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The inspirational story of life as a midwife. From her very first day as a nervous student nurse in Blackburn to the dedicated completion of her nursing qualifications and her training as a midwife in Burnley, Sheena Byrom has never once looked back, enjoying a thirty-five-year career with the NHS. Catching Babies is a moving account of an extraordinary career. It reveals the unique experiences that filled Sheena's days as she looked after overwhelmed mums and dads and helped to bring their precious babies into the world. At the forefront of evolving medical practices, she was the first midwife to oversee a home water birth in her area, but also found herself at the centre of a traumatic delivery that resulted in a nine-year litigation case and tested her to her limits. Yet, whatever has come Sheena's way, ultimately, there are the strong mothers who taught her so much and the little miracles who have made every single moment as a midwife truly magical.
Childbirth is a quintessential family event that simultaneously holds great promise and runs the risk of danger. By the late nineteenth century, the birthing room had become a place where the goals of the new scientific professional could be demonstrated, but where traditional female knowledge was in conflict with the new ways. Here the choice of attendants and their practices defined gender, ethnicity, class, and the role of the professional. Using the methodology of social science theory, particularly quantitative statistical analysis and historical demography, Charlotte Borst examines the effect of gender, culture, and class on the transition to physician-attended childbirth. Earlier studies have focused on physician opposition to midwifery, devoting little attention to the training for and actual practice of midwifery. As a result, until now we knew little about the actual conditions of the midwife's education and practice. Catching Babies is the first study to examine the move to physician-attended birth within the context of a particular community. It focuses on four representative counties in Wisconsin to study both midwives and physicians within the context of their community. Borst finds that midwives were not pushed out of practice by elitist or misogynist obstetricians. Instead, their traditional, artisanal skills ceased to be valued by a society that had come to embrace the model of disinterested, professional science. The community that had previously hired midwives turned to physicians who shared ethnic and cultural values with the very midwives they replaced.
Birth, and death. Two ends of the same spectrum. And sometimes the only person standing between is a tired, overworked resident with personal problems of her own. Welcome to the world of Catching Babies. In the halls of a busy metropolitan teaching hospital, a group of OB/GYN doctors complete their residencies and embark on ambitious careers, all while trying to hold their lives together at the seams. Jay is running from a life he’s tried to leave behind, while Katie sacrifices everything she has to serve an endless parade of needy patients. Anna is out trying to save the world, while Tracy is trying to save twins dying in utero. Based on true stories from delivery rooms and labor decks, Catching Babies spins the doctors’ stories into a gripping mosaic of the obsessions, the anxieties, and the heroism of doctors who have chosen to preside over life’s greatest medical drama—high-risk childbirth.
How often do you hear a doctor saying doctors need to be more accountable, Medicare needs more support and family medicine deserves more respect? Dissident Doctor bristles with refreshingly frank criticisms from inside the health sector, and its author is not just any doctor but a distinguished scientific researcher, veteran medical administrator, Professor Emeritus, recipient of the Order of Canada and lifelong gadfly. In Dissident Doctor, Michael C. Klein intersperses fascinating tales of individual cases with formative elements of his personal life. As the son of American left-wing activists, he grew up singing folk songs about justice and racial equality; as a young doctor his refusal to serve as a military physician during the Vietnam War prompted his immigration to Canada. His early experience working with midwives in Ethiopia—delivering babies using techniques for natural pain relief and without routine episiotomy—were formative, leading him to question many standard but unjustified procedures in Western maternity care. He made many unconventional decisions as a result of his focus on humane medicine, transitioning from a specialization in pediatrics and newborn care to become a family physician, and embracing midwifery before it was approved in Canada. Klein’s determination in the face of great opposition, the strength of his convictions, and his humility and sense of humour drive this powerful story of a life and career dedicated to his patients and his principles.
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Placing babies' lives at the center of her narrative, historian Janet Golden analyzes the dramatic transformations in the lives of American babies during the twentieth century. She examines how babies shaped American society and culture and led their families into the modern world to become more accepting of scientific medicine, active consumers, open to new theories of human psychological development, and welcoming of government advice and programs. Importantly Golden also connects the reduction in infant mortality to the increasing privatization of American lives. She also examines the influence of cultural traditions and religious practices upon the diversity of infant lives, exploring the ways class, race, region, gender, and community shaped life in the nursery and household.

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