LA DONNA NELL’ANTICO EGITTO

Gravidanza e parto

Gli egizi adoravano i bambini e fonte di gioia era ogni nascita.

La gravidanza era vissuta dalla donna con grande senso di responsabilità, si preparava seguendo una determinata alimentazione, si ungeva il ventre con oli per mantenere la pelle elastica ed era protetta dalla dea Tueret e dal dio Bes.
La dea Heqet, rappresentata come una rana, era la protettrice della nuova vita, infatti le donne in gravidanza solevano portare amuleti raffiguranti una rana.

Quando iniziava il travaglio, la gestante, si recava in un edificio detto “Mammisi” (Luogo della nascita) che era annesso al tempio dove la partoriente era assistita da donne esperte della sua stessa famiglia e da un’ostetrica.
L’ideogramma che rappresenta il verbo partorire (mesi) viene rappresentato da una donna accovacciata con un bambino che nasce.

Come partoriva la donna egizia?

Seduta su una sedia forata, oppure accovacciata con i piedi appoggiati su dei mattoni, mentre l’ostetrica si inginocchiava pronta a prendere il bambino; non erano presenti medici e non venivano usati strumenti chirurgici a parte un coltello di ossidiana per tagliare il cordone ombelicale.
Purtroppo c’era un alto rischio di mortalità e per questo il parto veniva accompagnato da formule magiche, riti, invocazioni agli dei affinché attenuassero i dolori del travaglio e allontanassero possibili complicazioni.

Le divinità che presenziavano alla nascita erano molteplici: 
Iside e Nefthi proteggevano la partoriente, Meskhenet si occupava di dare un nome al neonato, Khnum modellava le membra e offriva al corpo la salute. 
Intorno al culla c’erano anche le sette Hathor che facevano i loro doni, positivi o negativi, al piccolo.
Dopo il parto la donna seguiva per quattordici giorni un rito di purificazione e poi riprendeva la sua vita nella comunità.

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