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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Hard Pushed, by Leah Hazard.

No sleep for 20 hours. No food for 10. 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 more 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 newborn baby, midwife Leah Hazard has seen it all.

Through 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 15, 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 ward.

Moving, 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.

©2019 Leah Hazard (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about Hard Pushed

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  • Overall
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    3 out of 5 stars

Meh just ok, there are better medical experience books

Read ‘This is Going to Hurt’ by Adam Kay instead, that’s a book where you’ll laugh and cry and be entertained by real stories. I write this review as a nurse, who’s mother is a midwife, and as someone who’s read other books on the healthcare experience. I found this to be a bit dull, banal, nothing was particularly shocking or interesting and the author comes across as a bit smug and self righteous. Every story seemed very contrived as if to demonstrate how much of a wonderful midwife the author is. Unfortunately I found her difficult to like and she was a bit vanilla It would have been nice to hear about mistakes she’d made or lessons she’d learnt but she seemed to want to portray herself as an angel. The book also lacked humour and dark humour is always present amongst hospital staff. The author is an American who’s now living in the UK so perhaps that explains the lack of humour and self deprecation.

6 people found this helpful

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Fat shaming? No thanks

I got as far as chapter 3. Was enjoying it until she started describing how she had to wear the "clown" uniform xxl on her first day as a student Midwife. On and on about how ridiculous she felt.

Not on. Not kind. Not acceptable. Not reading. Will be returning. Very very disappointed.

I don't usually leave negative reviews ever. But this part should never have made it past the first editors cut.

3 people found this helpful

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A poor attempt at humour

I never even made it to the end, due to the line "I don't need a uniform that could accommodate half the hospital's staff in a single trouser leg." in response to a size XXL and other insulting and ignorant comments within the book.
A joke shouldn't be at the expense of someone else.
As someone who wants to start their journey in midwifery, it was disheartening to see someone making such ignorant jokes. I can't imagine how women would feel if I was outwardly making harmful comments about features that apply to their body..especially when they're in such a vulnerable state - such as childbirth.
If the jokes were left out, it would've been a very insightful book, but I can't see past the ignorance.

1 person found this helpful

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So sad. Bring back mid-wifery.

As a mother I would never choose to be in the ‘care’ of a midwife who is able to compartmentalise any woman into a ‘vagina’ or a detached voice at the end of a bed.

As a student midwife this is exactly the kind of language that made me cry for what society now accepts as normal.

Leah comments on seeing a video as a younger person where this detachment takes place; apparently without seeing how she’s perpetuating that approach with her own ‘light hearted’ language.

On the plus side Leah reads beautifully and brings some insight into the pressures of working within a medicalised birth unit - and the typical outcomes women face.

The experience of giving birth can sadly be degrading and violating both physically and emotionally for many women (and their partners and babies).

Truly person-centred midwives and doulas protect the space of each woman and family to have a healing and powerful experience; and a language of respect is essential.

1 person found this helpful

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Real and informative

Loved this description of life as a midwife, the good,the bad and the ugly

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Amazing book

Honest, real but very funny! Highly recommend this book, so pleased this I listened to this book and I love that the author narrated it

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Well worth a read

Interesting insight into her mind and world. I enjoyed this book. Honest and kind approach

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5/5 from a student midwife.

Leah Hazard does an amazing job of highlighting what it is like to be a midwife today. Although I am only a student midwife, I resonated with the insights Hazard shared. I went from laughter to tears to anger with each chapter. Her performance of narrator is also impressive, she has a soothing voice and is easy to listen to. I will be recommending this book to my friends and family (not only because it’s amazing but so they can get an insight into my professional life too!).

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fascinating and gripping

really enjoyed this book and was sad when it came to an end. absolutely fantastic.

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Poignant, frank and true reflection midwife life

Elequently covers the breadth, strength and vast array of circumstances and challenges midwives face every day. It is relevant to everyone, we are all human, we're all born, and it gives a brief window into a little acknowledged world of wonder and hard work.