I realize that not every midwife is interested in epidemiology. So I thought I would balance yesterday’s resource with a more practical, clinical resource. It is the Hesperian Foundation’s Book for Midwives. Even if you never plan to work in a developing country, this book is worth reading twice.
What I find most appealing about the book is the way it teaches simple, low cost solutions to identify health problems. It also does a great job of differentiating the normal from the problem. Best of all, it is written for individuals without medical training. That makes it a great first midwifery book.
When a family seeks information from me about giving birth unassisted, I always recommend they become familiar with this book. I like the tools shared in the book that any family can use to make decisions. I also appreciate the way the book is written without leaving the reader feeling birth is a disaster waiting to happen. This makes the book culturally acceptable to families who would dismiss other educational materials written from a “fear” perspective.
You can download a free copy of the book, but I recommend purchasing the book not only to have a hard copy to study, but also to support the work of the Hesperian Foundation. When you become familiar with the Book for Midwives, you can begin to explore the other books to learn even more low-tech, low-cost tricks to help families maintain their health.