Giving birth is such a personal and emotional experience and I wouldn’t imagine any two labours and births are the same. One thing you so desperately need during this momentous occasion is a midwife that is compassionate, caring and listens to your needs, giving you the support and attention you require.
It is clear from very early on that midwifery was going to be more than just a career for Sheena, she was fulfilling a calling. A loving background, happy and supportive family and empathic nature resulted in a thoughtful and caring midwife who sought not only to provide care to the women she was looking after but aimed to help change and improve the care of women for the future. Not satisfied with just doing a job, but going well beyond the call of duty and helping to make changes that would improve the care of many women, supporting them through their pregnancy, labour and post natal care.
Catching Babies provides wonderful insight into a career in midwifery and the changes that have been made from the 1970 and 80’s to the present day. It documents some of the research and improvements in medical techniques and procedures and just as importantly the changes that have been made to give women choices and the opportunity to make informed decisions about their labour and birth.
Sheena’s story not only describes the different experiences of labour and births but also life experiences, meeting people from different cultures, backgrounds and circumstances. And how these experiences have led her to help found and support wonderful initiatives for those who are vulnerable or need additional support and care such as teen mothers, those who suffer from drug or alcohol abuse or experience mental illness.
The book also outlines Sheena’s attempts to juggle family life (4 children) with a demanding career and the decisions we, as mums, make to strive to get the work life balance right, and how this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of family and friends.
Sheena talks about the wonderful people that have inspired her and influenced her career, from first deciding to become a nurse and then a midwife, to the people she has met throughout her career; both colleagues and women she has looked after. I have no doubt she has inspired many.
From the way she writes you very quickly warm to Sheena and the passion for her vocation is very apparent. The fact that she recalls so many of the births she has been involved in shows how caring and genuinely interested in others she is.
The book in itself is inspirational and should give much encouragement to others following their callings or vocations and as in Sheena’s story, there will be set backs as well as triumphs.
Catching Babies is a wonderful memoir following the career and life of an exceptional midwife, woman and mother, who has achieved an incredible amount in her career spanning 35 years.
If you’re a fan of TV shows like ‘One Born Every Minute’ and ‘Call The Midwife’ then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book. It gives a true insight into what it’s really like to be a midwife and the emotional rollercoaster they experience with the variety of situations they can encounter.
(Headline, paperback, £6.49)
Review by Jill Westhead, morethanmummies.com
Disclosure: More Than Mummies was sent a complimentary copy of this book to review. All views expressed are that of the reviewer.
Available on Amazon
If you would like to win a copy of Catching Babies by Sheena Byrom we have one to give away see www.morethanmummies.com/2012/03/win-a-copy-of-catching-babies-by-sheena-byrom for more details. Closes midnight 8th April
Sheena’s Blog: http://sagefemme.posterous.com
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