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This article is about childbirth. For other uses, see Lying in (disambiguation).

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.[1]

A 1932 publication refers to lying-in as ranging from 2 weeks to 2 months.[2] It also does not suggest "Getting Up" (getting out of bed post-birth) for at least nine days and ideally for 20 days.[2][3]

When lying-in was a more common term, it was used in the names of several hospitals, for example the General Lying-In Hospital in London.

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.


  1. ^ The Prospective Mother: A Handbook for Women During Pregnancy, J. Morris Slemons
  2. ^ a b Lying in by Jan Nusche quoting The Bride's Book — A Perpetual Guide for the Montreal Bride, published in 1932
  3. ^ 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