Overdue: Birth, burnout and a blueprint for a better NHS

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Amity Reed
2020 | paperback | 216pp | 198x127mm
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Due to be published 1st Oct 2020



Amity Reed became a midwife to serve women, but the reality of working in over-stretched and underfunded NHS maternity services soon shattered her illusions. She’s not alone – for every 30 midwives that train, 29 will leave the profession.

Overdue is both the devastating personal story behind the statistics, and a call for change in the NHS. Real-life stories capture the moments at the heart of midwifery: life, death, birth, tragedy and joy, and are embedded in a clear-sighted examination of what is working – and what isn’t – in maternity services. The result is a book that asks – and tries to answer – questions that are at the heart of many people’s working lives: how can we follow our calling, provide for our families and keep ourselves healthy, if the workplace and its systems are working against us?

Press reviews and endorsements

"I felt goose bumps, I smiled, I shed tears. Amity Reed’s descriptions of childbirth and motherhood are the most powerful I have ever read… a masterpiece of joy and trauma that provides a vivid and realistic insight into today’s maternity services." Sheena Byrom, midwife and author of Catching Babies

"An important book - as long-awaited as its title suggests. This beautifully-written, persuasive and cage-rattling story of love, power, disillusionment and struggle calls us to action and demands that we protect and uplift midwives and other frontline NHS staff so that they can protect and uplift us in our most profound moments of joy and loss." Rebecca Schiller, author, journalist and women's rights campaigner


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1 Review

  • 5
    An absolute eyeopener

    Posted by Bethan Fanthorpe on 24th Sep 2020

    An eloquent, descriptive and informative book which I find impossible to put down. Amity Reed carefully weaves her own personal story into the wider background of maternity care, providing statistics to support her arguments and capturing both the soaring highs and desperate lows of working as a midwife in the NHS. As someone who has been contemplating retraining and joining the profession I was both delighted and horrified by what I read. An incredibly important book and one which will hopefully have a huge impact. Thank you, this book has made a huge difference to me.