Synopses & Reviews
Single mom, jazz singer, salsa dancer, traveler, and midwife to more than 700 babies, Cara Muhlhahn holds nothing back in her life or in this memoir.
As a teenager, Cara's family home burnt to the ground. That tragedy led her on a journey that would span a variety of countries and cultures. While she was in Morocco, a woman suffered from a fatal injury. Grieving the unnecessary death, Cara resolved that, next time, she would know what to do to save a life.
In this fascinating and searingly honest memoir, Cara reveals what eventually led her to support women in one of the most significant experiences of their lives. Balancing science with intuition, parenthood with her work, and sacrifice with joy, Cara shows us what it means to be alive and to live a life of purpose.
Just as readers are fascinated by Carly Fiorina's or Elizabeth Gilbert's journeys, they will find great inspiration in Caras journey to live her calling. Whether you read about her in Vogue or the New York Times; saw her in the documentary The Business of Being Born, by filmmakers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein; or are learning about her for the first time here, you are sure to be inspired by her remarkable story.
"In addition to singing the praises of women's childbirth wisdom in an accurate and compelling way, Labor of Love is also an incredibly good read! Makes me want to stand up and shout, 'Yes! Right on, sister!'" Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Mother-Daughter Wisdom, The Wisdom of Menopause, and Womens Bodies, Women's Wisdom
"Reading this book comes second only to the moving experience of having Cara deliver your baby. Candid, funny, passionate, exhilarating, and occasionally heartbreaking, this story will undoubtedly speak to readers interested in the unsung superheroism of midwives. But it will also appeal to anyone who has contemplated how to fully integrate life and work. In this era of compartmentalizing, Cara moves with dervish-like grace between baby-catching, parenthood, spirituality, travel, and, well, even parking to show us that with the right combination of humility and drive, anything is possible." Daphne Beal, author of In the Land of No Right Angles
"We benefit so much from the specific stories of midwives like Cara Muhlhahn, whose ability to support childbearing women with extraordinary skill and understanding is so clear in this important memoir. Her bravery and persistence will go a long way in helping us move away from current trends that so often harm both women and babies." Judy Norsigian, Executive Director, Our Bodies, Ourselves
"Midwives are the heroes of our times, and Cara Muhlhahn is no exception. Her intelligent and compelling story gives intimate insights into birth and midwifery, as well as the glorious history of how she became a midwife. Labor of Love is also an eye-opening account of the US maternity care system: highly recommended for parents and parents-to-be as well as midwives; obstetricians; doulas; childbirth educators; and all involved in the care of pregnant and birthing women." Sarah J. Buckley, MD, homebirth mother of four and author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctors Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices
"This book is surprising. Mothers-to-be will be held spellbound, but fans of spiritual memoir and insider health-care accounts will learn a thing or two as well." Library Journal, starred review
"A practicing certified nurse-midwife in New York for more than a dozen years, [Cara Muhlhahn] has the battle scars to prove it, in the form of piles of paid and unpaid parking tickets as well as enough emotional dings to give her plainspeaking single mom's memoir an edge." Booklist
"It's easy to like Muhlhahn; she bursts through the page as an authentic, exuberant person." Mothering.com
Cara Muhlhahn is at the forefront of a growing trend of at-home births in New York City...[Labor of Love] recounts her colorful past — from vagabonding in the South of France to an eye-opening journey to Morocco — and some of her most harrowing deliveries. But ultimately, for Muhlhahn, its about more than home birth. 'My allegiance is to women and choice,' she said, 'and not being sold down the river into circumstances they're going to regret. Thats my bottom line.'" The Villager
“Labor of Love…makes me want to stand up and shout, ‘Yes! Right on, sister!” Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Womens Bodies, Womens Wisdom
“A practicing certified nurse-midwife … [Muhlhahn] has the battle scars to prove it … as well as enough emotional dings to give her plain-speaking single moms memoir an edge.” Booklist
Cara Muhlhahn is force of nature. Single mom, jazz singer, salsa dancer, traveler, and midwife to more than 700 babies, she holds nothing back in her astonishing memoir. As one of todays most beloved and sought-after midwives, Muhlhahn delivers an engaging story of the choices and sacrifices she has made in order to live a life of passion and devotion. At an early age, Cara wanted to make a difference in peoples lives. She decided she would help women during their most significant experiencegiving birth.
Balancing her medical knowledge with intuition, the challenges of single parenthood with work, and personal sacrifices with the joys of birth, Muhlhahn captures what its like to know your purpose, and live life to its fullest. Written with searing honesty, Labor of Love will inspire and amaze.
About the Author
Certified Nurse Midwife Cara Muhlhahn, CNM, has been learning and practicing midwifery for 30 years, and she now runs a private practice that specializes in home delivery. Cara is featured in the documentary The Business of Being Born, which was executive produced by Ricki Lake and directed by Abby Epstein. Cara is the mother of a 12-year-old boy who was delivered by a midwife. Ricki Lake is an actress, television host, and the executive producer of the documentary, The Business of Being Born. She is also the author of Your Best Birth. She lives with her two sons in Los Angeles.