Birth is one of the most defining, ubiquitous moments of human existence and there, from the very start to the very end, are the midwives who help us navigate it safely.
Strongest advocate, best friend, expert, cheerleader and chief photographer . . . Before, during and after labour the role of a midwife is second to none. The Secret Midwife reveals the highs and lows on the frontline of the maternity unit, from the mother who tries to give herself a DIY caesarean to the baby born into witness protection, and from surprise infants that arrive down toilets to ones that turn up in the lift.
But there is a problem; the system which is supposed to support the midwives and the women they care for is starting to crumble. Short-staffed, over worked and underappreciated - these crippling conditions are taking their toll on the dedicated staff doing their utmost to uphold our National Health Service, and the consequences are very serious indeed.
The Secret Midwife is a heart-breaking, engrossing and important read. At once joyful and profoundly shocking, this is the story of birth, straight from the delivery room.