Lying-in is an old childbirth practice involving a woman resting in bed for a period after giving birth. Though the term is now usually defined as "the condition of a woman in the process of giving birth," it previously referred to a period of bed rest required even if there were no medical complications.
A 1932 publication refers to lying-in as ranging from 2 weeks to 2 months. It also does not suggest "Getting Up" (getting out of bed post-birth) for at least nine days and ideally for 20 days.
When lying-in was a more common term, it was used in the names of several hospitals. For example, the Royal Women’s Hospital in Australia was originally known as the "Melbourne Lying-In Hospital and Infirmary for Diseases of Women and Children".
Women received congratulatory visits from friends and family during the period, and among many traditional customs around the world the desco da parto was a special form of painted tray presented to the mother in Renaissance Florence.
- The Prospective Mother: A Handbook for Women During Pregnancy, J. Morris Slemons
- Lying in by Jan Nusche quoting The Bride's Book — A Perpetual Guide for the Montreal Bride, published in 1932
- Jenstad, Janelle Day, Lying-in Like a Countess: The Lisle Letters, the Cecil Family, and A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies - Volume 34, Number 2, Spring 2004, pp. 373-403
- our history - Royal Women’s Hospital