The search engine, Google, celebrated the life of Justine Siegemund, a 17th-century midwife responsible for the first comprehensive guide to childbirth in Germany, by using imagery that clearly depicts the unborn child.
Google regularly produces temporary alterations to its logo on its homepage to commemorate a person or event of historical importance. This temporary alteration has come to be called a ‘Google Doodle’. 28 March, as Google explains, was the anniversary of the certification of a pioneering midwifery textbook, The Court MidWife, written by German midwife, Justine Siegemund.
Born in 1636 in Rohnstock, Lower Silesia, now part of Poland, Siegemund’s book was certified on 28 March 1690. It represented a massive step forward in midwifery at a time when the knowledge that midwives accumulated was largely passed on through oral traditions.
As Google explains “After an apprenticeship, Siegemund began her career in midwifery by offering free services to underprivileged women. She soon became known for her ability to safely guide women through difficult births, and word spread quickly to expecting women across the country”.
“Thank you Justine Siegemund for setting the foundation for modern childbirth education!”
She became Court Midwife to the royal family in Berlin and delivered their children.
A Google page explaining the Doodle says “Thank you Justine Siegemund for setting the foundation for modern childbirth education! Your legacy still inspires physicians to take a page out of your book — to make labor and delivery safer for all.”
As part of the Doodle, the altered Google logo depicts an unborn child being guided out of the womb by the hands of a midwife.
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “Google can hardly be said to be a pro-life company but it is encouraging that they choose to celebrate a woman who was deeply committed to helping women and their babies.”