Media Review

Midwifery Today, Issue 142, Summer 2022.
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Powerful Postpartum, by Kelly Van Zandt. (New York: BookBaby, $12, 112 pages, Kindle.)

This is an interesting book, with each chapter starting with a quote. The end of each chapter offers time for reflection and a poem.

Kelly writes that becoming a new mother provides a threshold into transformation. e postpartum period offers the tools for that transformation.

The chapters that cover birth, self, service (an integral element of early motherhood) through resistance, and love (powerful experience of love as a guiding light) all add new elements not covered by other books. The book also offers and exporation of loss. This includes loss of “autonomy, positive body image, spontaneity, time, individuality, position in society, independence, and control, to name a few.”

Kelly takes the reader through time, witness, presence, and self-care to a quote on parenting “He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” —Tao Te Ching

The book concludes on the postpartum journey with a discussion of patience, worldly endeavors, and support. The reflection on patience asks the reader to “[c]onsider your most recent incident of impatience or patience. What external factors impacted your level of patience? How did your internal state relate to your level of patience?”

The concluding quote is relevant to me as a midwife, so I will finish this review with it:

The greatest privilege of a human life is to become a midwife to the awakening of the soul in another person.”—Plato

About Author: Dianne Garland

Dianne Garland, FRCM, SRN, RM, ADM, PGCEA, MSc, is a freelance midwife and the owner and founder of

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