Authors

Leah Hazard

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.

Training in one of the UK’s busiest maternity hospitals, Leah delivered 76 babies (and nearly gave up at least as many times) before qualifying as a registered midwife in 2013. Since then, she has worked in a variety of clinical areas within the NHS maternity services, from antenatal clinics and triage units to labour wards and beyond, catching hundreds more babies and handling the kinds of obstetric emergencies she thought she’d only ever see in textbooks. Leah remains an actively serving midwife and continues to write Hard Pushed in between shifts at a hospital that sees thousands of deliveries each year.



 

Leah Hazard describes the challenges and dedication of those working in the NHS. The stories in Hard Pushed highlight the bravery of our midwives, and the women they care for.

Christie Watson

Riveting read, heartwarming and heartbreaking stories in one package.

Sheena Byrom

It is a story that takes us into the lives of the women and families she cares for, their diverse and often dramatic lives. It is a story beautifully told, intelligent and eloquent, that brings alive the fascination of midwifery, and radiates love and respect for women, even in the most frantic and anxiety ridden moments

Professor Lesley Page CBE
Visiting Professor in Midwifery KCL

Midwives like Leah Hazard accompany women through the life (and sometimes death) drama of childbirth. Hard Pushed is a beautifully written, intimate portrait of the extraordinary work that midwives carry out each and every day.

Caroline Elton
author of ALSO HUMAN

Hard Pushed charts a midwife’s most personal moments of triumph and devastating loss in a way that expands our understanding and gratitude to them.
Leah Hazard’s ‘microdoses’ of love are exactly what we need at a time of transforming intensity. It is her capacity to love and give so personally to the many thousands of women she worked with which imbues this book with its power.

Julia Samuel
author of Grief Works

Hard Pushed captures the universal love, fear, despair and hope that underpins humanity. The writing is gripping and Leah's dedication to women within a system that's crushing midwives transforms the everyday stories of childbirth into a page-turning testament to the power of compassion.

Rebecca Schiller
founder of Birthrights and author of Your No Guilt Pregnancy Plan