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Midwifery Professor publishes new edition of 'The Midwife's Tale'

29 November 2013

Thumbnail of book cover, 'The Midwife's Tale'

Professor Billie Hunter, School of Healthcare Sciences, has published a new edition of her book, co-written with Professor Nicky Leap of King's College London, titled 'The Midwife's Tale'.

Nicky Leap and Billie Hunter spent several years interviewing dozens of mothers and retired midwives about their experiences of childbirth before the NHS. The result was The Midwife's Tale, an oral history of midwifery from the 1910s to the 1950s. The authors explore the very real poverty of the time; how woman coped with rearing large families; and the lack of knowledge of contraception and abortion. Gripping accounts of women's experiences are set against an informative background of events in the midwifery profession, particularly the transition from unqualified 'handywoman' to professional midwife in the 1930s. The book conveys not only the passion and dedication that the midwives held for their clients, but the admiration which was felt for them in return.

Following in the wake of Call the Midwife, the BBC's most successful drama series in a decade, this is an updated second edition of The Midwife's Tale. This new edition includes a foreword by Lesley Page, President of the Royal College of Midwives.

Billie Hunter was born in 1953 in South London. After training as a midwife in 1979, Billie worked in a rural GP unit in Wales, as an independent midwife in London and as a health visitor in the Outer Hebrides, covering remote islands. Since 1992, Billie has lived in Wales and has been engaged in midwifery teaching and research, gaining her PhD in 2002. She was appointed as Professor of Midwifery at Swansea University in 2006 and as Royal College of Midwives Professor of Midwifery at Cardiff University in 2012.

Nicky Leap was born in 1948 and grew up in the West Country, England. She became a National Childbirth Trust (NCT) teacher in the 1970s and was a youth and community worker in London before training to be a midwife. For more than 30 years Nicky has worked in a variety of roles in midwifery practice, education and research. She is an Adjunct Professor of Midwifery at the University of Technology, Sydney. Nicky divides her time between living in Bristol (UK) and Sydney (Australia).

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2013 ISBN: 9781781593745 256 Pages PB £14.99 Illustrated