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, developed a passion for midwifery in 1983. Her subsequent energy and enthusiasm for developing and expanding a new practice led her to teaching about waterbirth in 1989; a subject which has remained extremely close to her heart ever since. Dianne works clinically in a local hospital supporting low- and high-complex mothers and babies through childbirth.

After over 40 years in the NHS, she started her own company, MidwifeExpert, in 2005. In this role, she lectures and consults internationally, as well as offering other specialist services such as Expert Legal Witness and Care Quality Commission Inspections. She currently holds professional roles within respected public and private bodies including APEC (Action on PreEclampsia), NICE UK, Gentle Birth Guardian Education, Waterbirth International (USA), Wenzhou Oriental Maternity Unit (China), Wellness Mother and Baby Hyderabad (India), and advisory panel for MMF.

Dianne has published four books on waterbirth. In 2019, she was awarded RCM fellowship for her worldwide contribution to waterbirth research, teaching, and clinical work.

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