Tuesday 7 December 2021

Book review: 'The Secret Midwife'

Image of a book cover. The background is of a caucasian woman in scrubs with her hair up. Text reads 'The Secret Midwife: Life, death and the truth about birth'.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I thoroughly loved this book and it was something different to my usual genre of book and I'm intrigued to listen to more memoir/confessional books.

The book is written by a midwife who remained anonymous and she shared in her book in a chronological fashion. At 17 she didn't know where to take her life and then went on a midwifery taster course and loved it and she knew then that that was her vocation. At 17 she started her 3 year midwifery diploma. She took the reader through her training as a midwife until she qualified and proudly put on her blue dress for her first shift as a qualified midwife. 

The book followed the highs and lows of her career and she went into such detail including the medical aspects and I learnt so much about the role midwives play and all the complications that can happen. As well as that she also shared her person life; how she broke off a long term relationship and then found her husband and their relationship and life together, her miscarriage of her first baby and then the birth of her daughter. 

In the book she also shared the changes of her role as an NHS worker as the years passed by. The way management changed, new protocols and changes to NICE guidelines and work practices. As well as this she also spoke of how it was like to work for the NHS and the strain on resources, lack of support in certain areas such as giving evidence in court and chronic staff shortages. In the book the author shared how this ultimately lead her to having a mental breakdown and having time off work due to anxiety and depression.

Each book touched on different topics and themes of the job such as her midwifery training, baby loss, mental health in motherhood, babies born in corridors and in toilets, Dad's delivering their baby as there was no time to get to the hospital, birthing complications, surrogate women, different cultures and how this affects the delivery of a baby among many other things.

It was a totally different book to the ones I've been listening to for quite a while now and I throughly loved this book and I've already sought out similar books. I learnt a lot about the role a midwife, what they do and so much more. That whole side of healthcare I'd never given much thought to and I now admire the complex role midwives play within the NHS. 

As I listened to the book I followed the highs and lows of the different men and women the author featured in the book. There where funny moments and more somber elements. It's a book I would defiantly recommend.