Labour Pains: Folk Healing and Midwifery in Scotland

From 24 June 2022
Hunterian Museum
Admission Free

Midwives have performed an essential function during childbirth for centuries. This is a practice that has undergone dramatic change from its roots in folk healing to its current position as one of the most trusted professions in the world.

This small display shows the evolution of professionalised midwifery in Scotland through the tools used by practitioners. From bloodstones and herbs to foetal stethoscopes and chemical pain relief, these objects chart the medicalisation of what was considered suspicious or supernatural into a legitimised, scientific profession.


  • Labour Pains is at the Hunterian Museum from 24 June 2022.
  • Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am–5pm. Closed Monday. Please check our Opening Hours page before you visit.
  • Back to Exhibition Programme.