Download free justine siegemund book "The Court Midwife"

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Download free justine siegemund book "The Court Midwife"


Download justine siegemund book "The Court Midwife"

Justine Siegmund, or Sigmunden (born December 26, 1636 - November 10, 1705) was a Silesian midwife. Her book on childbirth, The Court Midwife (1690), was the first German medical text written by a woman.

Justine Siegmund early life

Justine Dietrich was born on December 26, 1636, the daughter of Elias Dietrich, a Lutheran minister, in Runstock (now Roztoka, Poland). Her father died in 1650, when she was 14 years old. In 1655 she married Christian Sigmund, an accountant. The couple remained childless during their 42 years of marriage and supported each other in their careers.
Career Justin Siegmund

At 20, Justine suffered a misdiagnosed uterine prolapse. This traumatic experience led her to learn about obstetrics, and she began her practice in 1659, when she was asked to assist in a case of obstructed labor involving the arm of a misplaced fetus. Until 1670, she provided free midwifery services to the poor women of her local area. Its paying client base grew to include merchants and noble families.
Title page from Siegismundin's book

In 1670, Sigmund was named city-midwife of Legnica. With her thriving midwifery practice and expanding client base, Siegemund is called in when a cervical polyp threatens Luise, Duchess of Legnica, which she successfully removes, after male doctors called for her professional services. That same year, Martin Kerger—her former supervisor—accused her of unsafe childbirth practices. Kärger's colleagues in Frankfurt at the Oder Medical School sided with Sigmund, and Kärger's own statements showed that he lacked her professional knowledge based on practical experience in women's reproductive anatomy, infants, and childbirth.
His allegations did not affect Sigmund's professional employment opportunities. Her experience and ingenuity attracted the attention of Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, who appointed her court midwife in Berlin in 1683. She also acted as royal midwife to Frederick I's sister Marie Amalie, Duchess of Saxony-Zetz, and bore four of her children. At the court of Augustus the Strong in 1696, she helped the Saxon Electress Eberhardine at the birth of her son Frederick Augustus II. At the same time, I attended other births in the Berlin area.

In Leipzig, Andreas Petermann accused her of crimes similar to those for which Kirger had already prosecuted, but due to his relative professional inexperience Siegemund was again able to overcome this challenge to her professional reputation.

Sigmund rarely used early pharmaceuticals or surgical instruments in her practice. By the time she died on November 10, 1705 in Berlin, Sigmund had given birth to approximately 6,200 infants, according to the Berlin deacon who presided over her funeral.
Court Midwife (1690)
Indoor two-hand version for shoulder width

While in the Netherlands, Mary II of Orange suggested that Sigmund author a training manual for midwives. However, it is likely that she had already begun assembling her Court Midwife by this time.

In 1689, traveling from The Hague to Frankfurt on the Oder, Sigmund submitted her draft evidence to the medical school of Frankfurt on the Oder, which approved her medical documents. She had incorporated embryonic and anatomical engravings from Regnier de Graaf and Govard Bidloo, which enhanced their practical usefulness. From April to June 1689, she protected her share of the intellectual property in the volume by obtaining printing privileges from the Electors of Brandenburg and Saxony, as well as the Holy Roman Emperor.

On the basis of careful observations she made during her birth, she published an authoritative text on childbirth entitled The Court Midwife (German: Die Kgl. Preußische und Chur-Brandenburgische Hof-Wehemutter) in 1690. On 28 March 1690 she endorsed Almer Mater Viadrina as a book. The book is written in the form of a dialogue between her and Christina, the student. The court midwife was methodical and evidence-based in presenting and managing possible birth complications, including problems such as poor presentations, cord problems and placental previa. In the textbook, Siegemund gave a solution to a shoulder-width delivery, in those days a catastrophic situation often resulted in the death of the child and possibly the mother. She made a two-handed intervention to rotate the baby in the womb, securing one end with a sling. She is also credited (along with François Morisot) with finding a way to deal with bleeding of the placenta praevia by puncturing the amniotic sac.

After Siegemund's death, The Court Midwife underwent several republishings, including those in Berlin (1708) and Leipzig (1715 and 1724), with alterations that include ed supporting feminist citations. Republications in 1723, 1741, 1752, and 1756 also included accounts of the Kerger and Petermann cases.


On March 28, 2023, as part of its Women's History Month campaign, Google celebrated Sigmund with a doodle that included the United States, United Kingdom, Iceland, Switzerland, Greece, and Germany. [3] [7]