Denis Walsh and I were invited to edit Birth Stories for the Soul in 2009, and it was a joy to collect and collate birth stories from mothers, grandmothers, midwives, obstetricians, fathers, siblings etc. The pleasure came in reading about the author’s special event and taking time to feel the emotion in the words. In the forward of the book, Denis states:
Women like to tell their stories of childbirth, and midwives are frequently the listener. Childbirth is replete with human drama and emotion where adversity and triumph walk hand in hand and facilitating a time where midwives can recount stories from their practice aims to promote debate and discussion and will act as a corrector to the bias of the clinical record.
Nadine Edwards wrote a detailed and positive review in AIMS which includes:
The stories are shocking, inspiring, distressing, heartening, despairing and deeply, deeply moving. The impact of a traumatic birth experience and its potential for undermining self-esteem, hope, and family relationships compared with the empowerment of a positive experience are now so well documented by research and by women’s, midwives’, partners’, and other’s accounts, it seems unconscionable not to introduce caseloading midwifery, make more provision for home birth and Birth Centre births, and ensure that midwives have the training, skills and knowledge to provide women with care that is physically, emotionally and culturally safe for them. Childbirth and midwifery groups have been campaigning for this, there are midwives who want to do this – why are they being prevented from doing this?
If you read the book, it would be good to have your thoughts too!