It is made from wood, padded leather and iron. The seat shape allows a clear route for the emerging baby and access for those assisting the birth. The chair is also known as a parturition chair. They were used from ancient times until the 1800s. The grooved parts on the bottom of the frame were used for leg rests, which the mother would use for support and to press against. Some birthing chairs have low centres of gravity so the mother can squat and still be supported by the chair.This chair has a reclining back, which is demonstrated in a second photograph at the source. From the Science and Society Picture Library at the Science Museum London. Image cropped and brightened from the original. Via Neatorama.