To read or download this Journal in a magazine format on ISSUU, please click here
Pinter & Martin, 3rd Edition, 2017 (first published 1986)
Paperback, 238 pages
I first read this book in the late 80s and it inspired my sister (then living in an Amish-settled area of Maryland) and me to take a road trip to Lancaster County in Pennsylvania to visit the Amish country where Penny Armstrong worked. Thirty years on, it has the same effect – the glimpse it gives of the land-focussed, seasonal and sustainable life of the Amish people is tantalising and increasingly relevant. Of course, the Amish lifestyle raises as many questions as it answers, not the least of which is its patriarchal basis. But one is still left with the feeling that, whilst the Amish may have held on to the bathwater as well as the baby, they nonetheless have a message for the world.
Widespread homebirth, quiet support for midwives, community support for new families and young children, universal breastfeeding, acceptance of unavoidable perinatal bereavement, calm and quiet approaches to labour are all part of the Amish way and described in this book. The Amish narrative is interlaced with Penny Armstrong's own story of becoming a midwife and then becoming a midwife to the Amish of Lancaster County. It is a relatively short and easy read, and again left me wanting more, especially to know more about the inner lives of the women whose birth stories it tells.
I am glad that Pinter & Martin have decided to reprint “A Midwife's Story”, as it is an interesting account both of becoming a midwife and then how a midwife becomes part of the life of a specific community. Being the midwife to a defined population, living among and being available to that population (“Call the Midwife” also illustrates this) is something that has become sorely tenuous in most parts of the UK. The ideal of “Better Births” is to re-establish these links, and this book demonstrates why community-focussed midwifery is so important and mutually beneficial for midwives and families.
Reviewed for AIMS by Deborah Hughes
AIMS Journal, 2019, Vol 31, No 4 Reviewed for AIMS by Jo Dagustun Mothership By Francesca Segal Chatto and Windus, 2019 288 pages £14.99 ISBN 978-1-78474-269-0 Find this…Read more
AIMS Journal, 2019, Vol 31, No 4 Reviewed for AIMS by Emma Mason Eleven Hours By Pamela Erens Published by Tin House Books 2016 ISBN 978-1941040294 176 pages Publisher's…Read more
AIMS Journal, 2019, Vol 31, No 4 Reviewed for AIMS by Clara Hubbard, age 12 The Breast Book: A puberty guide with a difference - it's the when, why and how of breasts By…Read more
Registration for the NICE Annual Conference 2020 will open on 22 January 2020. For more details and to register your interest, please visit http://www.niceconference.org.…Read more
The theme of IMUK's 2020 National Conference 2020 is The Science Behind The Art of Midwifery. Speakers to be announced and tickets will be released soon. Information is a…Read more
The Northern Maternity & Midwifery Festival will be returning on Thursday 9th July 2020. There is a call for papers and award nominations are being accepted. For more inf…Read more
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) recently launched a public consultation on two draft documents they have produced. Both documents were in the…Read more
AIMS has responded to the Hull Daily Mail's article entitled, " https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/health/baby-born-bus-stop-shoelace-3571474 ". 26 November 2019 Dear E…Read more
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) plays a key role in the ongoing quality assurance and regulation of the maternity services and its staff. Effective and efficient…Read more