How a French Midwife Solved a Public Health Crisis

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Du Coudray knew many of her students were illiterate, so she created her book in a way that could be understood whether or not you could read. The colorful images depict the mother’s pelvis and some associated soft tissues and the descending infant, presented as if you were looking through the skin and fat and seeing only the necessary bones and reproductive parts. Also illustrated are the midwife’s hands and how they should be positioned. After being trained by du Coudray and practicing on her machine, the illiterate midwife could consult the book’s illustrations as a reminder of what to do in a particular case. As Schiebinger noted:

How a French Midwife Solved a Public Health Crisis