Narrative Medicine and the Renewal of Midwifery Practice in the Twenty-first Century

On Christmas Day a few years ago, I was having dinner with my family but I was on-call for an expectant mama—and I got the call letting me know her labor had started. I hopped in my car and drove northeast from the San Francisco Bay Area toward Sacramento, taking the appropriate exits from I-80 to the backroads that led to a nice suburban house where the kind-hearted couple were waiting for me to arrive.
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About Author: Jane Beal

Jane Beal, PhD, is a writer, educator, and midwife. She has served with homebirth practices in the Chicago, Denver, and San Francisco metro areas and in birth centers in the US, Uganda, and the Philippines. She is the author of Epiphany: Birth Poems, Transfiguration: A Midwife’s Birth Poems, and The Lives of Midwives from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment (in progress). She currently serves as the educational director for BirthWorks International and teaches at the University of La Verne in southern California. To learn more, please visit and

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