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Into These Hands, Wisdom from Midwives

I’ve been reading Into These Hands for one of my midwifery classes so I thought I would share a little about it with you.

The book is a collection of stories from a variety of midwives who have been involved in birth for over 20 years each.  They represent hospital, birth center and homebirth midwives. They represent DEMs, CPMs and CNMs.  They represent many ethnicities and work everywhere from rural areas to major urban centers.

I’m personally not liking the book as much as I had expected.  I find some of the stories difficult to read due to writing styles and the repetitive nature of the book.  But it is still interesting to learn about the different ways the highlighted women came into midwifery.

My struggle is not really due to the book as much as to who I am and what I am training for.  I am a public health midwife focusing on international issues.  This book is very much written with an agenda for one definition of a midwife that does not fit my international understanding. But that is to be expected.  It is a book for Americans exploring the growth and role of midwives in America.  Since that is my main struggle with the book, I have no reason to think those of you without an international focus will have any frustrations as you read.

You may enjoy this book if you are looking to be inspired by stories of women working against the medical system to promote homebirth.  You may enjoy this book if you would like to see how midwives follow the midwifery model in a variety of practice settings.  You may enjoy this book if you want to learn about personal stories in the evolution of midwifery in America.

 

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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