The Birthkeeper of Bethlehem: A Midwife's Tale

ISSN 2516-5852 (Online)

AIMS Journal, 2022, Vol 34, No 4

To read or download this Journal as a PDF. Please click here.

The Birthkeeper of Bethlehem: A Midwife's Tale

By Bridget Supple

Published by Bridget Supple, 2021

ISBN-13: ‎978-1916339514

Paperback, 165 pages

At time of writing, this book is £9.99 on Amazon

Please note that a revised version of the book is also available from Womancraft Publishing.

Cover of the book

Reviewed for AIMS by Mary Newburn

How did Mary end up giving birth in a stable? Was it simply that the inn was full, or was it something else? What are the parallels between this much-celebrated birth and contemporary issues around birth and the maternity services?

In this book, antenatal teacher Bridget Supple uses her knowledge of birth to retell the familiar story in cultural context. Bridget’s wonderful storytelling skills offer a highly credible retelling from a fictional midwife’s perspective, transporting the reader back in time to witness the events as they unfold.

There is much in this book to excite one’s interest. The physiology of birth, birth as women's space, and community and neighbourhood support for birth. Bridget weaves these important and sometimes overlooked themes into a well-paced narrative.

A great Christmas read for anyone interested in childbirth. Food for thought for anyone grappling with what makes for safe and personalised maternity care, 2000 years later.

Reviewer Bio: Mary Newburn is a service user researcher and activist, co-founder of the Midwifery Unit Network, and former Head of NCT Research and Information.

The AIMS Journal spearheads discussions about change and development in the maternity services..

AIMS Journal articles on the website go back to 1960, offering an important historical record of maternity issues over the past 60 years. Please check the date of the article because the situation that it discusses may have changed since it was published. We are also very aware that the language used in many articles may not be the language that AIMS would use today.

To contact the editors, please email:

We make the AIMS Journal freely available so that as many people as possible can benefit from the articles. If you found this article interesting please consider supporting us by becoming an AIMS member or making a donation. We are a small charity that accepts no commercial sponsorship, in order to preserve our reputation for providing impartial, evidence-based information. You can make donations at Peoples Fundraising. To become an AIMS member or join our mailing list see Join AIMS

AIMS supports all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaigns for a system which truly meets the needs of all.

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