Labour of Love: A personal history of midwifery in Aotearoa - Joan Skinner
Warm, richly detailed and sometimes shocking
Joan Skinner has been a midwife since 1976 and has seen extraordinary change, both in the way women are supported to give birth and in the social and political context in which they become mothers.
Labour of Love weaves her own experiences as a midwife into the story of childbirth in Aotearoa: the increasing emphasis on technology and risk management, the return of midwifery autonomy, the re-acceptance of birth at home, and the efforts to create birthing centres embedded in the communities they serve.
It also describes her more recent work supporting the development of midwifery internationally, especially in countries across Asia, including Afghanistan and North Korea.
Warm, engaging and important, Labour of Love is a story of a woman at her work, holding together the complexity of living and the growth of skill and wisdom. It is a reflection on what it means to be a midwife and a story of the fundamental connections that are made where living begins.