Talk:Lithotomy position

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Louis XIV[edit]

From the article on the French king:

Louis XIV had a long-lasting impact on childbirth, instigating years of belief that women should give birth lying on a table with their legs in stirrups. This came about after he commanded the construction of a viewing table so that he could have a better view of the birth of one of his mistress's children. When word got around of the king's decision, "lesser mortals" quickly copied the practice, and saw it as the preferred position for many years.

From this article:

It became 'popular' as a position for labour, after the French King Louis XIV, insisted that his wife give birth in such a position so he could have a good view of the birth.

Using Google, I am unable to find anything approximating a reliable source for it. A footnote here prefaces it with "According to legend...". I'm inclined to remove it. (If someone would prefer to have it reinserted, but marked as a legend with appropriate references, I'd have no objections.)

jdb ❋ (talk) 3 July 2005 21:52 (UTC)


"Few birth centres or labour wards in Western countries use the lithotomy postion for active labour." Should that be eastern or western european or maybe until recently???--Gbleem 06:46, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Cited "source" is a message board. This article is unsubstantiated and tremendously POV-- even midwives don't go so far as to posit that lithotomy position is harmful and outdated, only that women should have babies however is most comfortable. Perhaps we should be citing a professional position statement instead? -- (talk) 14:31, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Factual accuracy and improper citation[edit]

I have taken a look at the first cited paper (Johanson, et al., "Has the medicalisation of childbirth gone too far?", Brit. Med. J. 324: 892-895, 2002), and it supports none of the cited claims in the article. Specifically:

  • there is no discussion of blood flow or its relation to morbidity and mortality of mother or infant;
  • the article does not distinguish between "passive" vs. "active" birthing;
  • there is no discussion of the lithotomy position at all (the word "lithotomy" appears only once in the entire article and is used as a casual description of the most common position for giving birth);
  • the article does not single out the United States for use of the lithotomy position, nor does it cite any "solid scientific evidence" against giving birth in the lithotomy position; and
  • there is no discussion of use of the lithotomy position as a trend towards medicalization of birth.

I have tagged the statements that it does not support because the cited article simply is not appropriate support for these claims. If they cannot be substantiated by a credible source, these statements will be removed. --chodges (talk) 06:13, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

I removed this section since it appears that nobody disputes my conclusions above. --chodges (talk) 23:33, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

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