A midwife has drawn on her experience helping to birth hundreds of babies in the Stroud area to explore a moral dilemma in her first novel.

“There are four births scenarios in the book and every one of them has happened to me in one form or another,” said Mandy Robotham, a former journalist turned midwife now attached to Stroud Maternity Unit.

She has finished writing A Woman of War, which is set during the Second World War - a time when epidurals were unknown and babies were born under the threat of bombs.

“The essence of birth hasn’t changed in thousands of years - only everything around it has changed,” said Mandy.

“And it’s a great equaliser - rich or poor, powerful or not, at that pinnacle all women are equal, all need our help.”

Her novel centres around a moral conumdrum Mandy has discussed with her fellow midwives at Stroud Maternity Unit: is there a woman or baby a midwife might not want to look after?

That dilemma faces protagonist Anke Hoff, who has been assigned as midwife to one of Hitler’s inner circle and is torn between her duty as a caregiver and her hatred of the regime.

Mandy started on her book after completing a masters in creative writing, spending three years on it all the while working full time and being on-call for homebirths.

Published by Avon Books - an imprint of Harper Collins - A Woman of War comes out as an eBook on December 7 of this year, with the paperback coming out later in March 2019.