The Anaesthetized Queen & the Path to Painless Childbirth

‘Did the epidural hurt?’ I ask Rebecca Rideal—editor of The History Vault—one morning as we sit outside the British Library. ‘Not really.’ She hesitates, clearly wanting to say more without divulging too much information. ‘I mean, it’s nothing compared to the labour pains. The hardest part was lying still while the anaesthesiologist administered the needle.’ […]

DO NOT SIT! A History of the Birthing Chair

I was standing on the second floor of Surgeons’ Hall in Edinburgh waiting for my film crew to begin rolling for my upcoming documentary, Medicine’s Dark Secrets, when I spied a chair (left) in the corner. At that point in the day, I was exhausted and my attention to detail was diminishing with each passing […]