Louise Bourgeois (1563–1636)

Louise Bourgeois was a pioneering female medical practitioner who overcame significant opposition to qualify as a midwife and went on to enjoy an exceptionally successful career as midwife and medical writer. As far as we know, her first publication of ‘Diverse Observations’ in 1609 was the first work published by any midwife. It was widely celebrated, and helped to improve the status of her field and to pave the way for subsequent generations of female midwives.