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Lachapelle, Marie (1769–1821)

Lachapelle, Marie (1769–1821)

French obstetrician. Born Marie Louise Dugés in France in 1769; died in 1821; both mother and grandmother were influential midwives; married M Lachapelle (a surgeon), in 1792 (died 1795).

Marie Lachapelle was born Marie Louise Dugés in 1769. Upon the death of her mother, Marie was appointed head of maternity at the oldest hospital in Paris, the Hôtel Dieu, where Jean Louis Baudelocque was teaching obstetrics. Though they shared a mutual respect, the two disagreed on many points. Lachapelle believed in restricted use of instruments; she also reduced his 94 fetus position classifications to 22. Her three-volume Pratique des accouchements (1821–25), covering 40,000 cases, was her most important work. Lachapelle, who continued her studies in Heidelberg, would later establish a maternity and children's hospital at Port Royal where she trained many midwives, including Marie Anne Boivin .

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