Leah Hazard’s brilliant medical memoir, Hard Pushed, is published in paperback today by Cornerstone.

Since the launch of the hardback in May last year, Leah has fast become a go-to midwife for all things baby and birth related, appearing on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, the Gas and Air Blog, and has been named as the official midwife for the online community Netmums.

Within its first week of hardback publication, Hard Pushed leapt into the top 20 in the Hardback lists at No. 12 continued to rise in popularity throughout last year.

It hit No. 1 in the Memoir category on Kindle, as well as No. 10 in the overall Kindle chart in September last year. Leah and this fabulous memoir have also been featured in The TimesThe GuardianThe TelegraphGrazia and The Mirror.

And now we welcome the paperback of this brilliant book into the world…

It’s not unusual for me to spend the night between a stranger’s legs. Sometimes two or three strangers in the space of twelve hours. Tonight is a bit different, though. It’s 3.42am and things aren’t going to plan.

Sitting in point-blank range of this particular vagina feels like staring down the barrel of a gun. Birth is inherently risky, a kind of physiological Russian roulette, but every midwife prays that she’ll dodge the bullet.

‘Your baby’s getting a bit tired,’ I say cautiously to the woman on the bed.

‘That makes fucking two of us.’

Fresh and unapologetic, with a vividly authentic voice, Leah gives readers an astonishing and entirely uncensored insight into the front line of our country’s maternity services.

Hard Pushed is a love letter to Leah’s fellow midwives, to her brave patients, and to our National Health Service.

Leah Hazard was born in the United States and studied English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University, before moving to the UK in 1999. She earned a Masters Degree in Directing and had a career in television at BBC Scotland until the birth of her first daughter in 2003 prompted her to change direction and pursue her lifelong interest in women’s health. Leah soon began working as a doula, supporting women in pregnancy and attending numerous births in homes and hospitals across Scotland. The birth of Leah’s second daughter in 2006 prompted Leah to make the leap into midwifery.