The question of where and how to give birth is a relatively new one for women. Up until the early 20th century, fewer than 5% of women gave birth in a hospital. In the 1950s the birth of a baby, an event that had once been a family affair and attended by a midwife, became more medicalized.
Pregnancy and birth were seen more as a sickness than a natural part of life. One mom described the birth of her first child in the 1960s as occurring without pain medication, with minimal interaction from medical staff and a forced two-week hospital stay.