Historical Figures

Angélique du Coudray, midwifery teacher

Master midwife, Angélique du Coudray trained women giving birth in the countryside and invented the first obstetrical mannequin.

The first obstetrical mannequin

Angélique Marguerite Le Boursier Du Coudray was born in Clermont-Ferrand in 1714, into a family of eminent doctors. For 16 years, she worked as a midwife in Paris, then returned to Auvergne in 1754. There, she undertook to train matrons who practiced childbirth in the countryside, and published a book on the Art of childbirth.

In 1759, a pedagogue, she decided to combine practice with theory and created a life-size obstetrical mannequin, consisting of the lower part of a woman's body, a newborn doll and ancillary parts faithfully reproducing the anatomy. feminine. Students are invited to train with this manikin during a two-month training.

More than 5,000 women trained

The same year, the King of France Louis XV issued him with a royal patent authorizing him to teach in the whole kingdom to try to reduce infant mortality. For 25 years, Angélique du Coudray crisscrossed France to train matrons in the countryside; she would thus have trained more than 5,000 women, as well as surgeons who perpetuate her teaching.

Angélique du Coudray died at the age of 75, in 1789. She was a major player in the decline in infant mortality at the time.