My Bag Was Always Packed Book

The Life & Times of a Virginia Midwife
By Claudine Curry Smith & Mildred H.B. Roberson

Cascade HealthCare Products carries the book, My Bag Was Always Packed: The Life and Times of a Virginia Midwife, by Claudine Curry Smith. Claudine Curry Smith delivered over 500 babies in her three decades as a midwife in rural Virginia, traveling at all times of day and night and in all sorts of weather.

Born in 1918, this remarkable woman grew up in the segregated South, married at seventeen, raised seven children, drove a school bus for 37 years, picked crabs, shucked oysters, cut and packed fish, picked and peeled tomatoes, shucked corn, took care of children and elderly people, looked after sick folks, and cooked and cleaned for White people as well as for her own family. Married for 67 years, she is a treasure trove of stories about her life and times. When her first child was born with the help of a midwife, she was only 17 and living with her grandparents. To let the midwife, an aunt, know that labor had begun, someone rode by horseback to her home and she returned in her horse and buggy. Although there was no running water or electricity there, everything was ready for the midwife and the delivery went smoothly.

Mrs. Smith's own practice as a midwife included many homes without running water or electricity, but she always knew what to do. She delivered several premature babies and even a set of twins. And in all her years of practice, she never lost a mother. This book tells her story in her own words, with some background information written by the co-author to provide historical context. Her story illustrates the challenges and joys of a way of life unknown to much of contemporary American society but greatly valued by African Americans throughout the South. It offers one of the few written accounts of a time and practice largely ignored by history.

Paperback. 2003

Have you seen our extensive selection of midwifery items? We carry a wide variety of products for midwives in our Professional Products category, from Midwifery Kits and Fetoscopes to newborn Resuscitation supplies and Surgical Instruments for suturing! Just click here for our complete selection of midwifery Professional Products.

If you need help choosing the right products for your needs, our midwifery specialist, Cheryl Meyers, has over 30 years of experience working with midwives and health care professionals. You can email questions to or call us at (800)443-9942.

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