A Midwife’s Story
by Penny Armstrong and Sheryl Feldman
[2006, London: Pinter and Martin; 194 pages, paperback.]
[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 81, Spring 2007, © 2007, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Cheryl K. Smith.]
Originally published 20 years ago, this first-hand account of a midwife to the Amish could have been written today. Penny Armstrong’s experiences come alive in the telling of this story, which shows the unfolding of her midwifery career in a hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, and in the homes of women in Amish Pennsylvania.
In her preface to this edition, Penny notes that “…the work of bringing forth children is an accepted part of their lives, and a way to avoid this work is not a subject of those swirling side conversations. Considering the rising rate of interventions in obstetrics, and the lack of a concomitant improvement in outcome statistics, perhaps it is time to re-examine what a healthy woman actually needs to give birth.”
A Midwife’s Story is a great read, showing homebirth as it really happens and also providing a window on the lives of Amish people.
Reviewer Cheryl K. Smith is managing editor for Midwifery Today and publisher of Ruminations, the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Dairy Goat Magazine, as well as raising a small herd of mini dairy goats in the coast range of Oregon.