Midwifery books and equipment – what to buy?

You don’t need to buy lots of stuff before you start the course, I know it’s fun to prepare a bit, you need a minimum of stationery, don’t buy midwifery books unless you have lots of spare cash to throw around. All these books are in the library where you can take them out for free and renew them online or over the phone up to five times, before returning them and taking them out again. You can get a lot of midwifery books second-hand on Ebay, if you really want to buy them, it doesn’t matter if it’s not the latest edition, for something like Mayes or Myles, it’s really background reading.

The only possible exception to this is Anatomy and Physiology, it’s quite good to own at least one of these, maybe two. If you learn by highlighting and underlining, the library won’t like you doing it in their books!! My personal preference is for Ross and Wilson, which is an A&P book aimed at nurses, it has full colour diagrams, which really helps, (I’m a visual learner!) and it’s in just the right amount of detail for a degree. However, it doesn’t give you the detail you need on reproductive systems, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, labour and birth, for all of that, you need just one book, Stables and Rankin. (Links for the books are below). The only other book which is really essential (to read, not to own), is Johnson and Taylor, and it will be your bible for placement, as it contains all the details of all the practical skills you will be learning there, including abdominal palpation, testing urine, taking blood, vaginal exams, and countless others.

There will be lots of reading lists given to you by your lecturers, but they don’t expect you to read everything, never mind buy it all! As for midwifery equipment, the only thing I would try to get for free in your first week from the Royal College of Midwives is a Pinard. Don’t buy anything, you just won’t need it, when you are in hospital the equipment is all there, when you are on community, your midwife has a bag stuffed full of everything you will need.

I know it’s tempting to splurge, but save your hard-earned cash, you are probably going to need it down the line, it’s tough being a student!