A systematic review and meta-analysis has further confirmed the safety of home birth for healthy women, even if they are having their first baby.
Group B Strep and Chlorhexidine
Dr Sara Wickham looks at chlorhexidine and GBS, considering the evidence and possible risks but also the context in which women turn to it.
Revisiting the world wide wonder
Re-sharing a 2002 article by Sara Wickham about the way in which medical information is spread and shared on the internet.
Evidence of the importance of listening to women
Research has provided further support for the idea that it is vital to listen to women and to pay attention to other ways of knowing such as intuition
The birth of a midwife?
Sara Wickham writes about children at birth through the story of ‘Eleanor’, a three year-old who came to her sister’s home birth.
How do you use a pinard? Sara Wickham and other experienced midwives offer tips, tricks and suggestions for those wanting to develop this skill.
The downside of trying to “manage” birth…
What is the downside of trying to manage birth? Sara Wickham looks at how our own actions are often working against women’s and babies’ physiology.
The wisdom of storks
Sara Wickham looks at what storks can teach us about the need for science AND stories when it comes to birth wisdom.
‘What is it called,’ a woman asked, ‘when you’re fearful of medicalisation?’ Sara Wickham attempts to provide an answer to this.
What’s an Aqua Apgar?
Sara Wickham describes the aqua Apgar score, which reflects the way that babies born in water may be more alert and less likely to cry.
The perils of cyberchondria
Sara Wickham writes about the perils of cyberchondria, or the consequences of using the internet as a source of health-care advice.
A potpourri of festive pondering on women, birth and midwifery
Sara Wickham celebrates the beginning of the 2017 holiday season by offering a potpourri of festive pondering on women, birth and midwifery
Sara Wickham discusses number crunching, statistics and the way that our cultural obsession with these things impacts health and maternity care.
The ungentle art of persuasion
Sara Wickham unpacks the way in which professionals are sometimes told to persuade childbearing women – even when they don’t want to.
Objectivity and post-it notes
Sara Wickham talks objectivity, the free post-it notes and other goodies available at conferences and how we should declare competing interests
Castor oil for labour induction
A study has looked at birthing outcomes of 323 women who used castor oil for labour induction, with interesting results, says Sara Wickham.
How to spot signs of infection in babies
A tool to help parents learn to identify signs of infection in babies. Dr Sara Wickham’s colourful graphic shows what we need to look out for.
Updated UK GBS guideline
Sara Wickham looks at the updated UK GBS guideline and what it means for women and their decision making during pregnancy and birth.
What is person-centred care?
Sara Wickham responds to a question about person-centred care and offers a definition from the British Medical Journal for this.
Engendering rather than endangering trust
Heavy-handed persuasion tactics and the aggressive language of some medically-focused papers are inappropriate and harmful, says Sara Wickham
Is prevention better than cure? Sara Wickham looks at the idea of prophylaxis; doing things to try to prevent disease and danger.
The evidence for rebozos
Sara Wickham begins her exploration of the use of the rebozo; a Mexican scarf sometimes used in labour and birth. What’s the evidence?
Pondering domesticity: what is domesticity, where is the joy in it and research looking at how domesticity dictates behaviour in the birth space
What is the BRAN analysis?
Sara Wickham defines the BRAN analysis, offering a bit of history and an explanation of what this decision making acronym means.
The words we use…
Sara Wickham’s article in which she discusses some of the language used around birth. Offers questions, insights and suggestions for change.
Is it a problem to take paracetamol in labour?
Sara Wickham points to a blog post answering a key question: is it a problem to take paracetamol in labour?
Do midwives kiss babies?
Do midwives kiss babies? Sara Wickham tried to answer this question, which once brought someone from a search engine to her website.
Birth outcomes in plus size pregnancy
Sara Wickham looks at another piece of research showing that we the ‘received wisdom’ on birth outcomes and women of size may be wrong.
Ten tips for accessing academic papers online
Sara Wickham looks at the problem of how to access research, especially if you’re not a current student. Offers tips for accessing academic papers.
More evidence on targeting anti-D
Research looking at targeting anti-D … using fetal rhesus group testing in order to offer anti-D only to women carrying rhesus positive babies.
Resources for questioning vaginal examination
Sara Wickham offers resources for questioning vaginal examination, both from her own work and other research, websites and organisations.
The language of birth: crossing the Ts and promoting positivity
Sara Wickham looks at more examples of the language of birth. More on why ‘T’ for term is problematic, and the promotion of positivity.
When even simple tools can harm…
Sara Wickham looks at a case study showing that heat sources can be harmful when women use epidural analgesia in labour, because of the loss of sensation
Exploring the Exceptions
Sara Wickham on ‘exploring the exceptions’ … the times in midwifery and medical practice when general rules should be ignored or broken.
More evidence that (and why) induction leads to more caesareans
Women who undergo induction of labour are more likely to end up with a caesarean section than if their labour began naturally
Is this going to change your management?
Is this going to change your management? Sara Wickham discusses a useful way of thinking and a principle for midwifery and medical practice.
Defining active labour
Sara Wickham looks at defining active labour and a paper which has added to the debate about the different guidelines relating to this.
A Fundamental Contradiction: the business model does not fit midwifery values
Mavis Kirkham’s article: A Fundamental Contradiction: the business model does not fit midwifery values
Individuals don’t behave according to statistical means…
Professor J Christopher Glantz offers an eloquent and excellent rebuttal of the argument for early routine induction of labour
Who’s most likely to get an inaccurate due date?
Who is most likely to see a discrepancy between their own due date (by the date of their last period) and that calculated through ultrasound scanning?
Dissertation tip #103 – proofread what you’ve written…
Sara Wickham offers a tip for those writing: proofread what you’ve written. Links to many more!
Why I’m passionate about ‘post-term’ pregnancy
Sara Wickham explains why she’s passionate about ‘post-term’ pregnancy.
The bumpiness of the playing field…
In what state does a baby need to be born by caesarean in order for us to question whether it was necessary, asks Sara Wickham.
We’ve always done it that way
We’ve always done it that way – part 1 of an article by Sara Wickham
Eight ways of promoting active birth through bedlessness…
Sara Wickham offers practice suggestions of ways of promoting active birth by moving away from the delivery bed as a place on which to give birth.
Questioning induction of labour in older women
Dr Sara Wickham asks whether the evidence supports recommending early induction for older women.
Women’s LMP dates are just as accurate as scans…
Sara Wickham looks at research showing that women’s last menstrual period dates are just as accurate as the date calculated by a ‘dating scan’.
Risk and birth
Sara Wickham offers resources to illuminate and further thinking about risk and birth and how the notion of risk is discussed in pregnancy and birth.
What do women think of due dates?
What do women think of due dates? Sara Wickham looks at the findings of research which asked that question.
A pot pourri of birth-related knitting resources
Sara Wickham offers a collection of birth-related knitting resources, both on her site and beyond. Includes links to patterns and discussion articles.
The madness of modern measurement
The madness of modern measurement. True stories of situations in maternity care where machine ‘knowledge’ overrides human knowledge, even though it’s wrong.
To feel, or not to feel?
Sara Wickham discusses the practice of feeling for the nuchal cord at birth. How do women feel about this? Should this ever be routine?
What does “at risk of needing a caesarean” actually mean?
What do we really mean when we say that someone is ‘at risk of’ or ‘in need of’ something? Not always what those words imply.
Midwives matter more than monitors
Midwives matter more than monitors. Sara Wickham discusses research on fetal monitoring which shows that midwives make more of a difference.
The importance of everyday birth wisdom
The importance of everyday birth wisdom. The commonsense things that midwives do, and why it can be hard to access and share such knowledge.
The risks of estimating an unborn baby’s weight
What are risks of estimating an unborn baby’s weight? Any why on earth would this even carry risks? Sara Wickham explains.
Another way that induction might be increasing the caesarean section rate?
When we consider whether and how much induction is raising the caesarean rate, are we counting the women who request this due to fear of induction?
Let there be mood lighting…
Tips and tools for setting the right kind of lighting for labour and birth, both at home and in hospital, from Sara Wickham.
More reasons to personalise the ‘due date’
A new study has added further weight to the idea that we ought to personalise a woman’s ‘due date’ rather than using a universal calculation.
The ALTE mysteries
Sara Wickham shares concerns about papers implying that ALTEs are associated with or a consequence of skin-to-skin cuddling or breastfeeding