The Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent

Just cleaning up over at the Wallypop blog, and thought I’d move this post over here.


<img alt=”” src=”; />I just finished Peggy Vincent’s Baby Catcher. What a great book! I highly recommend it for ANYONE!

This book is like a breath of fresh air, the perfect antidote to A Baby Story or to mainstream birthing friends! Peggy talks about her career – starting from when she was a student nurse at Duke helping a young black woman birth her baby her own way, despite Peggy’s inexperience insisting that the woman lay down on her back and be quiet!

She discusses the hundreds of births she attended as a shift nurse at a Berkley hospital, her growing awareness of the beauty of normal birth, then her desire to learn about midwifery and become a CNM. She remained as a hospital midwife for several years before finally deciding to strike out on her own, then finally opened her own office to see patients independently. Her career ended with her back as a hospital shift worker, which was not her ideal situation, but she did admit that having regular hours and benefits again was a nice change!

Most of the book, though, is filled with birth stories – wonderful, normal births. Homebirths and hospital births, and even a few births in cars on the way to the hospital. Some births didn’t end happily, and some ended up in a hospital unexpectedly, but Peggy’s calm and laid-back attitude prevails throughout.

Peggy seems to take a very laid-back approach to birth. She doesn’t coach – she just waits, and makes sure everything is normal and safe. She catches the baby, or supervises the catching of the baby, weighs, measures, makes sure everything is OK, then excuses herself.

She also talks some about the effects her career has on her family. Rushing off to births in the middle of birthday parties, or Christmas. Always talking about placentas and ovaries at the dinner table. Having photo albums of women giving birth around the house. Her son driving her car to school – with a Midwives Do It At Home bumpersticker and the license plate that reads MITWIFE.

All in all, this is a WONDERFUL book, though it does end in kind of a downer, as Peggy is forced to return to hospital shift work. I won’t give away the details.

Run out and read this book today, especially if you’re facing disagreements from friends and family over your decision to home birth or to use a midwife. It’s easy to start doubting yourself, or to believe all the negativity you get from others. This book is a great morale booster!!

Incidentally, there is a collection of Peggy Vincent’s essays and articles on <a href=”; target=”_blank”>her website.</a>


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