Your Guide

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Sara Wickham

Dr Sara Wickham is an author, speaker and researcher who offers a variety of creative resources for midwives, birth workers, women and families. Sara is the author/editor of sixteen 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

Join Sara Wickham and colleagues from around the world for a week of online learning, discussion and reflection which will help update you on new birth-related research and thinking. You'll feel refreshed, inspired and full of information and ideas to use in your practice and share with women and families. 

You can then access all the materials for a further four weeks to finish working through them in your own time.

The summary...

Dates: November 5-12 2021. Materials accessible until December 10th.  

You will have 24/7 access to all course materials from November 5th until December 10th

Sara will be available to chat in the course during the first week, from November 5th to November 12th.  She will say farewell on November 12th but you will retain 24/7 access to all course materials and be able to chat with other participants in the course discussions for another four weeks after that. 

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 for the first week, technical support throughout, materials to support CPD, plus a live webinar (also recorded for later viewing while the course is open). 24/7 access to all materials for a five week period.

Click 'Register Now' to book your place. 

If you need any help signing up, just email and we'll be happy to help. 

Or read on to find out more...

The details in depth...

I know from experience that many midwives and birth folk just don't have the time to keep up with all the new birth-related information that is being published. Much of it is not relevant, and some is one-sided or not undertaken from a woman-centred perspective.

It's hard to know what to trust. It can also be hard to learn the skills that will help you be more discerning in the future.

I am offering a solution to this.

I am a midwife, educator, author and researcher, and it's my job to stay on top of the evidence relating to pregnancy and birth. I have brought together a selection of the key information and research from the past year or so and crafted it into an online course. Gathering in the Knowledge will help you get up-to-date with the evidence, get to grips with the detail of some of the key debates and enable you to better help women and families. 

This is the fourth year that we have run Gathering in the Knowledge. We create a brand-new version at the beginning of every year and I'm delighted that a large proportion of our course participants find our course so useful for their work that they come back every year.

In this course, you'll be able to:

  • Get updated on the latest evidence on many birth-related topics, with the help of video lectures, podcasts, written material, questions and discussions.
  • Join myself and your course colleagues for a live webinar looking at the very latest research. 
  • Download printable handouts and worksheets to give you a head start with your notes and reflections.
  • Explore the latest research findings in a series of video lectures offering 'research round-ups' on different aspects of pregnancy and birth.
  • Learn more about how to read, appraise and carry out research as I explain elements of research in depth.
  • Discuss strategies, share information and give and receive support with midwives and birth folk from around the world.
  • Learn from real-life stories, scenarios and sharing, not just 'the evidence'.
  • Get lots of material to reflect upon in your portfolio (and, of course, a certificate to say you were here!)
  • Use our handy reflection logs to record your hours and reflection for revalidation or professional development.
  • Connect personally with me, as I will be online with you during the first (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.

In this year's run of the course, some of the key topics include:

  • An overview of 'the big stories' from the past year or so, including a section for updates on how the corona virus pandemic is affecting birth and a conversation about why we need to talk about race.
  • Videoed research round ups on pregnancy, labour and birth, and postnatal and neonatal wellbeing.
  • Exploration of some of the recent conversations and research relating to big babies.
  • A focus section, research updates and discussion on research that might be useful for those involved in childbirth education.
  • A conversation about conflicting statistics on the incidence of uterine rupture for those considering VBAC, and how to make sense of this.
  • Discuss articles that question current thinking about gestational diabetes, contemplate creativity in pregnancy and look at women's experiences and recent research relating to membrane sweeping.
  • Ponder and chat about new ideas relating to approaches to "the second stage" and optimal cord clamping and caesarean.
  • Chat about postnatal checks, and look at what we can learn from research on bedsharing and breastfeeding.
  • A focus throughout on woman-centred care, and a bonus section offering a smörgåsbord of resources for discussion and debate.
  • The best blog posts of the past year or so.
  • 'Stop press' updates if key research emerges during the facilitated week of the course.
  • 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 secure your place.

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.

We've now helped thousands of midwives and birth folk get up to date and increase their knowledge and confidence with research. Best of all, 99% of participants say that the course met their expectations and more than a third of all of our participants have said that it exceeded their expectations.

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 with birth-related research, 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 lesson which means that you can work through the course in manageable, understandable chunks.  You'll find printable handouts and other written 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 chat and 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 five 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 24 hours' worth of high-quality interactive learning material in this course, although you can of course pick and choose the bits that are relevant for you, and there's no obligation to do everything. We encourage people to see Gathering in the Knowledge as a buffet. Some people choose to do some of the self-directed activities and then also take the opportunity to interact with others. Some focus just on the topics that are relevant to their area of practice. It's flexible, and you can adapt it to your needs. 

Because our courses are so flexible, many UK midwives take them as a way of getting up-to-date and gathering the learning hours they need for their revalidation. As well as counting up to 24 hours of non-participatory learning (and we provide downloadable, printable logs so that you can keep track of what you're doing and also structure your reflection, if you need help with that), you can count any time that you spend interacting with others in the course as participatory hours. Our live webinar also counts as participatory learning. 

You can pick and choose what you want to do in the course to suit your own needs. Some people like chatting and interaction more than others, and we welcome all approaches! But if you want to make the most of the course, you'll need to set aside time to complete it within the time frame. It's best if some of that time can be in the facilitated week of the course,  which is when most of the action and discussion happens. That's also the only time you'll be able to chat to me personally.

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 5th November,  which means that those of you who have more time at the weekend can begin to work through the course then. I will be available to chat with you in the course discussion threads and answer your questions during the UK daytime all day on that day, over the weekend and throughout the next week, until lunchtime on Friday 12th November.  That's the period that I refer to as the facilitated week of the course. 

I will host a live webinar on Thursday 11th November at 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 FOUR weeks after that (until Friday 10th December) 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. Course enrollment will close once we are full. Most of our courses fill up before their starting date.

Click 'Register Now' to book your place. 

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. We also 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 24 hours of learning material. 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. UK-based midwives might like to know that some of the learning that you will undertake in this course (including the webinar and any time you spend discussing the material with others) qualifies as participatory learning according to the NMC definition of this term. Please see the "What will you find when you come in" section above for more on this.

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 FOUR weeks after the facilitated week of the course ends in case life happens and you need to catch up. But the course is only open for five weeks each time. That's actually an advantage for you. We have found that people actually don't complete courses when they have forever to do so, or when they are open for a long period of time. They leave the link in their email for "when they have time" but that time never comes, and then they feel guilty because the link is STILL there, or because they had access to it for ages but never finished. Our limited time approach means you're FAR more likely to finish and get the benefit of the course material, and our course completion stats evidence that. We'll support you with regular email reminders and a group that will cheer you on through the course as you work through it together.

We do 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. That's the best time to engage with others if you're looking to stack up some participatory learning hours. It's also your opportunity to chat with Sara directly, as Sara doesn't participate in the course or answer course-related questions after that week, although you can still chat to other participants until the course closes. You also still have fabulous technical support until the course ends if you need it. 

Will I get a certificate?

Yes, you'll get a certificate for your portfolio at the end of the course.  You can download it from the course itself, anytime while you have access.

Do you give CPD credits for my midwifery/doula/childbirth education organisation?

Sorry, but no. We have midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and others from all over the world on our courses. Between them, they belong to tens of organisations, and we simply cannot undertake the paperwork for every different organisation. Most organisations allow people to undertake some non-accredited learning and count this towards their CPD and, with this in mind, we detail learning outcomes on the certificate which will be provided for you, and we offer tips and suggestions for you throughout the course on how to record and evidence your learning. We also have sheets that you can print or fill out on your computer to evidence your learning.

What have other people said about Gathering in the Knowledge?

I'm  so glad you asked! ;) 

Here are some of the comments that previous participants in Gathering in the Knowledge 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. I much look forward to topping up each year.  Midwife, Australia.

I've really enjoyed the course and the wealth of information you've provided on this course Sara.  Midwife, New Zealand.

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.

I would definitely recommend this course to my colleagues!  Midwife, UK.

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! I would love to do this yearly!  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 have signed up to a course but wish to move to another course instead, we will be happy to transfer your place (1) as long as there are places available on the later course and (2) as long as you let us know at least 24 hours before the start of the course you were originally signed up on. 
  • 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 refund minus the small charge that our payment processor takes (approx 4% of the fee paid) 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. As above, we can also transfer your place to another course.
  • Refunds and transfers 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 or any other route. 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.

Once you have signed up to the course, you will receive a number of emails with details of how to access the course, the webinar and important administrative information. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are receiving these emails and to contact us if you have any problems. We're always happy to help. If you choose not to ensure that you are getting our emails, or to unsubscribe from course emails, we will have no way of sending you information or messages about the course and cannot be held responsible for you missing out on course-related information.

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 never had a webinar disrupted but, if that ever happens, we'll offer another within a couple of days of the first. We've only ever had lovely people attend our courses but we reserve the right to remove (without refund) any student who disrupts the course.

Terms and Conditions

This course is for individual use only.  Each participant needs to pay for a course place and secure their own username and password. 

We reserve the right to question and/or remove any user who logs in on an unusual number of devices, as this can be a sign of illegal password sharing. 

Unless stated otherwise in the individual lesson, all of the course content is copyright. 

Videos, podcasts and written materials may not be shared with others in any form, including photographs or screenshots on social media. 

The course is designed to help those working with pregnant and birthing women and families to stay up-to-date with birth-related research and thinking. Signing up to the course indicates your acceptance that you will not attempt to use the materials in this course to teach colleagues or others who work in this way.  We fully support you to use your new-found knowledge in your work or childbirth classes but you may not directly use our materials to do so.  

We are a small, family-run business. If you think that others would benefit from our course, please encourage them to sign up themselves, as this will also help us to create more courses as well as continue to offer free materials on Sara's website. 

Please contact us before signing up if you need clarification on any of this.

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.

If you need any help signing up, just email and we'll be happy to help. 

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.