The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times is the story of Jennifer Worth who left her comfortable home at the age of 22 to become a midwife. That's interesting enough but young Jennifer became a midwife in a convent in the slums of London's East End after World War II.
She tells of the bomb sites where the kids played and other aspects of London in the 1950's. But it is her relationship with the varied and interesting characters she came into contact with that make the book special. Nuns, prostitutes and even a woman with 24 children became part of this midwife's life.
You will be surprised at how primitive pre-natal and obstetric care was until not too long ago. Worth says, "It is hard to imagine today that until the last century no woman had any specialist obstetric care during pregnancy. The first time a woman would see a doctor or midwife was when she went into labor."
You don't read much about midwives but the stories of the people that Jennifer Worth met and assisted will make you wish there was more.
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