Call the Midwife is based on the best selling memoirs of Jennifer Worth. Set in the 1950s, this six part series is a moving and intimate insight into the colorful world of midwifery and family life in London's East End. We are introduced to the local community through the eyes of young nurse Jenny Lee as she lives and works as a midwife alongside the Nuns of the Order of St. Raymond of Nonnatus.
In 1957 newly-qualified but naive midwife Jenny Lee comes to work in London's East end to work with an order of nursing nuns when she had been expecting a hospital as a base. Whilst pleased to have helped no nonsense Sister Evangelina deliver her first baby she is shocked by the poverty of her clients,terming the women 'heroines'. She is especially concerned for Conchita Warren,a Spanish former child bride,who speaks no English and is about to give birth for the twenty-fourth time. When Conchita falls down,inducing early labour, Jenny is thrown in at the deep end to deliver the baby on her own but wins praise from the doctors for her successful work.
Gangling,clumsy 'Chummy' Browne comes to the convent to gain experience before leaving for Africa as a missionary and is mistrusted by Sister Evangelina because of her upper class background. Nonetheless,on her first solo job,a difficult breach birth,she proves to be an excellent midwife and wins local respect. Jenny befriends pregnant Irish runaway Mary's whom convent head Sister Julienne places in a Catholic home for unmarried mothers where she has a daughter.Jenny is shocked to learn that Mary was only fifteen and,as a result, the child was given away for adoption without her consent.
Given district nursing duties Jenny meets and befriends old soldier Joe Collett,whose ulcerated legs make him a prisoner in his squalid tenement flat. Having allowed homeless old flame Jimmy to sleep in the convent boiler room Jenny gets him to help her take Joe to an army reunion but the flats are shortly demolished as uninhabitable and Joe ends up in an inefficient care home where he dies,leaving Jenny his few belongings. Her colleagues Trixie and Cynthia attend to middle-aged Winnie and Ted,both on their second marriage but,unlike the childless Ted, Winnie,who has three children of her own,is not looking forward to the baby's birth. After delivering the child the nurses see why but Ted is so elated that he is forgiving. Chummy meanwhile goes on a date with local policeman Peter Noakes.
Margaret Jones moves into the area with husband David and Cynthia becomes her midwife. Sadly Margaret contracts pre-eclampsia which seals the fate of herself and her child and Cynthia is deeply moved by David's devotion to his wife. Baby Gillian Redmond is snatched from her pram and everybody in the locality sets out to search for her. Ultimately Jenny is instrumental in her retrieval though the encounter with the culprit is painful for her. At least Jenny gets to go dancing with Jimmy and the other nurses including Chummy and her policeman beau.
Peggy,the nurses' cleaner,tells them her brother Frank is ill. In fact he is dying of pancreatic cancer but refuses hospital admission as he and his sister were raised in a work-house and he has a fear of all institutions. Visiting their house Jenny is shocked to find that they share a bed but Sister Julienne does not condemn this, recognizing the mutual love and dependency the couple share,even unto death. Chummy,having won over hecklers at her contraceptive demonstration, prepares to meet Peter Noakes' mother but they end up helping handyman Fred deliver his pig's litter.
Sister Monica Joan is accused of theft, and Chummy's mother pays her a visit.