So here is the story--it really does cover the waterfront on childbirth. There are at least a couple of babies born every episode, and while it does not go into the protracted 20 hour labors in detail, they are not sugar coating it either. There is a lot of screaming in pain, and there is a fair amount of childbirth appropriate blood. Bringing babies into this world is a bloody and painful business, and that is largely what the women in this show do for a living.
But that is not what I love about it. The setting is the late 1950's (and entering the 1960's as the show progresses) in a dirt poor working class neighborhood in London's East End. The nurses work out of a convent and they provide the only real medical care that is available to the residents there. The living conditions are appalling, as is the treatment of the elderly. The show covers all the things that you would expect in a show about women--besides childbirth and all it's complications, there is domestic violence, child abuse, abortion, the need for birth control, and the inequality of women at that time and place. These serious social problems are interlaced with the romantic lives of the nurses, and the running of a monestary. It is really quite wonderful, and I can't wait for Season 3!