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This profile was last updated on 9/21/10  and contains information from public web pages.

Ms. Peggy Vincent

Wrong Peggy Vincent?

Staff Midwife

Kaiser Walnut Creek
 
Background

Employment History

19 Total References
Web References
Media
www.babycatcher.net, 21 Sept 2010 [cached]
Peggy Vincent Bio
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Peggy Vincent's articles and essays
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Peggy Vincent Bio
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An Interview with Peggy Vincent
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BABY CATCHER, a tale of narrative nonfiction, cavorts with drama, hilarity, and tenderness through the career of Peggy Vincent, a midwife in Berkeley, California.
Peggy transports her readers into a fascinating world that few experience: the world of a midwife doing both home and hospital births in a unique urban setting. We follow as she rushes from the hospital delivery of a teenage welfare mom to the home of an astrologer married to a paraplegic.
Hitchhiking along in her VW bug, we meet women like Megan, a Scot who delivers on a leaky sailboat during the storm of the century; Teri, a butch-dyke lesbian who rises to fairy godmother status; and Sofia, whose hyper doctor-father nearly burns the house down. We peek over Peggy’s shoulder as she "catches" as midwives say, the wet and wriggling babies of these memorable women who are busy negotiating their own unique paths through childbirth.
Peggy’s baby catching days ended abruptly when a lawsuit resulting from a Good Samaritan act caused the closure of her independent midwifery career. The following year, all certified home birth midwives in the U.S. were similarly affected. Until that event, however, Peggy caught about 10 babies a month, and every one came with its own story to tell.
Whether a profound epiphany, a tweak on a universal theme, a dramatic crisis resolution, or a heartwarming tale of birth trivia, each chapter of BABY CATCHER shares the feeling of the world moving aside to make room for one more soul. (Back to Top )
Peggy Vincent Bio
Peggy Vincent was born in Delaware in 1942, the first child on either side of her family to be born in a hospital. After spending most of her childhood in the Midwest, she and her family moved back to Delaware where she graduated from high school in 1960.
After graduating with a BS in nursing from Duke University in 1964, Peggy married Roger Vincent, her college sweetheart, and moved to California.
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Beginning in 1970, Peggy worked as a staff nurse in labor and delivery at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley and then as the founder and director of the hospital’s birth center from 1977-1981.
Following graduation from University of California’s midwifery school at San Francisco General Hospital, she opened a private home birth practice in the East Bay. In 1984, Peggy managed to gain hospital privileges at Alta Bates. For the next seven years, she "had it all": a joint home birth and hospital birth practice, affordable malpractice insurance, benevolent physician backup, and easy access to the hospital for women who risked out of a home birth.
The fallout from Peggy’s Good Samaritan response to a woman’s request for humane care during her labor resulted in the termination of her malpractice insurance. After closing her private practice, Peggy worked as a staff midwife at Kaiser Walnut Creek until her retirement in 1996.
Since 1998, Peggy has pursued a full-time writing career, an endeavor which resulted in the sale of her memoir, BABY CATCHER: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife, in October 2000.
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Peggy Vincent never loses sight of the psychological complexities and human quandaries involved in this ‘natural’ process.
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Page after page, we revel in astonishing new twists to an age-old plot as Peggy Vincent delivers well formed stories—and children—into the waiting world.
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Peggy Vincent’s memoir of her career as a nurse-midwife during the last two decades of the 20th century covers everything from her days as an independent home birth practitioner to a shift worker in a high volume ‘birth assembly line’ of a huge HMO hospital. It’s entertaining, funny, informative and quite moving.
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Through a series of true stories of planned home births attended by the author midwife Peggy Vincent, vivid pictures are painted of what childbirth can be when allowed to (proceed as) it was meant to, rather than the way physicians who have never seen a midwife attended home birth think it should. - Marsden Wagner, MD, M.S.P.H., Former Director of Women’s and Children’s Health, World Health Organization
Baby Catcher, an extraordinary, spirit-lifting book by veteran nurse-midwife Peggy Vincent, explores the magical moment of birth and the practice of birthing in the US. The reader is given a joyful and intimate picture of the myriad ways that babies come into the world and a mesmerizing and deeply disturbing story of how she and other midwives have too often been excluded from the American medical establishment.
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Attending her first home birth as a midwife, Peggy Vincent dropped a newborn into a toilet. It survived. More miraculously, so did her career, during which she "caught" hundreds of babies in bathrooms, kitchens, living room and bedrooms in the San Francisco area. In this engrossing look at some memorable births, Vincent proves as gifted at birthing stories as she eventually became at coaxing out babies. She has terrific material: the overhelpful grandfather told to warm up some blankets who put them in a broiler and nearly burned down the house; a stoic who crouched over her bed, a dress hanging past her thighs, and eased her baby out in silence; and the kid who thought babies were attached to mommies through a "polenta. On the troubling side, there are miscarriages, a severely handicapped b y, and members of the medical establishment who deride Vincent and her clients, telling them, "Pizzas should be delivered at home, not babies." Readers will sense the steam boiling out of the author’s ears at such moments; too often she strays from her powerful storytelling and into proselytizing for "women who wanted to sigh and moan and deep breathe through their labors. Vincent’s preference is clear enough without such rhapsody, but birth as a spectator sport, at home in the bathtub under the loving eyes of expectant siblings and Daddy, is not for everyone Vincent acknowledges as much. Mothers who took the drugs-and-hospitals route, though, may feel slighted by Vincent’s tone. Bottom line: She delivers . (Back to Top )
Publishers Weekly It was in nursing school at Duke in the 1960s that Vincent found her calling: delivering or "catching" babies. She moved to California and became a midwife, specializing in home births; over the course of 40 years, she brought some 2,000 babies into the world. There's a predictable plot structure to most of the stories she recounts: the initial meetings with the pregnant woman, the last-minute phone call once labor speeds up, the coping with contractions, the appearance of the baby's head, the wet newborn, the oven-warmed blankets, the celebratory meal afterwards. Despite the repetition, Vincent's account is a page-turner. It's not just the risk that something might go wrong (meaning a nail-biting trip to the hospital for an emergency cesarean), and not just the quirkiness of home birth settings (which can involve jealously raging house pets or leaky houseboats), but something inherent in the magic of birth itself. What sustains Vincent and her readers is this sense of standing ringside at the greatest miracle on earth. A solid writer, Vincent doesn't preach the virtues of unmedicated birthing; she just lays consistent stories of women doing it Christian Science moms, Muslim moms, spiritualist moms, lesbian moms, teen moms and just plain ordinary moms. With the midwife's axiom "birth is normal till proven otherwise" as a guiding principle, all these women have a chance to make childbirth a crowning moment in their own lives. Male readers may find this female-centered narrative off-putting, and mainstream readers might raise eyebrows at the inclusion of children in the birthing process, but Vincent addresses these issues fairly directly herself.
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Vincent was only a student nurse when she found her life's passion: obstetrics. When she began working in labor and delivery in 1970 at a Berkeley hospital, a revolution in women's health care was beginning. By 1977, her hospital had opened a birth center catering to women's wishes for a more natural and supportive environment in which to have their babies, and she became its nursing coordinator. After more than a decade as an obstetrical nurse, she went to midwifery school and opened a home-birthing practice as a certified nurse midwife. Most of the stories here recount her hilarious, unpredictable, sometimes hair-raising adventures delivering babies in women's homes, often surrounded by curious children, excited husbands, intrusive friends and relatives, and unhelpful pets. For one patient, giving birth is "like laying an egg"; for another, it's hours of hard labor; for all, it's an unforgettable experience. Ever resourceful and reassuring, Vincent thrives in the happy chaos and communal nature of home births. When her own third child is born at home
Peggy's Articles and Essays Page
www.babycatcher.net [cached]
Articles & Essays | Peggy Vincent's articles and essays | here | Articles & Essays
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Peggy Vincent Bio
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Peggy Vincent's articles and essays
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In addition to Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife, Peggy Vincent has also written many articles and essays that have appeared in regional and national publications.
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copyright © 2001-2 Peggy Vincent
Reviews
www.babycatcher.net, 18 April 2002 [cached]
Peggy Vincent Bio
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Peggy Vincent's articles and essays
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"In this engrossing look at some memorable births, Vincent proves as gifted at birthing stories as she…became at coaxing babies out.
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"Vincent's account is a page-turner. It's not just the risk that something might go wrong..." ~ Publishers Weekly (Click to read full review)
"With stories culled from thousands of home births, retired midwife Peggy Vincent has forged a compelling memoir, a ride-along with a midwife, a series of voyeuristic journeys during which the reader witnesses over and over one of the most intimate experiences of humanity: childbirth."
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"Truly liberating, informative and down right entertaining, Vincent crafts a must-read for every woman who ever thought about childbirth." ~ Crescent Blues ( Click to read full review ) ( Click to read an interview with Peggy Vincent, by Dawn Goldsmith )
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Page after page, we revel in astonishing new twists to an age-old plot as Peggy Vincent delivers well formed stories—and children—into the waiting world."
...
"Peggy Vincent’s memoir of her career as a nurse-midwife during the last two decades of the 20th century covers everything from her days as an independent home birth practitioner to a shift worker in a high volume ‘birth assembly line’ of a huge HMO hospital. It’s entertaining, funny, informative and quite moving."
...
Baby Catcher, an extraordinary, spirit-lifting book by veteran nurse-midwife and writer Peggy Vincent, explores the magical moment of birth and the practice of birthing in the US. The reader is given a joyful and intimate picture of the myriad ways that babies come into the world and a mesmerizing and deeply disturbing story of how Vincent and other midwives have too often been excluded from the American medical establishment.
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Author Peggy Vincent paints vivid pictures of what childbirth can be when allowed to be the way it was meant to be, rather that the way physicians say it should be. Scientific data shows that a midwife attended low-risk birth is as safe-or safer-than a physician attended low-risk birth. Every woman should grow up knowing that someday she can have her own midwife, and every family should prepare for birth by reading this inspirational book. ~ Marsden Wagner, M.D., M.S.P.H., Former Director for Women's and Children's Health, World Health Organization
Baby Catcher is an exciting, visceral account by a highly informed practitioner that takes us into the battlefield of childbirth. Peggy Vincent never loses sight of the psychological complexities and human quandaries involved in this 'natural' process.
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"Peggy Vincent understands both the miracle and the mystery of birth,
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Attending her first home birth as a midwife, Peggy Vincent dropped a newborn into a toilet. It survived. More miraculously, so did her career, during which she "caught" hundreds of babies in bathrooms, kitchens, living room and bedrooms in the San Francisco area. In this engrossing look at some memorable births, Vincent proves as gifted at birthing stories as she eventually became at coaxing out babies. She has terrific material: the overhelpful grandfather told to warm up some blankets who put them in a broiler and nearly burned down the house; a stoic who crouched over her bed, a dress hanging past her thighs, and eased her baby out in silence; and the kid who thought babies were attached to mommies through a "polenta. On the troubling side, there are miscarriages, a severely handicapped b y, and members of the medical establishment who deride Vincent and her clients, telling them, "Pizzas should be delivered at home, not babies." Readers will sense the steam boiling out of the author’s ears at such moments; too often she strays from her powerful storytelling and into proselytizing for "women who wanted to sigh and moan and deep breathe through their labors. Vincent’s preference is clear enough without such rhapsody, but birth as a spectator sport, at home in the bathtub under the loving eyes of expectant siblings and Daddy, is not for everyone Vincent acknowledges as much. Mothers who took the drugs-and-hospitals route, though, may feel slighted by Vincent’s tone. Bottom line: She delivers . (Back to Top )
Kirkus Reviews A joyous account, packed with warm and wonderful stories, though tinged at the end with sorrow. Vincent was only a student nurse when she found her life's passion: obstetrics. When she began working in labor and delivery in 1970 at a Berkeley hospital, a revolution in women's health care was beginning. By 1977, her hospital had opened a birth center catering to women's wishes for a more natural and supportive environment in which to have their babies, and she became its nursing coordinator. After more than a decade as an obstetrical nurse, she went to midwifery school and opened a home-birthing practice as a certified nurse midwife. Most of the stories here recount her hilarious, unpredictable, sometimes hair-raising adventures delivering babies in women's homes, often surrounded by curious children, excited husbands, intrusive friends and relatives, and unhelpful pets. For one patient, giving birth is "like laying an egg"; for another, it's hours of hard labor; for all, it's an unforgettable experience. Ever resourceful and reassuring, Vincent thrives in the happy chaos and communal nature of home births. When her own third child is born at home, the crowd of friends and family includes her preadolescent son and daughter, who clamp and cut the cord. Vincent is an articulate advocate of a non-medical approach to birth, arguing persuasively against the notion that "all births are complicated until proven otherwise. Her own career parallels that of the independent nurse midwife movement in this country, its growth fostered by the rise of feminism, its decline brought on by financial pressures. In 1992, the only insurer of certified nurse midwives attending home births withdrew itscoverage, forcing them out of business. In a poignant epilogue, Vincent gives her books and supplies to a young Muslim woman about to become a midwife in Syria. An inspiring and hard-to-put-down celebration of natural childbirth. ( Back to Top)
Publishers Weekly It was in nursing school at Duke in the 1960s that Vincent found her calling: delivering or "catching" babies. She moved to California and became a midwife, specializing in home births; over the course of 40 years, she brought some 2,000 babies into the world. There's a predictable plot structure to most of the stories she recounts: the initial meetings with the pregnant woman, the last-minute phone call once labor speeds up, the coping with contractions, the appearance of the baby's head, the wet newborn, the oven-warmed blankets, the celebratory meal afterwards. Despite the repetition, Vincent's account is a page-turner. It's not just the risk that something might go wrong (meaning a nail-biting trip to the hospital for an emergency cesarean), and not just the quirkiness of home birth settings (which can involve jealously raging house pets or leaky houseboats), but something inherent in the magic of birth itself. What sustains Vincent and her readers is this sense of standing ringside at the greatest miracle on earth. A solid writer, Vincent doesn't preach the virtues of unmedicated birthing; she just lays consistent stories of women doing it Christian Science moms, Muslim moms, spiritualist moms, lesbian moms, teen moms and just plain ordinary moms. With the midwife's axiom "birth is normal till proven otherwise" as a guiding principle, all these women have a chance to make childbirth a crowning moment in their own lives. Male readers may find this female-centered narrative off-putting, and mainstream readers might raise eyebrows at the inclusion of children in the birthing process, but Vincent addresses these issues fairly directly herself.
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An independent midwife specializing in home births, Vincent shares her insights into the profound complexities of both childbirth and the behemoth U.S. birth industry. Her vantage is that of a veteran maternity nurse and midwife who, from the 1960s through the early 1990s, practiced in almost every kind of birth setting, from homes to assembly-line hospitals. The reader witnesses the physical and emotional processes of birth through the care-provider's eyes as well as the heroic actions of mothers, midwives, and doctors as they save the lives of babies or confront the status quo in the healthcare system. The three decades of Vincent's practice saw momentous changes in maternity care, which has resulted in a more humane approach to childbirth in our culture.
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copyright © 2001-2 Peggy Vincent
Latest News
www.babycatcher.net [cached]
Peggy Vincent Bio
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Peggy Vincent's articles and essays
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Peggy was interviewed by Natalie Collins for an article at FictionFactor.com, the online magazine for writers.
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Hear an author interview with Peggy from a Santa Cruz radio station. (Click here to listen)
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"Vincent proves as gifted at birthing stories as she,became at coaxing babies out. "
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copyright © 2001-2 Peggy Vincent
Suggested Reading
www.babycatcher.net, 21 Sept 2010 [cached]
Peggy Vincent Bio
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Peggy Vincent's articles and essays
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Copyright © 2001-2 Peggy Vincent . All rights reserved.
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