As a midwife I get asked a lot of questions. Sometimes questions can be answered easily, but often I feel as though we just don’t have enough time to really explain everything properly. I thought there must be a way of me spending more time with women to properly explain things. The digital world, social media and blogs are great, but they can still be limiting. I love reading myself and spend hours in the library gaining insight from other experts so when the opportunity to write The Modern Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond came about I well and truly grabbed it with both hands and wasn’t letting go.
It was a tough and challenging process and I did initially underestimate this. There were days when I would look at the blank word document, look at my deadline and word count and back at the blank document wondering how the hell I would fill all those pages. But after an hour or so things always started to flow, I read mums’ stories and advice for inspiration on the difficult days and remained patient with myself.
I also fell pregnant myself for the first time in the last editing round and that was really special. I was able to interject some of my first-hand experience and offer the support to someone else that I had needed.
I really hope the book fills in any gaps, and provides the key information you really need to know about all the common questions that are on most pregnant women’s minds. My aim is to help you understand and manage each stage of your transition into mumhood so that you can make informed choices every step of the way, understand what is happening in your body, be in control and feel powerful. I wanted to share with you the most important and amazing things I have learned during my time as a midwife and mum to be.
Having a baby is hands-down one of the biggest events that will ever happen in your life. It probably feels as though there is so much you need to know, so many changes going on, and so much to plan for and consider. At times, knowing what’s right for you and your baby, planning your birth and becoming someone’s mum can all be very overwhelming. Know that this is totally normal.
One of the biggest problems for the modern mum is not scarcity of information but actually an information overload. And much of the information we are exposed to, particularly in the media, is not always reliable. The information in the book is based on the latest research and evidence, real mum stories and my years of experience as a midwife working with hundreds of women throughout their pregnancy and birth journeys.
Modern mums are faced with an overwhelming amount of options, opinions and advice, and are asked to make a lot of complex decisions. It can be hard to take it all in and process it, but there’s really no rush. Take your time. Read about what you need or want to know in the book when the time feels right for you. Understanding what really goes on in pregnancy, birth and in those early days as a new mum makes a big difference to how you feel about it. Knowledge is power, after all. How you give birth matters and planning for your time as a postnatal woman will change your entire experience of it. Most people’s version of birth is based on what they see in films and on TV, which generally looks something like this: a woman lying on her back under bright lights screaming, a doctor delivers the baby, she stops screaming and holds the baby wrapped in a towel and everyone smiles.
Birth doesn’t usually look like that. We need to create a more realistic – and positive – view of birth.
Overall I hope The Modern Midwife’s Guide peels back the layers to help you easily navigate pregnancy, birth and your postnatal period.
The Modern Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond