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A look at the world of modern midwifery through the eyes of a practicing NHS midwife This was an easy read for me, and one I was able to finish over the course of a day Like others within its genre, the author recounts stories of memorable patients alongside observations of the realities of the job.Each chapter is handily labelled, although some are only a couple of pages long It was interesting to read about patients with exceptional stories and heartbreaking to read others The author is not necessarily the most experienced midwife, which she acknowledges, and there is an absence of the social and economic issues surrounding childbirth and perhaps importantly the experience of women going through a variety of complicated pregnancy losses such as ectopics, missed miscarriages and molar pregnancies There is also no mention of the authors own stance on termination of pregnancy, which would have been a valued contribution to the theme of the book Several opportunities to discuss ethical issues were sadly missed here The author describes challenges within the NHS which effect any patient facing member of staff However, she also describes her awe at her colleagues and patients for their strength and determination This would be a good book for student midwives and those interested in the profession generally It doesn t paint a full picture, but it s a good starting point. (((Download Ebook))) ↺ Hard Pushed ⇦ No Sleep For Twenty Hours No Food For Ten And A Ward Full Of Soon To Be Mothers Welcome To The Life Of A Midwife Life On The NHS Front Line, Working Within A System At Breaking Point, Is Extreme Than You Could Ever Imagine From The Bloody To The Beautiful, From Moments Of Utter Vulnerability To Remarkable Displays Of Strength, From Camaraderie To Raw Desperation, From Heart Wrenching Grief To The Pure, Perfect Joy Of A New Born Baby, Midwife Leah Hazard Has Seen It AllThrough Her Eyes, We Meet Eleanor, Whose Wife Is A Walking Miracle Of Modern Medicine, Their Baby A Feat Of Reproductive Science Crystal, Pregnant At Just Fifteen, The Precarious, Flickering Life Within Her Threatening To Come Far Too Soon Star, Birthing In A Room Heady With Essential Oils And Love Until An Enemy Intrudes And Pei Hsuan, Who Has Carried Her Tale Of Exploitation And Endurance Thousands Of Miles To Somehow Find Herself At The Open Door Of Leah S WardMoving, Compassionate And Intensely Candid, Hard Pushed Is A Love Letter To New Mothers And To Leah S Fellow Midwives There For Us At Some Of The Most Challenging, Empowering And Defining Moments Of Our Lives I enjoyed this book, as a woman who has given birth twice with no issues I found it an emotional read and was fascinated in the workings of a labour ward and delivery suite Reminded me how precious life is and what we take for granted with our amazing NHS We are incredibly lucky to have such an amazing healthcare system with such hard working staff Thanks for the opportunity to read and review this book. Hard Pushed A Midwife s Story, by Leah Hazard, provides a timely reminder of how valuable the NHS is, and of the appalling demands currently being made of front line staff The author is a working midwife and shares stories of cases she has dealt with, and the conflicts regularly faced due to the spectre of rules and a lack of resources It is not, however, polemic Written with grace and generosity, this candid memoir presents the business of birth with clear eyed understanding of expectations and reality There may be a great many bodily fluids to contend with but bringing a baby into the world remains an emotional event.The births described are those that were memorable, mostly due to complications, many unforeseen These include the young mother who is still a child herself the woman who became pregnant thanks to IVF and whose partner now has cancer the rape victim the prospective mother suffering a serious illness Between each case study are notes in which the author muses on such subjects as thwarted assumptions being human the many challenges of the job She has to deal courteously with colleagues who have contentious opinions When mistakes are made they can have far reaching consequences.The author writes of a new mother whose own mother undermines her confidence with well meaning suggestions, and how a midwife must support but never interfere She writes of birth plans, birthing pools, FGM and death She describes the mind numbing exhaustion faced by staff working lengthy shifts in over crowded wards where medical emergencies leave labouring women unattended The professional script she must follow is designed to both minimise patient concern and protect the midwife.The intense and unpredictable daily demands lead to regular burn outs, something to which the author is not immune The job takes a physical and mental toll that can be a challenge to sustain.This is a fluently structured and fascinating account of a job that, even as a mother of three, I had not fully appreciated I feel angry on behalf of these hard working professionals for the way our healthcare system is being managed and funded.Yet the warmth and compassion with which this book is written provides a beguiling and entertaining read The balance achieved is impressive recommended for all. This was a wonderful medical memoir written by a practising midwife.Until I read this memoir I d never thought about how hard mentally, emotionally and physically it is to be a midwife Probably because before, during and after pregnancy all I was thinking about was the baby and how I was feeling Never in a million years did I consider how the midwives were feeling or how their days were going.This book was a real eye opener and made me appreciate all the incredibly hard work that goes into being a midwife Each chapters gives an account about a patient and their journey of pregnancy and birth, involving Leah and her colleagues Some are uplifting, others are heartbreaking, but all are beautifully written and deserve to be shared far and wide.One of my favourite chapters was Olivia Mother Knows Best , the one about breastfeeding This reminded me of when I struggled to begin breastfeeding my baby now 18 and how I couldn t have done it without the midwives help.The saddest chapters were about stillbirths, and how heartbreaking it was for the mothers and midwives, it brought tears to my eyes.If you enjoyed the Call The Midwife books and TV series I like I did, I definitely recommend this modern day equivalent.Thanks so much to NetGalley and Cornerstone Digital for my digital copy. Leah Hazard was and still is a real midwife who has decided to share her personal journey from her first day as a student on the labour ward to present day There is sheer joy, heartache and understaffing where no day is ever the same, it is literally a warts and all account of midwifery.What does come across in the book is the strong bond between these midwives that can call upon each other for help when things are not running to a textbook birth No matter how many babies a woman has each one is unique through pregnancy, labour, and birth It really is an anything can happen event Leah shared the highs and lows of the job and how certain people make an everlasting impression The rule equipping a room for every new mum is to prepare for the worst and hope you just don t need all these torturous looking instruments.From the textbook birth to stillborn babies Leah takes the reader sensitively through them all Even with today s technology, some things are not picked up from blood tests or scans This leaves the midwife in a position of keeping a mum and any other family members calm while a pediatrician is sent for Heartbreaking and shocking for all Although distressing for the midwife they have to stay professional, seeing to the medical and emotional needs of the mother as well as cleaning and preparing the baby for the parent or parents to spend time.Leah has written a hard reality check novel on the work life of a midwife whose job must be emotionally draining as well as so very rewarding sometimes two or three times a day or night A book every woman thinking of becoming a midwife or mum should read I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly. This was an honest but gentle account of what it is like to be a midwife in the NHS in the UK A peek into the world of the midwife, a job which is exhausting and exhilarating and requires superhuman strength of character and body As a registered nurse, I found Leah s story very interesting indeed I recall my own first steps as a nurse, as well as a couple of placements in maternity during my training, and I am in awe of midwives everywhere Loved the stories of some of the different births she attended, as well as her honesty at the toll being a midwife has taken on her personal life and her body Of course, she is right that funding is always decreasing for health and you have to do , with less It isn t fair and I hope that government realise that cutting funding to health services is really cutting off your nose despite your face Without courageous midwives like Leah and her colleagues and my friend Wendy, who is also an amazing midwife , the world would be a far poorer place and women and their babies would be at risk, physically and psychologically 5 stars from me Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK. Hard to forget A warts and all expos of life inside an NHS labour ward Emotionally wringing, it hits home.We all know that the NHS is stretched Most of us accept that the people within it are doing the best they can under insurmountable odds and ever changing goalposts Leah Hazard takes us inside the stirring doors of the maternity suites, where tears are shed and lives are changed And where midwives give their hearts and bodies to bring babies into the world safely.For any parent, this is an affecting read Having been in these wards twice, I could see that I had not really seen everything around me that staff were doing, and just how punishing a career it is Hazard takes us through the embarrassments and trials of the student midwife, then through case studies of various prospective mothers and their stories, some shocking, some moving, all very real The story though isn t the mothers and their babies, but how the midwives supporting them work on their behalf constantly, even to their own physical and mental detriment.I admit to breaking down a few times whilst reading this It would be hard not to Hazard s honesty and self effacing style are impassioned and evocative Her memories of long shifts, working through exhaustion and fever, queues of mothers with nowhere to be sent, running to stand still it not only moves the reader but made me angry.There were moments of lighthearted joy and delight as well A colleague recognised my Groundhog Day glaze when she came into the room Same old sh t, different shovel These are professionals, struggling in a vocation that spits them out mercilessly.I would consider this a rather important book for our government and health authorities to peruse, without needing to enter the hospital corridors themselves, they will soon understand the problems from Hazard s own experiences.Don t read this expecting an Adam Kay This is Going to Hurt laugh fest while there are a few moments of hilarity, the shock and sorrow, sweat and slog demonstrated here puts this in another category.Hard to shake, this will leave you respecting the profession and its weary residents even than we do already.With thanks to Netgalley for providing a sample reading copy. Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.comHard Pushed is a novel I just didn t want to put down, because the content although not something I could relate to myself directly I haven t had any children or helped anyone give birth and the stories and information within Hard Pushed s pages are completely fascinating I loved reading about the different women and their families that author Leah Hazard has helped during her career, and also the shorter but no less interesting chapters on general musings or thoughts on being a midwife in the NHS today It s scary how much pressure is put on midwives and their teams with so little funding and support and yet they do such an important and amazing job.At times in fact, a lot of the time it can be incredibly emotionally and physically draining, and this occupation alongside of course nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals deserves far support than is given to them by this current government It never feels overly preachy, though Leah Hazard makes it clear that there are elements to the job which need to be changed or altered if they are to do help women and their babies to the best of their ability, but she strikes the right balance between being clear on these issues and also reverting back to interesting, sometimes lighter stories and annecdotes.I raced through this in a matter of hours, and only wish it had been longer I d happily sit and listen to Leah talk for much longer about her experiences, or read further books by her. My first medical memoir and a beautifully written tribute to the world of NHS midwifery So many books about childbirth are sugar coated, they over romanticise birth in an attempt not to frighten new mothers but Leah Hazard is a practising midwife and her account of the miracles and tragedies involved in childbirth seems authentic and brave.I was so impressed with her lack of judgment and honesty in her recounting of many scenarios Having given birth myself I thought that I knew a lot about the world of midwifery but there s to it than I thought, particularly in terms of how emotionally burned out these women can become A must read for everyone Particularly for ministers of health.