Hard Pushed

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

A great insight into the world of midwifery that at different points had me crying and laughing. Told with wit and wisdom the writer never asks for sympathy - she simply tells it as it is. A wonderful read.
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Leah Hazard has a lovely, lyrical writing style, which makes this a very easy read, even though the subject matter can be hard going. A warts and all description of the life of a midwife in the NHS, Hazard catalogues the highs and the lows, the loveliness and the gunginess that midwifery involves. And also the heartache and the awful difficulties of coping with the unique stresses while under huge strain because of the staffing shortages which are the day-to-day reality of working in the NHS today.
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This book is extremely well written and so honest.  It is so emotional too! Lots of sad tears but there is a lot of happy tears too. I just felt for this midwife but she is a strong girl and so good at her job.
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Heartbreaking but at the same time uplifting. The remarkable life of a midwife following the ups and downs of this vital role. 
I thoroughly enjoyed this insight into the role of the midwife sharing the highs and lows along with Leah.
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Leah Hazard is clearly a midwife who loves her job and remains committed to it despite all the dreadful pressure she and her colleagues constantly seem to face. This autobiography holds nothing back and vividly depicts the contrast between joy and despair Leah experiences every working day. Judging by this book midwifery is both  under resourced and undervalued. Certainly not a career for the fainthearted.! The NHS needs to step up to the plate. But, that being said, this isn't a grim read. Rather it gives us anecdotes that frankly reveal both the reality of  delivering babies and the importance of forming relationships with new mums. Love and humour are essential to this process. Best summed up perhaps by Leah's often used line on first meeting a patient in labour "Midwife Hazard at your cervix".  ANd service is just what she consistently provides.
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A really good, interesting read.
The way it is written really made it an easy read even though some of the stories were difficult.
I couldn't put it down.
Leah Hazard tells the stories with humour and empathy.
I wish I had her as my midwife many years ago.
One of the best books I have read this year.
I hope she writes another book as her writing is great.
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This is a book by a midwife about being a midwife in an NHS hospital and it was such an interesting and insightful read. You get such a real sense of how it is to work in hospitals, how much is expected and how short-staffed they are. What I loved about this book is the way Leah Hazard really made me feel like I was seeing her work life through her eyes. Midwives are often present for a part of someone’s story but never get to see how it turned out, and so some of the stories in this book don’t have a patient’s full story. I thought this might be frustrating but it wasn’t, I was just so in the moment with the midwife. This is a really good read and I recommend it.
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This was such a difficult book to read but important nonetheless! The challenges faced by our NHS staff (which my husband and I are among) need to be heard and understood, not just by politicians but the general public who don’t realise just how tough it can be working in the service nor that we are human too with our own feelings and challenges. This book was so well written, I truly felt for the author and have so much respect for midwives and all other nhs staff! I’m not surprised she couldn’t keep going under the circumstances. The stories she tells are funny, heartwarming, shocking and devastating! Well worth a read!
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Really not surprised this became a Sunday Times besteller. Really eye opening account of life as a modern midwife. Gave me a much stronger appreciation of everyone working in this field.
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An interesting book that is interesting and fascinating at the same time. Definitely recommended to those readers who enjoy easing about different aspects of life.
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Tuesday again?! The one good thing about travelling is that I can use it as an excuse to read my way through just about as many books as possible. Here are a few which I managed to read en route to the chalet last week:

Hard PUshed

I'm not really sure what tempted me to agree to read this one, if I'm honest. As a non-parent, I can't say I've ever been super interested in midwifery or birth stories. Which is mostly what this is. Each chapter is broken down into an anecdotal account of Leah's interaction with a patient and their experience, with her continuing thoughts on all of the complicated feelings associated with her job as a mother and a midwife. 

Although there is of course some medical terminology, she does explain a lot of this with the addition of a helpful glossary and it's not off-putting. Naturally the sections about baby loss were pretty difficult reading for me, but if I'm looking for a silver lining, I'd say that it's almost refreshing to see a topic like that covered in a book whose main focus is the miracle of life and childbirth. 

Obviously, there were several references to the current crisis staffing levels of the NHS and it's failings, but the book didn't go into too much political territory, which I do think kept it more enjoyable than serious.
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I’ve always had a fascination with the work of a midwife and read many fictitious books about the profession.

However, I have never read such an honest, articulate and factual account of daily life working on a maternity ward. Leah explains the arduous shifts and the utter desperation suffered by NHS colleagues due to staff shortages. She describes the physical and mental strains of working in an environment stretched to its limits.

Despite all of this, a resounding note of pride comes across in the memoir. It is written in very plain language and laced with humour and heartwarming personal stories.
I loved her completely unjudgemental approach to her patients and how each and every one gets her absolute undivided attention. It doesn’t matter how tired and stressed she feels inside, Leah treats every woman professionally. The tremendously strong bond between the staff is described beautifully. Together they work twelve-hour shifts, with one aim, which is to deliver babies safely.

This is a vivid, no holds barred memoir told by a caring, compassionate midwife. Leah Hazard has the courage to tell her story, warts and all.
There is a glossary at the back of the book which helped with any medical terminology that I was unfamiliar with. I raced through this book, soaking up the short chapters and going through a whole kaleidoscope of emotions.

Highly recommended.
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I really enjoyed Hard Pushed. A great insight into the world of midwifery. A fab book and an easy to read book.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There is a lot of this genre about at the moment with a lot of people writing memoirs from their working life but this is one of the best ones I have read. I loved the way it was written in every day language about every day people. It showed the desperation the staff within the NHS feel and yet shows their pride and desire to give every woman the birth they deserve and the birth they want. I loved the characters of the mothers and the relatives and the other staff. I really lovely book
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This was an honest but gentle account of what it is like to be a midwife in the NHS in the UK. A peek into the world of the midwife, a job which is exhausting and exhilarating and requires superhuman strength of character and body. 

As a registered nurse, I found Leah's story very interesting indeed. I recall my own first steps as a nurse, as well as a couple of placements in maternity during my training, and I am in awe of midwives everywhere. 

Loved the stories of some of the different births she attended, as well as her honesty at the toll being a midwife has taken on her personal life and her body. Of course, she is right that funding is always decreasing for health and you have to do more, with less. It isn't fair and I hope that government realise that cutting funding to health services is really cutting off your nose despite your face! 

Without courageous midwives like Leah and her colleagues (and my friend Wendy, who is also an amazing midwife), the world would be a far poorer place and women and their babies would be at risk, physically and psychologically. 

5 stars from me. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK.
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This was a wonderful medical memoir written by a practising midwife.
Until I read this memoir I’d never thought about how hard mentally, emotionally and physically it is to be a midwife. Probably because before, during and after pregnancy all I was thinking about was the baby and how I was feeling. Never in a million years did I consider how the midwives were feeling or how their days were going.
This book was a real eye-opener and made me appreciate all the incredibly hard work that goes into being a midwife. Each chapters gives an account about a patient and their journey of pregnancy and birth, involving Leah and her colleagues. Some are uplifting, others are heartbreaking, but all are beautifully written and deserve to be shared far and wide.
One of my favourite chapters was ‘Olivia: Mother Knows Best’, the one about breastfeeding. This reminded me of when I struggled to begin breastfeeding my baby (now 18) and how I couldn’t have done it without the midwives help.
The saddest chapters were about stillbirths, and how heartbreaking it was for the mothers and midwives, it brought tears to my eyes.
If you enjoyed the Call The Midwife books and TV series I like I did, I definitely recommend this modern day equivalent.
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Very honest book about been a midwife in this day and age with the hard pushed NHS, Leah Hazard is a real midwife who has written this book sharing her experiences as a student and on the labour ward to the present day. 

As you can imagine it’s an emotional one, joy, sorrow, heartache and euphoria all rolled into one book. Makes you realise just how lucky we are to have the NHS and whilst it may be failing in parts it’s also a wonderful privilege to have. 

Having 3 babies myself where 2 were emergency theatre it’s a fantastic read where you see it from their point of view also and just how hard working they are, along with how stressful it must be too.

Wonderful book I seriously loved it a lot 5 stars ⭐️
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This beautiful non-fiction book follows Leah Hazard's journey as a midwife in the NHS and the trials and triumphs that involves.. It is no secret that medical memoirs like this are completely my kind of book, but I am often a little let down by them. This was not one of those books at all. I absolutely adored this book from start to finish. It was a real raw, genuine insight into the role of a midwife and the many challenges they face, particularly in an understaffed and underfunded health service. Yet the struggles and real lows of midwifery were well-balanced with fun and heartwarming stories of some of the amazing women and families that have been cared for. I just thought it was perfect and definitely confirmed my desire to one day go into this wonderful profession.
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This is the story of a practicing midwife and the challenges she faces during her daily life. The ups and downs of the delivery suite and the parents who are at the centre of its function. Interesting story.
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This was a well written memoir of a midwife and everything she faces on a day to day basis, working really long hours, training and helping women bring their miracle into the world safely, but this is not just a memoir of the good, obviously with being a midwife there are sad outcomes too.
I couldn’t put the book down, it gave me so many different emotions but it is real life, what really happens on the maternity wards.
I enjoyed reading Hard Pushed, it gives a true account on what it is like to be a midwife working in an NHS setting. They really are hard pushed. 

I have had 3 children, all three I had complications and my children would not even be here without the quick thinking and kindness of the midwives who were with me throughout my labours. So it was obvious I would like to read this and see it from the midwives side of things.
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