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Society and lifestyle, Health

Miyuki Ishikawa

Miyuki Ishikawa was a Japanese midwife and serial killer who is believed to have murdered many infants with the aid of several accomplices throughout the 1940s. It is estimated that her victims numbered between 85 and 169, however the general estimate is 103. When she was finally apprehended, the Tokyo High Court's four-year sentence she received was remarkably light considering that Miyuki's actions resulted in a death toll so high that it remains unrivaled by any other serial killer in Japan. According to a report of Children's Rainbow Center, writer Kenji Yamamoto referred to the incident as unbelievable and unbearable.


Bhanwari Devi murder case

Bhanwari Devi was a 36-year-old Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM).



Agnodice or Agnodike is a legendary figure credited as the first female midwife or physician in ancient Athens. Her story is told by the Roman author Gaius Julius Hyginus in his Fabulae. Agnodice is not generally believed to be a historical figure, but her story has been frequently deployed as a precedent for women practising midwifery or medicine.


Zeng Xueming

Zeng Xueming, known in Vietnamese as Tăng Tuyết Minh, was a Chinese midwife who married Vietnamese leader Hồ Chí Minh. She was a Catholic from Guangzhou and married Ho in October 1926. They lived together until April 1927, when Ho fled China following an anti-communist coup. Ho returned to Vietnam in 1940 to lead the pro-Communist Viet Minh, the communist rebels against the French colonial authorities. He became president of North Vietnam in 1954. Despite several attempts to renew contact by both Zeng and Ho, the couple was never reunited. Ho and Zeng were never legally divorced nor was their marriage ever annulled. Her existence has never been acknowledged by the Vietnamese government.


Karol Cariola

Karol Aída Cariola Oliva is a Chilean midwife, and former president of the Federación de Estudiantes de la Universidad de Concepción for 2010. She was elected General Secretary of the Juventudes Comunistas de Chile, abbr. JJ.CC., at the organizations XIII Congress held in October 2011. Cariola is the second woman to hold this post in the Communist Youth of Chile after the late communist leader Gladys Marin (1941-2005).

Art, Health

Louise Bourgeois Boursier

Louise (Bourgeois) Boursier (1563–1636) was a French midwife called "The Scholar" by her contemporaries. She was midwife to the French royal family of King Henry IV of France and his wife Marie de Médicis, and helped raise the art from folklore to science through her prodigious writings and her methods which were based on common sense.


Robin Lim

Robin Lim is a midwife and founder of Yayasan Bumi Sehat health clinics, which offer free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid to anyone who needs it. She and her team have been working since 2003 to combat Indonesia's high maternal and infant mortality rates, and the Bumi Sehat birth centers serve many at-risk mothers. She was awarded the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year award by the CNN news network for helping thousands of low-income women in Indonesia with healthy pregnancy and birth services.


Marie-Rosalie Cadron-Jetté

Marie-Rosalie Cadron Jetté, S.M., also known as Marie of the Nativity, was a Canadian widow and midwife who undertook the charitable care of unwed and struggling mothers between 1840 and 1864. Out of this work, she became the foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Misericorde. The cause for her canonization is now being studied in the Vatican. Pope Francis declared her "Venerable" in 2013.


Orelena Hawks Puckett

Orleana Hawks Puckett was an American midwife in the mountains of Patrick and Carroll County, Virginia. Although never documented, it is said she helped deliver more than 1,000 babies, and never lost a mother or a child. In 2012 Puckett was posthumously honored as one of the Library of Virginia's "Virginia Women in History".


Patty Bartlett Sessions

Patty Bartlett Sessions was a Mormon midwife. She was one of the wives of Joseph Smith while still married to her first husband, David Sessions. She was the mother of Perrigrine Sessions, founder of Bountiful, Utah. She is best known for her diaries, which recorded the daily activities of the Latter Day Saints during the first year of the Mormon migration to Utah, and the earliest days of their settlement there. These diaries document the physical, social, and religious circumstances of the settlers, especially of the women, and are frequently cited by historians. Her records are also a primary source of birth records in the LDS community during this period, and are highly prized for documenting almost 4,000 births.


Elizabeth Cellier

Elizabeth Cellier, flourished 1668–1688, London, England, was a notable Catholic midwife in seventeenth-century England. She stood trial for treason in 1679 for her alleged part in the "Meal-Tub Plot" against the future James II but was acquitted. She later became a pamphleteer and made attempts to advance the field of midwifery.


Justine Siegemund

Justine Siegemund or Siegemundin was a renowned Silesian midwife whose Court Midwife (1690) was the more read, but not the first, female-published German obstetrical manual.


Jane Sharp

Jane Sharp was a 17th-century English midwife. Her work, published in 1671, The Midwives Book: or the Whole Art of Midwifery Discovered, was the first by an Englishwoman on the subject.


Comfort Momoh

Comfort Iyabo Amah Momoh, is a British midwife who specializes in the treatment of female genital mutilation (FGM). Born in Nigeria, Momoh is a member of the British FGM national clinical group, established in 2007 to train health professionals in how to deal with the practice. Until 2017 she served as a public-health specialist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London. She is the editor of Female Genital Mutilation (2005).


Marie-Louise Lachapelle

Marie-Louise Lachapelle was a French midwife, head of obstetrics at the Hôtel-Dieu, the oldest hospital in Paris. She published textbooks about women’s bodies, gynecology, and obstetrics. She argued against forceps deliveries and wrote Pratique des accouchements, long a standard obstetric text, which promoted natural deliveries. Lachapelle is generally regarded as the mother of modern obstetrics.