We receive many more emails than we are able to answer, so have created this page in order to offer some general answers to questions that we are commonly asked and in the hope of saving time for everyone.
I have a question about pregnancy, birth or midwifery care?
We are not able to give free midwifery advice or information. That includes information to other health professionals or birth folk. We receive tens of requests for individualised information every week, mostly from people who are requesting free help and support. Even aside from the fact that email is not an appropriate means of communication when complex or personal issues are involved, we don’t have any funding to support the time that this would take. But there is lots of information on my website and in my books. If you need holistic midwifery advice, we recommend talking to an independent midwife or another suitably qualified and experienced practitioner. Do expect to pay for their time.
I have an academic question about research / evidence / an academic assignment?
Sara does occasionally take on PhD coaching and other paid academic support. This is really dependent on how much time she has and on the research topic. You can use the contact form to see if she has availability and to find out about rates. We are unable to offer free advice. If you would like to learn more about research or evidence from Sara, she runs online courses and is available to chat in the course platform and answer questions about course-related topics for the first week of each course. All dates and details here. Sara also has a book which offers academic advice and tips and it’s suitable for all students at any level: 101 tips for planning, writing and surviving your dissertation.
I have a question about one of your online courses?
Great. All our available online courses are listed on this page. Each available course has a link (on that page) to a course-specific information page, where you can also register for the course. Please read the information page, as we have answered every question we can think of on there. But if you have a question that isn’t answered on there, here’s our contact form.
Can Sara come and speak at our conference / workshop / study day?
(When things are more normal again), Sara does sometimes speak at conferences and study days. She receives lots more invitations for speaking engagements than she is able to accept. Ask as early as possible and send as much information as you can (dates, location, topics, times, budget etc). Sara is a professional speaker and will charge a fee. Sara does not speak at events that are sponsored by baby milk or private cord blood banking companies. We will look very closely at events sponsored by other companies to assess whether they fit with our ethics.
How far ahead do we need to book Sara?
As far as possible. Often, speakers get booked for conferences and workshops a year or more in advance, especially where significant travel is involved, and so the more notice you can give, the more likely you are to find speakers that are available on the date you have in mind.
Can I have a copy of your presentation?
Sorry, but no. We’re delighted if you enjoyed Sara’s talk (and/or sorry if you were at a birth and missed it), but this is how Sara makes a living. She would not be able to continue to do this if she shared her presentations. She also sometimes uses pictures of women, babies and families who have given their consent to have these shown in professional workshops but not to have them shared, copied or (especially) put on the Internet. Sara always asks people not to take photos of powerpoints or to video presentations for the same reasons. Any videos or photos of Sara’s presentations or powerpoints that are out there have been taken without her consent. In lieu of handing out her work in this form, Sara always offers handouts, notes and/or links to free materials on this website.
Why haven’t you answered my PM/DM on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram?
Because we haven’t seen it. We have had to turn the personal messaging systems off on social media because we receive tons more messages than we can keep up with. The vast majority are from people asking for free information, and we don’t have the time/resources to respond. We have a search box, online courses, a whole range of books and a contact page. Please note that, as above, we do not give free personal, professional or academic advice even if you send inquiries via the contact page.
Can I quote the articles on your website?
Yes, as long as you are within copyright restrictions. If you do not know what that means, please educate yourself and read this post, which might also help you avoid legal problems. Always ensure that you credit the originator of any work, and include a link back to their work.
Can I copy and paste your article / post onto my website?
No. That contravenes copyright law and directly undermines creators (like Sara) and their ability to continue their work. If you see Sara’s articles on web or file sharing sites other than those of the original publishers, then they are likely to be there without her consent. But by all means add a link to this website from a relevant page on yours and then we will both benefit. Please read this post, which might help you.
Can I translate one of your articles into my language?
This depends on which article, who it is for, who wants to translate it and who the original publisher was. Use the contact form and send as much detail as possible. It is not usually just up to Sara and it may take some time to sort this out.
Will you promote/review my book?
We get sent several books each month and there isn’t time to read them all, let alone review them. And if a book isn’t for me, then I’d rather give it no review than a poor review. If you’re a publisher, please don’t ask to send a review copy unless you accept the above. If you only send books to those who will guarantee reviews, there are lots of other wonderful people out there who would love to help. The upside of this policy is that, if you see me reviewing or raving about a book, you can be certain that I absolutely love it.
Will you promote/review my course, service or business?
No, sorry. I have no interest in being a so-called influencer and I don’t take on paid promotion because I want people to know that they can trust the independence of my view. And I don’t have time to do it for free. Again, if you ever see me raving about a course, service, you can assume that I’ve used it as a paying customer and just love it so much that I want to tell the world.
Can I advertise on your website?
No. We don’t take any ads, because I want people to know that they can trust the independence of my view. I do promote my own books and courses, and what we earn from course and book sales helps us to keep putting out the free content, including the website itself.
Will you write a blog post that promotes or links to my website?
No. See above re independence. If I’m writing about or linking to something, it’s because I think it’s fab. Not because anyone is paying me to promote it.
Can I write a blog post for your website?
Only if you’re Mavis Kirkham. (OK, so it’s possible that an exception to this may be made one day, but we certainly don’t accept guest posts designed to promote products, services or other websites).
Absolutely: it’s here.
I have a question about your work or website that you haven’t answered on here?
If you truly think you have an original question that you can’t figure out the answer to after reading about my stance on promotion, time and all that stuff, you can email via my contact page.