the blessing of God himself.

Previously Aired

Day
Time
Channel
7/25/2016
8 p.m.
7/30/2016
noon
8/4/2016
7 p.m.
8/5/2016
1 a.m.
8/28/2016
7 a.m.
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