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Carol Leonard

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Member Since: Nov, 2008

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  Carol Leonard           

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New Hampshire's first radical midwife!


Background Information

Carol Leonard, a "foremother of the modern midwifery movement," is a N.H. Certified Midwife who has been practicing for the last three decades. She is co-founder of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) representing all midwives in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, serving one term as President of MANA. Her work to improve maternity care in Moscow, Russia, was featured on 20/20 and was written into Congressional Record. She has delivered approximately 1,200 babies safely in their own homes.

Often laugh-out-loud funny and irreverent, occasionally disturbing and deeply sorrowful, "Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart" is the saga of Ms. Leonard's journey as New Hampshire's first modern midwife. Her story intertwines three threads: her dedication to the mothers and babies she was groomed to attend; the growing renaissance, despite formidable opposition, of the profession of midwifery in New Hampshire and then in the United States; and finally, a powerful, tragic love story.

Birth Place
Bangor, ME USA
Accomplishments

• Was the first midwife certified to practice legally in NH in 1982.
• Received the Bronze Medal for Bravery from the Australian government in 1984.
• Was on the Today Show with Jane Pauley in 1985.
• Was elected President of the Midwives Alliance of North America (the professional organization for midwives in the US, Canada and Mexico) in Wheeling, WV in 1986.
• Purportedly, was the first American to deliver a Soviet/Russian baby in a Moscow rodom. It was filmed and featured on 20/20 with Barbara Walters in 1991.
• The unpublished manuscript of Lady’s Hands, Lion’s Heart was installed in the Margaret Sanger Archives at Smith College in 1999.
• As a lobbyist for the New Hampshire Midwives Ass’n, Leonard won a heated legislative battle mandating insurance coverage for home births in NH in 2007.
• 10/2008, Leonard’s self-published memoir Lady’s Hands, Lion’s Heart, A Midwife’s Saga was awarded the Mothers Naturally award of excellence for Outstanding Book, 2008 in the Traverse City Opera House, Michigan!

Additional Information

“Carol Leonard’s memoir of becoming a midwife in New Hampshire during the mid-1970s overflows with her gifts as a storyteller as well as intuitive midwife. Inspiring, often hilarious, always touching and full of beans, she takes us through her apprenticeship with an old country doctor, the politics of the US midwifery movement and her own personal story of love, loss and deep dedication to women’s health. She’s my kind of midwife!” -- Ina May Gaskin, author of Spiritual Midwifery

Contact Information
Bad Beaver Publishing
585 Hopkinton Road 
Hopkinton NH 03229   USA
Contact Author: Carol Leonard


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