Midwifery Today, Issue 143, Autumn 2022.Join Midwifery Today Online Membership Frontline Midwife: My Story of Survival and Keeping Others Safe, by Anna Kent. 2022. (London: Bloomsbury, $18.98, 361 pages, paperback.) I knew by the short review and first few pages that this book was going to be both challenging and rewarding to read. It is an intertwined story of professional and personal survival and one I would you read, but when I am in a “safe” space myself. Anna shares the ups and downs of working with MSF (Médicins sans Frontières—Doctors without Borders). Many of the readers who delve into this book, who would have heard of (or even may have worked with) MSF, may not be prepared for the content. Anna makes no excuses for sharing her amazing stories of birth, life, and death in challenging settings around the world. When I first read about this book, I remember her saying that her work with birthing families could not be further from that of the UK mothers, who chose a pool with whale music playing in the background. I found this difficult, as over my 40 years as a midwife I have seen birth trauma, both physical and psychological, within the National Health Service (NHS). I have experienced the highs and lows of births and, yes, sometimes death, but not on the scale which Anna shares with the reader. Her journey takes us from South Sudan (her first assignment) to Bangledesh (where she cares for Rohingya refugees from Myanmar). Her stories are vivid, realistic, and, in many cases unbelievable—for Western-trained and -based midwives. We learn about the wonderful dedicated staff with whom she works—doctors, nurses, and midwives from all around the world. It is the last group of health professionals and the urgent need for these midwives that brings… Read more…. Media Reviews – Issue 143
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