"The unspoken dreads which attend all births – of agony, death and deformity"

Ancient Greek stele (gravestone) of a recently deceased new mother
Public DomainAncient Greek stele (gravestone) of a recently deceased new mother - Credit: Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons
Infant mortality rates were high in the ancient world, and death during or after childbirth was a common fate for women.