Your Guide

Sara 2012

Sara Wickham

Dr Sara Wickham is a midwife, speaker, author and researcher who offers a variety of creative resources for midwives, birth workers, women and families. Sara is the author/editor of fifteen books. She has lectured in more than twenty-five countries and provides consultancy services for birth and health-related organisations around the world. You can find Sara online at, @drsarawickham and at

Questions? Comments? Email me!

About this course

This course has now begun and registration has closed, sorry. To find out about future courses, please visit

Join Sara Wickham and colleagues from around the world for an online course to help you update on evidence and knowledge relating to the birth of the placenta. You'll feel refreshed, inspired and full of information to share with women.

We'll look at the very latest research and thinking through video presentations, podcasts, activities and discussions with woman-centred colleagues from around the world. We'll consider what we do and don't know from research evidence, ponder whether we can fill some of the gaps in the evidence with insights from practice experience and talk about how we can best help women to make the decisions that are right for them.

The summary...

Dates: June 14-21 2019 (with all course materials available for another three weeks after that in case life happens and you need to catch up).

Venue: Your computer (and most of the content is smartphone and tablet friendly too!)

Includes: videos, podcasts, discussions, loads of downloadable resources, ideas, peer sharing and support, an experienced facilitator and a live webinar.

Click 'Register Now' to book your place. 

Or read on to find out more...

The details in depth...

The decision about whether to have a physiological or actively managed placental birth is one that affects every birthing woman, so all midwives and birth workers need to be on top of the evidence and able to communicate it. The issues aren't straightforward, though; there are gaps between evidence and practice, the issues vary depending on the context and a number of key studies published in the past few years have shone new light onto this area. 

This course will help guide you through the issues, make sense of the evidence, put it into context and give you new ideas to take back into your work.

We'll look at the different approaches to the birth of the placenta; we'll consider when and why active management of the birth of the placenta is recommended and unpack the evidence relating to this decision; we'll consider and critique the different kinds of research studies and we'll look at what other kinds of knowledge can help us to plug the gaps in our current knowledge and understanding. 

There's lots of space for discussion of practice and the wider issues too. I know, for instance, that some practitioners feel that they don't get enough experience in attending physiological placental birth, or that the theory of this hasn't been covered in their education to date. I've tried to offer a partial solution to this by creating a space in this course where practitioners can discuss practice and share tips and experiences. I'll share some of my own stories too.

If you don't already know me, my name is Sara Wickham, and I'm a midwife with more than 20 years experience supporting women and families in home, birth centre and hospital settings. I have attended hundreds of births (and thus placental births!) and am experienced in attending women who opt for physiological placental birth. I've also got a PhD and a passion for helping people understand research, grow their knowledge and provide great care to women, babies and families. I'm the author of 15 books, including Birthing Your Placenta: the third stage of labour, which I co-author with Nadine Edwards and which is now in its fourth edition. 

I want to help you better understand the evidence relating to the birth of the placenta so that, together, we can improve women's experiences.

This course contains a hand-crafted series of lectures (which have been  broken down into short chunks and lovingly videoed just for this course), a carefully-signposted journey which will take you step-by-step through the issues, and even more written and online resources than I can usually carry  to workshops. You'll be part of an international group of equally passionate and committed midwives and birth folk in a private online workspace where we can chat, share experiences and exchange tips and ideas. I will facilitate the first week of the course, to  answer your questions, debate the issues and lead a live webinar. After that, you'll be able to spend a further two weeks with the material and each other, and many of the written resources are downloadable for later personal use.

This course includes:

  • Video lectures, podcasts, written material, questions and discussions covering the latest evidence relating to the birth of the placenta and related issues. 
  • A live webinar in which I'll look at course-related issues and answer your questions.  It's also recorded for anyone who can't make it live.
  • Written resources which you can download and keep even after the course closes.
  • Discussion space where you can share strategies and information and give and receive support with midwives and birth folk from around the world.
  • The chance to learn from real-life stories, experiences and sharing, not just 'the evidence'.
  • A smörgåsbord of resources for discussion and debate.
  • Lots of material to reflect upon in your portfolio and, of course, a certificate to say you were here!
  • The chance to connect personally with me, as I will be online with you during the facilitated week of the course. You can ask me questions and participate in a live webinar which I will facilitate and which will bring together midwives and birth folk from around the world.
  • And that's just a taster - there's lots more inside!

If this sounds good to you, just scroll back up and click the 'Register' button to join us :)

Who is it for?

If you are a midwife, midwifery student, birth educator, doula, doctor, medical student, health professional, yoga teacher, birth activist, holistic therapist or birth worker who is woman-centred and interested in updating your knowledge, discussing new research and sharing experiences in a friendly community with myself and a group of like-minded people from around the world, then this course is designed for you. 

Other people are very welcome to join us  too, but please be aware that this is a professional CPD course and some of the  discussions are likely to be technical. The nature of our modern culture requires me to make it clear that nothing that I or any course participant says or writes in this course can be taken to constitute professional midwifery or medical advice and that by signing  up to join this course you agree that you understand and accept that.

Who isn't it for?

I don't want you to sign up for this course if it's not right for you! If you already feel that you're really up-to-date in this area, then this probably isn't the course for you. If you don't have a woman-centred approach, you probably won't like what I have to say. And if you like to argue, then you might not enjoy the friendly, supportive community that you'll find in my online courses. We really do care that you pick education that will meet your needs, so if you're not sure if this course is right for you, just flick an email to and we'll try to help.

What will you find when you come in?! 

Your course includes a range of videos, podcasts, written resources, discussions and links to wider material. Each discussion or topic comes in a separate activity which means that you can work through the course in manageable, understandable, bite-sized chunks.  You'll find resources which you can print or download for later personal use if you would like to. The course also includes a webinar where I'll present live and be available to answer your questions. Plus, of course, you'll get to interact with myself during the facilitated week of the course and you'll have a total of three weeks to go through the material and chat with other participants in the discussion threads. 

Please be warned though ... this isn't e-learning where you just jump from one written slide to the next! There are twelve hours' worth of high-quality interactive learning material in this course. You can pick and choose what you want to do to suit your own needs but, if you want to make the most of the course, you'll need to  set aside some time, ideally in the facilitated week of the course, which is when most of the action and discussion happens.

I want you to feel refreshed, to be heartened by stories and suggestions and support from others, and to feel more secure in your own knowledge and experience. 

Just scroll back up and click the registration button above to join us. 

Dates for your diary...

All of the course materials will become available to you from Friday 14th June,  which means that those of you who have more time at the weekend can begin to work through the course then. I will pop in on that day and over the weekend and then join you more fully in the discussions from Monday morning (17th June) until Friday lunchtime (21st June)  ... that's the period that I'm referring to as the facilitated week of the course. During that time I will be available to chat and answer your questions and I will host a live webinar on Wednesday 19th June (9am UK time).  

I know your life is busy and you might not get to study everything during the facilitated week of the course, so you'll get to keep access to the materials for a further three weeks after that (until Friday 12th July) in case you need more time to catch up or go over anything. You can also download many of the written resources for later personal use. 

I can't wait to chat to you on the course!  Places are limited though, and course enrollment will close once we are full. 

With my very best wishes,


P.S. This is really important! 

When you register, you will be sent an email to confirm your registration and welcome you to the course. 

******* If you do not receive this email, please contact us at  immediately *******

The most likely reasons for not receiving confirmation are that you have  accidentally mistyped your email address or that the confirmation email  has gone into your spam/junk folder ... if it's there, please add our email address to your 'safe sender' list. We cannot be responsible for  this, or for you not being able to access the course/get a refund as a result of this kind of error, and we have no way of getting in touch with you if you have entered your email address incorrectly or if your server won't accept our emails, so please type your email address carefully, check for a confirmation email and get in touch right away if it doesn't arrive!


How much learning is in here?

This course contains 12 hours of learning, which equates to two full days of study. UK-based midwives might like to know that 8 hours of this time qualifies as participatory learning according to the NMC definition of this term. However, you can pick and choose the path you take through the course, and you don't need to do all of it if you'd rather concentrate on  particular areas. You can also download some of the reading for personal use later if you prefer.

Do I have to do it all at once?

No; that's the beauty of an online course like this. You get a whole week of facilitated learning and you'll be able to access the materials for a further three weeks after the facilitated week of the course ends in  case life happens and you need to catch up. However, we recommend that you try to engage in as many of the discussions as possible during the facilitated week of the course, as this is where a lot of the interaction and the 'a-ha' moments happen! 

Will I get a certificate?

Yes, you'll get a certificate for your portfolio at the end of the course.  

What have other people said about our online courses?

I'm  so glad you asked! ;) Here are some of the comments that previous participants have shared with us...

A fantastic course from which I have learnt, absorbed and considered so much; thank you to everyone involved for their time and effort in making this such a valuable thing to do!   Midwife, UK.

Another great course, thank you.   Midwife, Australia.

Sara thank you for making research so interesting and easier to understand and critique. This course has definitely made me look deeper and question my practice. I feel ready to go back to work, all full of knowledge and research evidence to discuss with colleagues and share with clients.  Midwife.

Wow! This has been great! Thank you. It has been so useful because of the way you look at research and critique it, and can see through the obvious results and conclusions. Some of what you said was new, some of what you said I already knew but it was great to now have the resources and evidence to back up my practice or question it! Thank you!  Midwife, India.

One of the things I love about your course is the discussions it generates among the participants. Thanks for another brilliant course. Midwife and Childbirth Educator, Australia.

A huge thank you Sara!! So much , so helpful...  Midwife, Spain.

Thank you so much for this course. I love the layout and structure of the course. It was easy to dip in and out of it when I had time (a few hours during the day, lying in bed at night, etc). So much great content, I didn't want to skip any of it. I loved all the short videos and your discussions of various studies. You are the only person that has made reading a research paper easy or understandable. Midwife.

Thanks for creating this course. It's an invaluable resource. Doula and yoga teacher.

All the small print ... cancellations, transfers and refunds

In a situation where a participant wishes to change or cancel their enrolment in an online course, we offer the following options. A participant may only take up one of these options once.

  • If  you wish to withdraw from the course up to 14 days after confirmation of your purchase and before the course has started, we will issue a full refund provided the course hasn’t yet started.  The refund can only be issued through our payment provider by the means and in the currency that you paid and we cannot compensate for any exchange rate fluctuations. It can take several days to be paid back onto your card.
  • If you wish to withdraw from the course more than 14 days after confirmation of your purchase and at least 24 hours before the course has started, we cannot offer a refund, but you can sell/transfer your place to a colleague or friend. We may be able to transfer your place to another course, but this is at our discretion and it will depend on whether and when we plan to run the same course again.
  • Refunds are not available once a course has started and you have been given access to the materials. If your circumstances change after you register  and/or you think you might experience difficulty completing the course then please let us know at least 24 hours before the course begins.   Online courses are like DVDs or CDs in that, once they have been opened (and if you have registered and paid for a course then we will consider that your access to the course will have been opened to you at midnight in your time zone on the start date), they cannot be returned. 

All requests for refunds or changes must be submitted by email to and not via social media, because we can't guarantee that we will see queries there. It is your responsibility to ensure that we have received your email within the stated timeframe, so please email us again if you are unsure. 

While we make every effort to run courses as advertised, we are a small, friendly, family-run business so we reserve the right to change course content and timings in the event of unforeseen illness, power outage or other similar issue. Rest assured that, if that ever happens, we'll find a way of making it up to you. We've never needed to cancel a course yet but, if we ever do, we'll give a full refund to participants. We've only ever had lovely people attend our courses but we reserve the right to suspend any student who disrupts the course.

My question isn't answered here!

No worries ... If you have any other questions, just email and ask!

To join us, just scroll back up and click the registration button. The number of places on this course is limited.

Wow,  you've read all the way to the bottom - thank you! I hope you'll join  us and I look forward to chatting with you in the course! :)