Born for Life: Midwife in Africa

It is a story of joy and heartbreak, of courage and perseverance, and of an extraordinary adventure.
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Book Description:

Nothing could prepare Julie for the experience of living and working in the heart of Africa.

This memoir takes you on Julie’s journey to Kalene Mission Hospital in Zambia, where she worked as a midwife for five months caring for African women and their babies at the most cherished time in their lives.

It is a story of joy and heartbreak, of courage and perseverance, and of an extraordinary adventure.

I really enjoyed reading this day to day account of life in Africa as a midwife. Gives a good account of what life was like there. Was a bit repetitive in explanations at times.

-- M J H

This memoir of midwife Julie Watson’s time in Africa touches every part of the heart and alternates between joy and sorrow. Joy for the mothers and healthy babies, and sorrow for the mothers who lose their babies. A love for women and their babies sent Julie to Africa to fight the statistics provided by the World Health Organization: 2.7 million babies die in the first month of life, and another 2.6 million babies are stillborn. Some 830 women a day die from complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Julie knew that most of these deaths were preventable and she wanted to use her skill, wisdom, and ability to give as many African mothers and babies the chance at life that they deserved. Julie’s book opens up life in another country that will stagger the reader with its hardships, shortages, privation—and yet—the fullness of life and joy exhibited by African families in spite of the limits they face in daily living. Julie found herself stretched to and beyond her limits in her endeavor to save the mothers and children entrusted to her care in spite of the scarcity of medical supplies and equipment. Born for Life Midwife in Africa is a book with staying power—easy to ponder and hard to forget after the last word in the last sentence on the last page of the book.

-- Author Stephanie Parker McKean

About the Author ▸ Julie Watson

Julie grew up in a small, rural town in New Zealand. After leaving school, she worked at the local maternity annexe as a nurse aide, which gave her a love for caring for mothers and babies. Life could not have been happier, until the death of her second baby at birth led to depression, loneliness and despair. Julie’s first book Born for Life: A Midwife’s Story follows her journey to overcome challenges and become the midwife that she was born to be. Julie hopes that her story will inspire others to follow their dreams and not give up hope. Midwifery remains Julie’s passion. Julie loves travelling and has worked as a midwife in many countries – including Zambia, Africa where she worked at Kalene Mission Hospital. Julie’s second book Born for Life: Midwife in Africa describes her experiences living and working in Africa. She shares her incredible journey to make a difference in the lives of African women and their babies at the most cherished time in their lives. Julie lives in Palmerston North, New Zealand with her husband, Barry.