New journal article on Fear, Risk, and Caesarean Sections

We are pleased to hear about a new article in Public Health on “Fear, Risk, and the Responsible Choice: Risk Narratives and Lowering the Rate of Caesarean Sections in High-income Countries”. The article was written by Helga Hallgrimsdottir, Leah Shumka, Catherine Althaus, and Cecilia Benoit and can be accessed below. Please share widely and feel … Read more

Blog: Prof. Helen King reviews The Growing Season by Helen Sedgwick

The following book review was written by Helen King, Professor Emerita of Classical Studies at the Open University. I’ve just returned from Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota, where I was lucky enough to be a guest at their annual Nobel Conference. This year the theme was ‘Reproductive technology: how far do we go?’, and the speakers … Read more

New Videos

This week we are proud to announce that there are not one, not two, and not even three, but four new videos up on our Youtube channel. Below you can hear:

– Dr Frances Badger recount the tragic story of the Ramsbottom family following a maternal death;

– Dr Frances Badger tell the (happier) stories of Leah and Susannah;

– Dr Adrian Wilson discuss biblical allusions to childbirth, particularly in the Book of Genesis;

– Dr Adrian Wilson analyse Percival Willughby’s views on the uncertainties of childbirth.

Don’t forget to subscribe, comment, and share with anyone who might be interested in our series of Birth Stories.

Risk, Ideology, and ‘Normal Birth’

On Saturday 12 August 2017, The Times published a piece by Chris Smyth on changing attitudes towards terms such as ‘normal birth’ in the UK, which has sparked a chain of letters to the editor, a controversy in the blogosphere, and a range of follow-up articles from publications like The Guardian and the Evening Standard. … Read more

2 New Videos featuring Professor Helen King

We’re thrilled to announce that there are two new videos on our Youtube feed, both featuring Professor Helen King of The Open University. View the videos below to learn more about having your first baby at 42 (in the 1740s), and quintuplet births in the 18th century:

Thanks, Helen, for sharing your knowledge. Happy watching!

Photos and Programme from March 2017 Workshop

Programme: March workshop AHRC

Pregnancy and Propaganda in Historical Perspective
Bahareh Goodarzi’s presentation


Dr Sean Lang and Prof. James Drife


One of the Thackray Medical Museum’s takes on the history of childbirth in England


The Thackray’s controversial graphic representation of maternal mortality