The Story of Miss Margaret the Granny Midwife

Fifteen year old Tilly Weston has done a work expereince placement with Aquabirths this week.  As part of here work she was asked to choose a DVD watch it and write a review.  Here it is:

Miss Margaret is an inspirational film that is well written following the story of a legendary Granny Midwife from Eutaw, Alabama.

Margaret Charles Smith was born in 1906 and died in 2004 at the age of 98. Margaret was brought up in Alabama by a slave woman; she was the last of 10. She grew up working in the cotton fields until she decided she wasn’t going back to the fields again and she was going to get a different job! She started as a laundry woman, and then continued to do a midwifery course after showing natural skills delivering her husband’s cousin’s wife’s babies.

She became a highly regarded midwife and delivering 3,500 babies at home (in a county population of just 10 000). She never lost a mother and never drove a car – despite travelling all over Alabama and sometimes further. There were times she delivered 4 babies a night, but she said she never gave up on a mother: using prayer and motherwit as her main tools, and patience and kind words as her main techniques.

In her words “They’ll know what they’ve got to do, if you know how to talk to them. Give ‘em love and kind words. That beats it all.”

Then she was pushed into retirement as a law was passed that midwives, like her, were no longer allowed be midwives. So Margaret Smith wrote a book named ‘Listen to me Good’. This along with her phenomenal life story inspired the next generation midwives.

I think this film was beautifully made, inspiring the watcher and emphasing the utter ‘amazingness’ of this woman’s extraordinary life despite the troubles she had being a black woman in America. It also made me think how tough things would have been for women then, how things have improved, and how things should continue to improve for women all over the world to have a comfortable birthing experience. It makes me think what an important vocation midwifery is.

The DVD is called ‘Miss Margaret’ produced by Sage Femme.

You can buy this DVD (and others) at:

You can buy the book ‘Listern to me Good’ by Margaret Smith at

And many other online and off line book stores.


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