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Friday, 16 March 2012

Catching Babies by Sheena Byrom

Catching Babies: A Midwife's Tale 

The inspirational story of life as a midwife. From her very first day as a nervous student nurse in Blackburn to the dedicated completion of her nursing qualifications and her training as a midwife in Burnley, Sheena Byrom has never once looked back, enjoying a thirty-five-year career with the NHS. Catching Babies is a moving account of an extraordinary career. It reveals the unique experiences that filled Sheena's days as she looked after overwhelmed mums and dads and helped to bring their precious babies into the world. At the forefront of evolving medical practices, she was the first midwife to oversee a home water birth in her area, but also found herself at the centre of a traumatic delivery that resulted in a nine-year litigation case and tested her to her limits. Yet, whatever has come Sheena's way, ultimately, there are the strong mothers who taught her so much and the little miracles who have made every single moment as a midwife truly magical. 

Like many other people, I have been enjoying the BBC adaptation of Call the Midwives by Jennifer Worth and picked up this book with great interest. I was certainly not disappointed.

The book is written by Sheena Byrom, a midwife who has enjoyed 35 years working for the NHS. The book begins with Sheena's first stay in hospital, aged 8, where she was influenced to train as a nurse, and later as a midwife and follow relatives into the profession.

There are plenty of tales from Sheena about her life as a student nurse, midwife and qualified midwife and then as she began to take part in moving midwifery into the modern age - allowing mothers more choices and standing up to the powers that be that said no. 

I would recommend this book to student midwives for them to see how midwifery has changed over the years - from the point of view of the midwives. It is a piece of social history which all students should read. Sheena Byrom has done a lot for midwifery and I would of loved a midwife like her looking after me through my two deliveries.

A great read and if you loved 'call the midwife' I recommend this to you all.

I would like to thank the publishers, Headline, for sending me the book to review.

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