The Incredible Cloth Womb Of 18th Century Midwife Angélique Marguerite Le Boursier du Coudray

TO combat high infant mortality rates and teach young mothers about giving birth in the 18th Century, midwife Angélique Marguerite Le Boursier du Coudray (1712-1790) created this fantastic full-size obstetric mannequin, consisting of the lower part of a female body, a newborn doll and anatomical parts. It’s made from leather, cotton and canvas.

knitted womb

Louis XV authourized du Coudray to teach in the kingdom.

In 1759, de Courdray began a 25-year long tour of France, during which she is estimated to have trained more than 5,000 doctors, nurses and surgeons in childbirth.


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She wrote:

“While waiting to deliver the woman, we must console her most affectionately as possible: his painful condition are committed, but it must be done with air of gaiety that inspires no fear of danger. Avoid all the whispers in the ear, which could worry that fear her and unfortunate consequences.”


knitted womb 1

knitted womb 2

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The doll is housed at the Flaubert Museum and History of Medicine, Rouen.

Spotter: JezebelCulure.Gouv.Fr