In ancient Egyptian society, childbirth was considered a very magical and religious part of life. Most likely due to large numbers of child burials and stillborns in cemeteries, Egyptians emphasized these magical practices in their women’s childbirth experience. The Abydos birth bricks, which women in labor would have squatted on to give birth to a child, provide us with the most detailed archaeological evidence for these practices. It includes images of a human mother and her two assistants, Hathor, the deity associated with fertility and childbirth, and several other known deities.
The most interesting piece of these bricks is the hair color used for the human mother and assistants. Hair color is traditionally depicted as black, but these women are shown with sky-blue hair color. The symbolism of this blue color shows us that these women were given a divine form. The mother and child were also seated on a solid-based throne of divinity, as opposed to just a normal chair. These changes in form show us the important divine transfiguration of the mother from human form to that of the goddess Hathor. It exemplifies how childbirth is a very magical practice because a woman needs to be a more divine form to take on and survive such a large and important task as childbirth.
As with other material items, birth bricks most likely differed between households. People with more wealth and higher social status may have had better quality and more artistically designed birth bricks. These probably would have been seen as better birthing techniques, which would have made people think they had a better chance of having healthy offspring. If a human mother has to turns into a goddess to give birth to a child, it must have been seen as a difficult process so magic was needed to assist these women. These bricks help us see that childbirth was a very important part of ancient Egyptian life since it was seen as such a religious and magical experience.