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Recipes for Normal Birth - a workshop with Sara Wickham (Stock)

Sara Wickham

Sunday, 21 September 2014 from 09:30 to 16:30 (BST)

Recipes for Normal Birth - a workshop with Sara...

Registration Information

Registration Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Standard ticket Ended £60.00 £0.00
Unwaged student ticket   more info Ended £50.00 £0.00

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Event Details

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t go on a course to learn how to cook. I learned over a long time.  I learned from watching other people, trying things myself, gleaning recipes for meals I liked and then tweaking them according to the circumstances.  I continue to learn and to adapt my knowledge as I go…

I think it’s a bit the same with birth. Of course, most midwives and many birth workers these days gain their initial education via formal programmes, but a lot of the real learning goes on elsewhere.  It happens when we’re with women, when we pick up tips from our colleagues and when we take time out to get a different perspective on our experiences. 

That’s why my newest workshop is titled ‘Recipes for Normal Birth'.  Like lots of other people, I think it’s important to focus on helping as many women as possible to have a normal birth, including those women who have more complex needs, but I don’t think there’s any kind of cookbook, prescription or pathway that is right for every woman.  I think we need to move away from thinking that routine practices are the answer, and to stay positive by getting realistic about what we – as midwives, student midwives, doulas, childbirth educators or other birth workers – can and cannot control.  We need to understand the basic ingredients, know how to adapt them when things aren’t going to plan, and have a kitbag of resources to draw upon when something a bit extra is needed.

In this workshop, I'm going to look at the latest evidence relating to the question of what keeps birth normal, and we'll draw out some themes to ponder.  I'll share what I think are three of the 'recipes' that we need to be able to work with when women are in labour, and we'll talk about how we can use tens of different ingredients, skills and tools to help individual women.  We will revisit some of the basics in a new light, have small group chats on a number of relevant issues, share hints and tips from practice, and bring it all together with a discussion of how we can go forward.

Does any of that sound interesting?!

Those are some of the things I plan to look at in this workshop, and I'm inviting you to take a day out and join this conversation.  If you bring your experience, questions and a willingness to sit in circle with a group of midwives, students and birthworkers who share your passion for being with women, I'll bring the chocolate and a smorgasbord of interesting ideas, questions, discussion topics and activities that we can explore together.  My hope is that you will leave the workshop feeling better equipped and re-invigorated.

This page contains all the details for the workshop, and if it sounds good to you, you can just scroll back up, click and buy your ticket online.  Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to seeing you soon :)

Please note: this workshop is also running in Olveston, near Bristol, on Thursday September 25th.  If that's a better venue/date for you, then click here...

Here beginneth the details...

This workshop is one of my 'village workshops' series; workshops that are run in community centres and village halls in order to keep the cost down for you.  Using this kind of venue also means we can sit in a circle rather than rows, it removes parking cost and hassle for those who drive and it puts money into smaller community ventures rather than big business.  We provide the tea, coffee and break-time treats; you bring your own lunch, and we all enjoy a quality workshop at lower-than-usual cost.

Please note that the number of places available is strictly limited, so book early if you want to be sure of getting a ticket.


Venues, dates and times...

This workshop runs in Stock, near Chelmsford, Essex, on Sunday 21st September 2014.  The venue is Stock Village Hall and you should find a map (which will let you get directions from your starting point) on the top right this page.

You are welcome to arrive and register anytime from 9.30am, and the workshop will begin promptly at 10am.  We will finish at 4.30pm, and the session titles and full timetable are in the next section. 


Sessions and timetable...

The day will be divided into four sessions as below.  The sessions incorporate a mixture of facilitator-led information sharing, small group work and larger group discussion, with the final session bringing the day together with a round-up of tips and tricks and plenty of time for questions.  Tea/coffee and lunch breaks give you a chance to reflect on learning, catch up with old friends and make new ones.  


Doors open for registration and coffee.

10.00 - 11.15


Exploring the Evidence: What keeps birth normal?

11.15 - 11.45

Tea/coffee break.

11.45 - 12.30

Three basic recipes; a billion variations.

Normality debated: learning from real women's stories.

12.30 - 1.30

Lunch break.

1.30 - 2.45

Tools that work - and when to use them.

Simple wisdom for normal birth.

2.45 - 3.15

Tea/coffee break, with questions to ponder.

3.15 - 4.30

Bringing it all together; tips, tricks, discussion, questions.

Where do we go from here?








Who's the workshop for?

This workshop is primarily designed for midwives and student midwives, but interested birth workers (such as doulas and childbirth educators) with relevant experience are also very welcome.  The nature of this workshop means that you will get more out of it if you have attended a few births and have a bit of experience, though, so if you are just beginning your course or career, you may find it more useful if you wait a while. 

I'm sorry, but this workshop isn't suitable for lay people or aspiring midwives who don't have any experience as a midwife/birth worker, as it assumes a good basic knowledge from a 'professional' perspective and we won't have time to address basic questions.


Travel and transport...

The nearest train station to the venue is Billericay station, which is just under 4 miles from the venue.  There are likely to be taxis available, or some of the local firms include Swift Taxis on 01277 757575 or Mayflower Cars on 01277 623000.

If you are travelling by car, there is lots of free parking at the village hall car park. 

If you would like to car pool or share transport with other participants, you are very welcome to post a message to my facebook page ( to see if anyone else is coming from your area. 



The cost of the workshop is £60.  This includes tea, coffee and break-time treats, handouts, access to related online resources and a certificate of attendance.  Please note that the cost does not include lunch so you will need to bring your own. 

The number of places is strictly limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment.


Unwaged student tickets...

We have made ten tickets available (on a first come, first served basis) at a discounted cost of £50 for unwaged students. If you buy one of these tickets, please email proof of your student status to within a week of purchase, so that your ticket can be validated.  If you miss out on the student discount and still want to come, you can either buy a full-price ticket or try another workshop. 


Cancellation and refund policy...

Cancellations received more than 30 days prior to the event will incur a £10 administration fee with the remainder of the balance refunded. After this time no refunds will be available. We are usually happy for you to transfer your place to another named participant or swap your booking for a place at another workshop, but any such changes need to be agreed by us first.  Please email us as soon as you think you might want to transfer your ticket with all the details.  We are sorry, but we will not be able to transfer any tickets less than 24 hours before the workshop begins, as we will be travelling to the venue and may be unable to get online. If you want to transfer an 'unwaged student' ticket, then we will either need evidence of the status of the person you wish to transfer the ticket to, or payment of the fee difference. 

We will do our best to accommodate all reasonable requests but, again, please give us as much notice as you can. You can email us at 

If we have to cancel an event, a full refund will be given, but we will not be liable for any other expenses, so please buy appropriate travel tickets and/or insurance.


What to do once you've booked...

Standard ticket holders: Once you've booked your ticket, you can pretty much sit back and relax until the day!  There is a list below of things you might want to bring, a map at the top of this page which you can click to get directions, and you can email us at if you have any questions that aren't answered here.  If you are on facebook, you might want to like/follow our page at to see any updates from others going to the workshop, but rest assured that, as long as your email address remains the same as the one you used when you booked, we will be in touch if anything changes.

Unwaged student ticket holders: If you have bought an unwaged student ticket, please send us proof of your status within a week of buying your ticket.  You need to have any email from us before your ticket is valid, so in the unlikely you haven't heard back from us within a week of emailing, please try again.  Once you've done that, relax as above!


What to bring...

We will have your name on file, so you don't need a printed copy of your ticket to get in, but you might like to print it for the other details.

Please bring your own lunch (but we will provide tea, coffee and break-time treats).

These workshops are designed to be informed and relaxed, and they may involve a practical tip here and there.  You may wish to wear comfy clothes (though please be assured there are no compulsory practical exercises!) and do feel free to bring a beanbag or cushion to sit on if you like.  Knitting/sewing bag optional ;)

We will provide handouts and paper for note-taking, but you may want to bring a pen and, if possible, we will bring some of Sara's books to sell on the day (at a discount where we are able to offer this), but we cannot take cards so you may want to bring some extra cash or your cheque book.



If there's anything we've forgotten, send us an email at and we'll do our best to help :)

See you soon!

Do you have questions about Recipes for Normal Birth - a workshop with Sara Wickham (Stock)? Contact Sara Wickham

When & Where

Stock Village Hall
Common Road
United Kingdom

Sunday, 21 September 2014 from 09:30 to 16:30 (BST)

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Sara Wickham

Dr Sara Wickham PhD, RM, MA, PGCert, BA(Hons) is a multi-passionate midwife, educator, writer and researcher who works independently, dividing her working time between speaking, writing, blogging, facilitating workshops, creating resources for midwives, birth workers and women and undertaking a wide variety of consultancy projects and advisory activities. Sara’s career has been varied and includes twenty years of experience as a midwife, lecturer and researcher.  She is the author/editor of thirteen books, has lectured in more than twenty countries, edited two midwifery journals and provides consultancy services for midwifery and health-related organisations around the world.

  Contact the Organiser
Recipes for Normal Birth - a workshop with Sara Wickham (Stock)
Chelmsford, United Kingdom Events Course Health

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