Hello, my name is Sara 🙂
I run a website, blog and heart-funded birth information project which can help those of you who are studying midwifery, medicine, or birth-related areas. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re an aspiring or current student, or a birth worker who just wants to stay updated.
I’ve been a midwife (mostly independent, but not exclusively) for more than twenty-five years. I have worked in midwifery education and research. I’ve been invited to speak all over the world, I have written (or edited) seventeen books and I have been the editor of three midwifery journals. My goal is to help those who help women, babies and families. And here are ten ways in which you can use my work to help you in yours.
1. The Search Box
My website contains more than 500 articles, blog posts and information pages. You might find it useful to bookmark this site and use the search box when you’re looking for information. It’s in the top right-hand corner of every page on my site.
2. Articles and Books
I’ve written lots of articles over the years. About ninety per cent of them can be found on my articles page. If you’re looking for an article that isn’t there, then the chances are that either I don’t have permission to post it, or I consider it too out-of-date to keep on here. If the latter is the case, I may have written something more recent, so it’s worth doing a search – see above.
When you need more depth, I have written books on all sorts of practice-related topics that you’ll need to know about.
My most recent book is called In Your Own Time: how western medicine controls the start of labour and why this needs to stop.
Many students and aspiring students have also found What’s Right For Me? making decisions in pregnancy and childbirth really useful. It explains issues relating to decision-making as well as being a good overview of the different belief systems that exist within maternity care.
3. My love letter to student midwives
One of the most popular blog posts on this website was written for student midwives. I don’t have time to answer every individual email that I receive, but I wanted to find a way to respond to lovely students who needed kind words. You might like to bookmark or save it for when you’re not having a great day. Here it is: Eight things I’d like to share with midwifery students who care.
4. Instructions on using a Pinard
One of the most basic things you’ll need to learn is how to use a Pinard. Here’s a two-part article on that very topic, with tips from experienced midwives. Part two is here.
5. Regular birth-related research updates
As well as my paid work (writing, speaking, teaching, and consultancy), I run a heart-funded birth information project. As part of that, I share updates on key research on my blog and in my Birth Information Update; a monthly email newsletter which is totally free and contains a round-up of the latest birth-related research and thinking.
I also post a few things on social media. So you can get information and follow my adventures (and those of our somewhat uncouth cat, Mittens) on Instagram, or follow my page on Facebook.
And if you like what I do and would like to help me keep it going, you can buy one of my handmade velvet vaginas, birthkit purses or information bags in my seasonal (i.e. open in the run-up to Christmas) Etsy shop.
Or buy me a coffee. All the profits help keep the free stuff online 🥰
6. Tons of dissertation tips (well, at least 101!)
If you would love some help to get going with academic work, or wonder how you can get better at fitting it all in, then I’ve written a book just for you!
It’s not just for your dissertation though, and you don’t need to wait! Many people get it in their first or second year or even before they begin their studies. That’s because a lot of the tips can be used for other assignments too.
It’s also not midwifery-specific, so it works for people studying other subjects as well.
If you’d like to read some of the tips to get a flavour of the book, check out this page which tells you all about it. You can read the first chapter for free and there are also links to free study and dissertation tips.
7. Light relief
When you’ve had enough randomised controlled trials to last you for the rest of the semester, I’ve got some light-hearted stuff to help you recharge your batteries. You might like try some of the 15 ways I’ve found to knit a uterus, read my article about birth fairies or procrastinate by searching my website for the kitties belonging to well-known midwives and birth folk who sometimes decorate my blog posts. (That link takes you to just one example … there are more to find!)
8. Tips for finding articles
I once wrote a post in response to people who were feeling frustrated when they couldn’t access articles.
If you’re at a university or school which offers you library access, you might not need this. But if you get stuck, or for those who aren’t as blessed in the reference department, here are Nine tips for accessing academic papers online.
9. Fabulous educational opportunities
I know that students’ financial situations vary widely and some aren’t able to do lots of extra-curricular stuff. But when you’re able to invest in your education, I occasionally offer engaging online courses where you can connect with me and other midwives and birth folk from around the world. All from the comfort of your computer, tablet or phone!
I also sometimes offer in-person conferences, talks and workshops.
But these only happen occasionally!
We always give my newsletter folks an early heads-up of my online courses and live events. That’s because we have a limited number of places on each (so that I can chat with you personally) and some of them sell out really quickly once we share the details on social media. If you’d like to get those free newsletters and updates and haven’t yet signed up, here’s the page that you need.
10. And reminders of what’s important
Many people go into midwifery, medicine, or birth work because they care deeply about women, families and their experiences. Sadly, that isn’t always reflected in the reality of working in systems of care, as my loveletter to student midwives implies.
If you need an antidote to all that stuff, then I try to offer it on this website and in my work. A few examples include my blog post about watching the purple line, quotes about what’s important and lots of outside-the-box thinking. And finally, because I think it’s really, really important, I’ll remind you a lot about self-care!
So don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and let me keep you updated straight into your inbox while you worry about everything else!
Here’s wishing you all the best on your journey – wherever you may be – and I really hope that my work can help you in yours.
photo credits: Two hearts via photopin (license) and Italian Cat via photopin (license)
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