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I don't care to get into the plot, but DH and I were watching DaVinci Code and they showed Mary laboring while standing to two boxes a little bigger than bricks. There seemed to be some symbols on them but I am really curious as to their actual purpose. It seemed pretty impractical to me since she basically was stuck with her feet right there.
 

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Birthing bricks? (believe it or not, I still haven't seen the Da Vinci Code<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"> )<br><br>
Ancient people, like the Egyptians, had bricks made for the woman to squat on, and these were inscribed with invocations to the Goddesses that protect birth and babies. (Hathor, Bes, Meskhenet)<br><br><a href="http://home.comcast.net/~hebsed/wegner.htm" target="_blank">http://home.comcast.net/~hebsed/wegner.htm</a>
 

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That's a cool link <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> But still.... why bricks? I get the Egyptian "need" for them to symbolize the horizon and such, but why would other people use bricks? It seems like something else with invocations and sacred inscriptions would have been more practical than a balancing act.
 

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There are birthing bricks in the book The Red Tent, too, which BTW is a fabulous read if you are interested in birthy things (obviously you are on here, right? DUH)<br><br>
I am pretty sure there is plenty of historical info about them, but don't know where to look for it... hmmm. Now interest is piqued.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LittleLlama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7928394"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That's a cool link <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> But still.... why bricks? I get the Egyptian "need" for them to symbolize the horizon and such, but why would other people use bricks? It seems like something else with invocations and sacred inscriptions would have been more practical than a balancing act.</div>
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Dunno.<br>
Why birth stools or birth chairs, or ropes tied to trees or the trees themselves, or giant inflated balls, or tubs filled with water, or adjustable beds with stirrups, for that matter? Someone tried it, it seemed to faciliate the process, and they stuck to it.<br><br>
When you think about it, in the cultures that use the bricks or blocks, mother is in a supported squat with two attendants at either side, feet on the bricks which elevates the perineum several inches off the floor to make room for the head and body to be born. I don't think the mother would get on the bricks until she was ready to push. Seems like a pretty good position to me.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sevenkids</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7931353"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Dunno.<br>
Why birth stools or birth chairs, or ropes tied to trees or the trees themselves, or giant inflated balls, or tubs filled with water, or adjustable beds with stirrups, for that matter? Someone tried it, it seemed to faciliate the process, and they stuck to it.<br><br>
When you think about it, in the cultures that use the bricks or blocks, mother is in a supported squat with two attendants at either side, feet on the bricks which elevates the perineum several inches off the floor to make room for the head and body to be born. I don't think the mother would get on the bricks until she was ready to push. Seems like a pretty good position to me.</div>
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That and bricks are pretty stinking cheap and easy to make especially compared to a stool.
 

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That's interesting that placenta was fed to the baby. !<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sevenkids</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7931353"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When you think about it, in the cultures that use the bricks or blocks, mother is in a supported squat with two attendants at either side, feet on the bricks which elevates the perineum several inches off the floor to make room for the head and body to be born.</div>
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The head and body have plenty of room to be born with the mother in a full squat on the ground, and is in fact the perfect distance for the mother to break the baby's fall while still in a squat (as it's an easy distance for her arms to reach.) Maybe using the blocks (for nonmagical reasons) is just about making more room for the attendant to get in there and catch -- in other words, it's for the attendant's convenience. Anyone have any other sources on culture that do this and their reasons for it?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sevenkids</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7931353"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">or adjustable beds with stirrups, for that matter? Someone tried it, it seemed to faciliate the process, and they stuck to it.</div>
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<shudder> Louis...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hmmmm..... I'd wager that the "extra" space would be for an attendant. I just read how Inuit women dug a hollow out in the snow for their baby to land. That seemed more about retaining baby and fluids though.
 

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probably used something like the way that squat toilets are used now in many parts of the world- firm surface to stand on and stay out of the fluids--- if you have ever seen a squat toilet you would see the similarity--
 

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but I can tell you as a (formerly) pregnant lady who used squat toilets, it's not easy. Really not easy. I can see how the bricks give a bit more room - but make a hard task even harder too.
 

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That's funny - when I'm pregnant sometimes the only way I can go is to get in a full squat. I'm always wishing I had a squat toilet!
 
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