ABSTRACT: This article offers a historical account of the changes in birth that the author reflects on after decades as a practicing obstetrician. In preliterate and pre-agricultural societies, women used to isolate themselves to give birth. It seems that at that phase of the history of humanity the only person who could be around was the mother of the parturient, an ant, or another experienced mother. Then, for thousands of years, childbirth has been more and more socialized and culturally controlled. During this long period the birth environment remained mostly feminine.