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14 Facts About Childbirth That'll Make You Blink Fast And Say, "What?"

Yes, it's true: The world's fastest labor was just two minutes!

1. The quickest labor ever β€” or surely pretty close to it β€” was only two minutes long!

2. On the other end of the spectrum, the longest labor lasted a whopping 75 days.

3. On average, though, new mothers labor around six and a half hours while moms who have previously given birth labor one to two hours less.

4. The first written record of a successful C-section β€” where the mom and baby both survived β€” was all the way back in 1500.

5. It is possible to have an orgasm β€” or "birthgasm" β€” while giving birth.

6. You've probably heard the Netherlands referred to as "the home birth capital of Europe," but home births there have been seriously on the decline, tumbling from 70% in 1970 to 30% in the year 2005 to about 13% today.

7. Managing pain during childbirth was largely taboo until Queen Victoria inhaled chloroform while giving birth to her eighth child, Prince Leopold, in 1853.

8. Pain relief was normalized so fast, in fact, that toward the end of the 19th century American doctors were giving women heroin to help with the pain of childbirth!

9. The risk of dying during pregnancy and childbirth was so high during the Renaissance that women immediately wrote their wills upon learning they were pregnant.

10. Today giving birth is much, much safer, but it's not without risk β€” and more women in the United States die in childbirth than in other wealthy nations.

11. In 19th-century Austria, 25–30% of women who gave birth in hospitals died of infections until a doctor, Ignaz Semmelweis, realized it was because student doctors were going from the dissecting room (dealing with cadavers) directly to the maternity ward WITHOUT WASHING THEIR HANDS.

12. In the Middle Ages women in labor were expected to make cakes β€” called "groaning cakes," likely because the women groaned while making them.

13. Water births may be thousands of years old β€” Egyptian pharaohs were said to have been born in shallow water β€” but the first water birth on record in modern times happened in France in 1805.

14. Lastly, some women give birth to babies STILL INSIDE THE AMNIOTIC SAC. These are called "en caul births." You can see an Instagram video of one here, but if you're squeamish you might want to skip it because it'll definitely have you like: