Photo by Laura Chouette
Media Reviews – Issue 143
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
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. View all posts by Dianne Garland and Cheryl K. Smith
About Author: Cheryl K. Smith
Cheryl K. Smith has been managing editor for Midwifery Today since 2017 and from 2005–2009. She edited several books published by Motherbaby Press, including Placenta: The Gift of Life (2007), Survivor Moms: Women’s Stories of Birthing, Mothering and Healing after Sexual Abuse (2008), and The Power of Women (2009). She has raised miniature dairy goats since 1998 and is the author of Goat Health Care (karmadillo Press, 2009 and 2019), Raising Goats for Dummies (Wiley, 2010 and 2021), and Goat Midwifery (karmadillo Press, 2020), as well as many articles in various magazines. View all posts by Dianne Garland and Cheryl K. Smith