1. Your book Midwife Wisdom, Mother Love is an excellent guide to help prepare mothers and fathers-to-be for the process of pregnancy and childbirth. Please tell me more about it. What can readers expect to learn?
When I fell pregnant with my first son, Jack, I was already a qualified midwife who’d delivered hundreds of babies. I thought I knew everything there was to know about pregnancy and birth, then I had Jack. Birth and labour were a shock, I couldn’t believe how different it was to what I’d expected it to be.
Lying there in the birth suite with Jack in my arms I remember distinctly thinking that if I was this unprepared, how would a woman who wasn’t a midwife, a woman who knew nothing about birth cope? That was when the idea for Midwife Wisdom, Mother Love was born (excuse the pun). I wanted to write a book that was open and honest, that told the real story of birth, no glossing over, no hidden agendas, just the simple truth told from the heart.
Midwife Wisdom, Mother Love is a combination of both my personal and professional experience covering topics such as anatomy and physiology, ‘the ouch factor’ – how labour will really feel, and it includes my four birth stories which range from just short of a caesarean section to a homebirth.
Women who have read the book have told me that it’s like sitting down with a midwife who’s your best friend and having a heart to heart chat over a cup of coffee. What I hope my readers get from Midwife Wisdom, Mother Love is empowerment and a belief in their own heart, ‘Pregnancy and birth is about your heart, about how you feel inside. Be true to yourself. Listen to everyone’s story but most of all listen to your heart.'
2. If you could provide any mother and father-to-be with a few key pointers, what would they be?
Do antenatal classes, for the insight, but also so your support person feels comfortable and confident. You’re going to need them to be.
Interview as many people as you have to find the right person to look after you during your pregnancy and birth. Take a list of questions and ask all of them, don’t compromise, the right person will be out there, sometimes you have to be patient though.
Think of giving birth as the same as making love, it’s that intimate. Then, when you have that picture in your head, decide who you want at the birth. The one biggest factor influencing your birth is your ability to relax so you need to be extremely comfortable with whoever you decide to have at the birth.
Have a birth plan but make sure it’s flexible. Don’t write it down, instead envisage it as on going conversation between you, your partner and your midwife (or doctor).
Enjoy as much of your pregnancy and your birth as you can, you never know, this could be the last time you do it.
Remember, women’s bodies are made for giving birth; you have waited (even if you don’t know it) your whole life to do this, embrace it and be in awe at your ability to open and welcome a new life.
3. As a mother of four, is Midwife Wisdom, Mother Love based on personal or professional experience? Or a combination of both?
A combination of both my personal and professional experience. My own four birth stories are in the book, they show you from a very personal angle what birth is like and also help to illustrate how one woman can experience birth in so many different ways.