François Mauriceau

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Portrait of François Mauriceau

François Mauriceau (1637 – October 17, 1709) was a French obstetrician from Paris. He received his training in obstetrics at the Hôtel-Dieu.

Mauriceau was a leading obstetrician in 17th-century Europe. He is remembered for publishing in 1668, Traité des Maladies des Femmes Grosses et Accouchées, a book that established obstetrics as a science, and was later translated into several languages. He is also known for development of a classical maneuvre of assisted breech delivery. He gave a description of tubal pregnancy, and with German midwife Justine Siegemundin 1650–1705), Mauriceau is credited for introducing the practice of puncturing the amniotic sac to arrest bleeding in placenta praevia.

In 1670, English obstetrician Hugh Chamberlen tried to sell the secret of a specialized obstetrical forceps to Mauriceau. Mauriceau became disgusted that the Chamberlen family kept such an important development a secret, and accused the Chamberlens of common swindling.[1]

François Mauriceau

Mauriceau died in Paris.


  • Les Maladies des Femmes grosses et accouchées. Avec la bonne et véritable Méthode de les bien aider en leurs accouchemens naturels, & les moyens de remédier à tous ceux qui sont contre-nature, & aux indispositions des enfans nouveau-nés... Paris Henault, d'Houry, de Ninville, Coignard 1668.
  • Observations sur la grossesse et l'accouchement des femmes et sur leurs maladies et celles des enfans nouveau-nez. Paris, Anisson, 1694.


  1. ^ [1] The History Of Childbirth: Tools of the Trade