The goddesses of pregnancy and childbirth were often fearsome. An example of this is the beautiful statuette of the Taweret. She is an Egyptian Goddess from the collection at the Metropolitan Museum. Her form is a combination of human, crocodile, hippopotamus, crocodile and lioness.
Below you can find the names and description of other Goddesses of pregnancy and childbirth. You will notice that some of the goddesses fulfil both roles whilst others have very specific attributes.
Artemis (Greece) - Despite being a virgin goddess she also presides over childbirth due to the ease of her own birth.
Bast (Egypt) - Bast was the cat headed goddess was associated with both childbirth and fertility.
Carmenta (Roman) - Goddess of prophecy and birth. Pregnant women used to offer her rice for an easy delivery.
Candelifera (Roman) - She was invoked at the beginning of childbirth. Her name means candle bearer and she used this light to help guide the baby into this world.
Dekla (Latvian) - The goddess who watched over the fate of infants. She cried when she foretold that an infants life would be difficult.
Deverra (Roman ) - Goddess who protected midwives and women in labour. Her broom was used to sweep away evil influences.
Diana (Roman) - Queen of Heaven. Patroness Goddess of childbirth, nursing and healing.
Eleithyia (Greek) - One of the Greek Goddessess of pregnancy and childbirth. She was shown as a woman wielding a torch, representing the burning pains of childbirth. Other works of art depict her with her arms raised in the air summoning a child to the light.
Frigg (Nordic) - Associated with easing child birth. A plant called Freya's grass was traditionally used as a gentle sedative during a difficult labour.
Hathor (Egypt) - The seven Hathors blessed the new-born and set a child's destiny. She is also associated with nursing infants.
Hekate (Greek) - As a midwife she carried a sacred knife to cut the cord at birth.
Hepat (Egyptian) - Goddess of Midwives.
Hera (Greece) - The Queen of the gods, Hera presided over all things feminine especially maternity and marriage.
Isis (Egypt) - Isis had many roles including the protector of motherhood.
Ixchel (Mayan) - Role included Goddess of childbirth, lunar cycles, and pregnancy.
Juno (Roman) - She is one of the goddesses of pregnancy and childbirth as her role was to protect woman during pregnancy and birth. r
Kiri Amma (Sri Lankan)- Her name is said to mean milk mother or wet nurse. If an infant becomes ill, other village women visit making offerings of rice and cakes to this Goddess and pray for the health of the child.
Lucina (Roman) - Goddess of Childbirth.
Mabb (Celtic) - Midwife to the fairies. She appears in Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet," as Queen Mab.
Maia (Greek) - in ancient Greece she was the Goddess of the night sky and Pleiades. She is also known as the grandmother and midwife.
Mami (Sumerian)- as she created mankind from bricks of clay ancient Sumerian women would use symbolic bricks as pillows during childbirth.
Meskhent (Egyptian) - Egyptian Goddess who presided over the delivery of babies.
Mylitta (Babylonian) - Mylitta took special interests in the process of childbirth.
Nephthys (Egyptian) - Stood at the head of the bed encouraging the mother whilst her sister Isis acted as the midwife.
Ngolimento (Toga) - Goddess who cares for the spirit of a child before it is born.
Nixi (Roman) - The Nixi were a triad of Goddesses associated with birth.
Nintur (Sumerian) - Her name meant "Lady Who Gives Form". She was represented as a woman holding a midwife's pail of water.
Nona (Roman)- Goddess of pregnancy. Her name means nine relating to the ninth month of pregnancy when the expectant mum would call upon her.
Pi-hsia-yuan-chun (Chinese) - She protects women, children, and presides over birth.
Prorsa Postverta (Roman) - Goddess of women in labour she was associated with the position of the child in the womb.
Pukkeenegak (Eskimo) - Feminine Goddess who gave children to the Eskimo women.
Renenet (Egypt) - Goddess who presided over a baby's suckling. She bestowed both a name and a personality on a new-born infant.
Shasti (Indian) - Feline Goddess, depicted riding a cat. Goddess of childbirth and protector of children.
Saint Catherine of Sweden (Roman Catholic) - Patron saint of miscarriage prevention.
Saint Gerard Majella (Roman Catholic) - Patron saint of pregnancy and expectant mothers.
Saint Raymund Nonnatus (Roman Catholic) - Patron saint of midwives.
Tamayorihime (Japan) - Ancient sea Goddess who watches over the birth waters to ensure a safe delivery.
Taweret (Egypt) - Protected infants at birth her terrifying form was said to scare evil spirits away.
Uma (India) - Her primary function was femaleness in all forms, particularly active ones like childbirth.
Zemyna (Lithuanian) - As Goddess of life offerings of soil and food were made near trees or thrown into running water as thanks for the gift of new life.
If you are pregnant and still haven't decided upon a name for your child, why not check out my page on Goddess names and meanings for inspiration. There is also a separate page dedicated to Goddesses for children and teenagers.