Heart and Hands
by Elizabeth Davis

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I have always listened to Elizabeth Davis. Her wisdom is as friendly as it is deep, which makes it undeniably accessible. In 1981 when the first edition of her book became available, there were few of us who didn't pore over it from cover to cover, many, many times over. She taught us the value of being caring midwives while being practical and alert. She instructed us in the basics of midwifery care, and gave us full chapters on prenatal care; problems in pregnancy, labor and birth; complications of birth; postpartum care; and the art of becoming a responsible midwife. Her third edition is a comprehensive revision on all these subjects, and in addition, gives us forty percent more material.

Heart & Hands is both a textbook for beginning midwives and a reference book for parents who want to expand their knowledge of pregnancy and birth. It furthermore serves the needs of experienced midwives by providing current information on topics such as hepatitis, HIV, GBS screening, group midwifery practice and malpractice concerns. There is hardly a subject that Elizabeth doesn't address: everything from hard, practical skills and information to sexual problems, single mothers, estranged couples, herbs and homeopathy, death, and tips for expectant partners. Boxed information-at-your-fingertips facilitates quick reference. I found the section on training apprentices most helpful; Elizabeth puts this issue into compassionate yet practical perspective. Extensive appendices give us MANA standards, resources, sixteen pages of forms to use in one's practice plus a supply list, and a listing of education programs.

Suzanne Arms' warm photography and Linda Harrison's exceptional illustrations lend their special credence to this book. Elizabeth gives us sound instruction and valuable advice from her long years as a midwife, teacher, and midwifery advocate. This book will inspire you, expand your knowledge, heighten your awareness, and deepen your wisdom.

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