Goddess of childbirth, daughter of Zeus and Hera. Eileithyia was an aide of Hestia. In one story, she was sent by Hera to delay Heracles's birth. It was said that she existed at the beginning of time and it was her who mid wived the gods, although there are many stories of her coming into existence. It was said that she came from the North to Delos to help Leto, when she was giving birth to Artemis and Apollo. But it was also said that Eileithyia was born in a Cretan cave at Amnisos. Two women called the Eileithyiai attended Zeus during Athena's birth. They are daughters of Hera, just like Eileithyia. Eileithyia is depicted as holding in both hands torches, because she was bringing children into light. She is sometimes confused with Artemis and Persephone. There was a strong cult of the goddess Eileithyia in Crete.