MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK
I mean…WOW…what a book!! This is written from the perspective of an NHS midwife (previously a Doula) who highlights the extreme pressures that face maternity care here in the U.K. It is full of passion, heroism, joy, love, trepidation, confrontation, a love for her work and then a hate for her work. So many parts of this book scream out for help and urgent help at that, but no one is listening. She writes her blueprint for a better maternity system within the NHS (which sounds AMAZING by the way! Just turn to page 179 to read that bit!) But something that really stands out for me is when there was this recognition that the word ‘Midwife’ indeed does mean ‘with woman’ however, a student midwife very accurately corrected their job to actually being ‘with paperwork.’
Heartbreaking. Absolutely soul destroying for all those midwives who are desperate to create change for all of us who birth our babies within the NHS (which is a very large majority) and they really do want to be ‘with woman’ but they just can’t, as they have so many other jobs to do.
I urge absolutely everybody to read this book actually. It is enlightening and has been written to truly show you why Midwives are absolutely stretched to their limits, even pre-covid. Many of my families have very positive experiences with the care their receive when birthing their babies, however, there are two sides to that coin and there are also many families who are severely let down by the care they receive. It shouldn’t be a case of ‘pot luck’ as to whether you receive great care or not on the day your baby is born.
A friend of mine who has been a practising midwife for 22 years has only performed 3 episiotomies during her entire career so far. However, she says there are certain members of her team who are very ’scissor happy’ and perform episiotomies almost like routine for no rhyme or reason! It is ESSENTIAL for you to feel so, so confident when you walk through those doors of the hospital (although really, if you are low-risk I truly do believe your care providers should be coming to you and bending over backwards to make you comfortable and birth in your own safe environment, because do you know what? Birth is actually very straightforward when the mother is left well alone.) However, that’s another blog post altogether!
If there is one thing I urge you to do, it is to order this book NOW and read it as soon as you get it. It will either:
open your eyes to the care you are about to receive.
bring closure to you to understand why you did receive the sporadic care when you gave birth
thank your lucky stars that you laboured and gave birth where all the care and attention was dedicated to you (fairly rare these days)
highlight the huge praise we should give our maternity services day in, day out
encourage you to join certain charities that will help create change for a better maternity system here in our NHS.
Find Amity on instagram at @amity.reed to purchase her book, or you can find it on Amazon and also at Waterstones.