As the main goddess of childbirth along with Artemis, Eileithyia had numerous sanctuaries in many places in Greece dating from the Neolithic to Roman times, indicating that she was extremely important for pregnant women and their families. People prayed and left offers for fertility help, safe delivery, or thanks for a successful birth. Archaeological evidence of votive terra-cotta figurines representing children found in sacred sites and sacred sites dedicated to Eileithyia suggests that she was a chorotrophic deity, to whom parents would have prayed for the protection and care of their children.
Midwives played an essential role in ancient Greek society, with women of all classes participating in the profession, many of them slaves with only empirical training or some theoretical training in obstetrics and gynecology. Higher educated midwives, usually from higher classes, were called iatrenes or female disease doctors and would be respected as doctors.