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The Birthkeeper of Bethlehem:
A Midwife's Tale by Bridget Supple

In The Birthkeeper of Bethlehem, we uncover the hidden world of biblical women and consider the very human experience of Mary, a young mother giving birth for the first time far from home. Midwifery is the most ancient of professions – protecting both mother and baby through the journey of birth, using skills handed down from generation to generation to keep birthing women and their children safe in what historically could be a dangerous time. 

We see Salome care for the women of Bethlehem, her skills learnt from her mother and grandmother before her. We explore her puzzlement as she tries to support this woman Mary, who arrives one night, late in pregnancy and, unusually, is not known to her. Salome is there for Mary as she births in this most humble of surroundings, alone and far from home. It is Salome’s role as her midwife to ensure the rituals for the new baby and his mother are observed, and to step into the role of family and support. 

She is there to witness the shepherds arriving for this seemingly ordinary baby, and to care for Mary after the birth in the same way she does all the women in the town. Mary and Joseph stayed in Bethlehem for likely a year before their flight to Egypt, and through the eyes of the midwife, we see this story unfold.  

Birthkeeper of Bethlehem book cover

Praise for The Birthkeeper of Bethlehem

Alexandra Derwen, author and lead facilitator of the Sacred Circle end of life doula preparation

I love this book! It lulled me gently into a world my bones remember; then left me weeping cool tears that washed clear my soul. The reading of the book was a ceremony in itself; a love story to the skilled hands and open hearts that have always welcomed the first breath and witnessed the last breath; for as long as humans have lived in community there have been the midwives.
Thank you, Bridget, for this gift of a book; I have read it three times each in one go and the impact has been no less for me with each reading.

Robin Lim, grandmother, midwife, founder of Yayasan Bumi Sehat 

Bridget’s writing casts the birth spell magically over me... (her) word-medicine reminds me that we are all woven together, threads of many faiths, cultures, and traditions, mountains and oceans between us, yet we are but one swaddling cloth of humanity.

Bridget, thank you, for reminding me to take a heartbeat, gaze more often at the stars, walk home from birth in the rain, astonished by this blessed way of life, ancient and newborn.

Gail Tully, creator of Spinning Babies®

Enter the inner thoughts and longings of a passionate midwife... midwifery values and wisdom, customs and innovations gently enrich the storyline.
If you want to know what it feels like to be a midwife in the home setting, read this book.



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