John Blake has acquired The Secret Midwife: Life, Death and the Truth About Birth, written by an anonymous NHS employee.
The Bonnier Books UK imprint's editor Ellie Carr acquired world rights from Andrew Lownie at the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency.
Out on 6th February 2020, it explores the joy and elation of helping families bring a new baby into the world, but also lays bare the fatalities, traumatic births, inquests, unpaid overtime, staff shortages, no time for lunch or toilet breaks, strict limits on sick leave and lack of support when things go wrong.
The publisher said: "The Secret Midwife recounts some of the heart-warming and laugh-out-loud experiences of birth she has witnessed throughout her career, whilst sharing the warmth and comfort she has been able to bring to families when their darkest fears have been realised. Discussing her own personal experience of burn-out, and of being signed off work for stress and depression for four months, The Secret Midwife unveils a career with a catastrophic lack of support, the pressure to return and, on returning, being thrown straight back in at the deep end.
"Drawn from over fifteen years’ experience working as a midwife, The Secret Midwife exposes the reality of the current crisis on the NHS labour wards."