Vintage model fetus — 18th-century mannequin used to teach childbirth

By Abraham Piper

Angélique Du Coudray was a pioneering midwife in the 1700’s. Word of her skills rose through the ranks from the middle class where she was from all the way to King Louis XV, who commissioned her to teach other women midwifery in order to reduce infant mortality.

From 1759 until the 1780’s, she traveled France with this model, known as The Machine, giving lessons from her book Abrégé de l’art des accouchements (or Abridgment of the Art of Delivery). She is thought to have taught 4,000 women and 500 surgeons and doctors, all men.

Antique Childbirth Model