Charlie’s Birth story

I woke up at 1.15 am weds 27th May trying to decide if I needed the loo or could get away with more sleep – having decided the loo was wise I felt damp trickling down my legs as I went down the stairs and immediately suspected it was waters over developing incontinence! The day before I’d not had any signs of impending labour although in hindsight the frequent cramps down my right buttock and hamstrings could have been a giveaway! I’d also seen my chiro that afternoon who had said he thought the baby would be here in the next day or two from the feel of my pelvis and spine.

Anyway, my mucus plug came away whilst on the loo and I was then in no doubt as to what had happened. I wasn’t feeling any cramps or contractions so decided just to put a pad in and try and go back to bed and get some rest. I also decided not to tell Dan so he would at least start the day fresh after as much sleep as possible. My main concern at that point was being ‘put on the clock’ or being asked to go to hospital and talk of induction if labour didn’t start so I lay back in bed and started using the pressure points on the top of my thumbs which Juliet (hypnobirthing teacher) had said could be useful for stimulating contractions. Just before 2am I was aware of mild period pains coming and going. Between dozing for a few hours and continuing to use the pressure points I think these were around 10 minutes apart. At 5am I decided to have something to eat and have a bath so I could at least start motherhood with clean hair!

Continue reading

Personal, caring and respectful

Another one from the team’s archives. This letter, dated August 2013, was addressed to Louise Stead the Royal Surrey County Hospital’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of Nursing and has been posted here with Saira’s consent.

Dear Ms Stead

My name is Saira L******* and I have recently had the absolute pleasure of giving birth to a healthy baby girl called Mia. My reason for writing is that I would like to share with you the impeccable service that my husband and I received from Tanya Ashton of the Surrey Hills Home Birth Team.

Tanya attended our home birth on Saturday 17th August. As soon as she arrived she filled the house with calm and this continued until our daughter was delivered 7 hours later on Sunday 18th August.

Tanya was not only able to deliver a professional service she was able to make it personal, caring and respectful.

Tanya’s technical knowledge and friendly upbeat attitude made me and my family feel safe and reassured. Tanya communicated with my husband so that they were both able to care for me, their relationship was fantastic throughout my labour. It is fair to point out that until this point my husband had never met Tanya, yet like the calming influence Tanya had on me she was able to have the same effect on my husband.

Since the birth of our daughter we feel that Tanya has been a god send, she still enters our home and emits calm over the frantic chaos. Her advice has been invaluable and I have valued the relationship that has been forged between me my husband and Tanya. She is a very special person and we cannot thank her enough for delivering our daughter safely in to the world and for taking care of me and respecting my wishes.

If Tanya was an independent midwife I would have no hesitation in recommending her to every women I came across, this is how much I value her. Instead I will recommend the Surrey Hills Home Birth Team to anyone I encounter that is pregnant.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tanya from myself and my husband Al, thank you we are eternally grateful.

Best regards

Saira L*******

The most wonderful, calm and empowering experience

An excerpt from a wonderful letter, dated April 2015, to Nick Moberly the then Chief Exec of the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Posted here with Sarah’s permission.
“…As a first time mother I was understandably apprehensive about having a baby but having attended the hypnobirthing course run by Sally Stainer at the RSH I felt hugely empowered and excited about the prospect of having Charlie in the comforts of our own home. Sally was a fountain of knowledge and most importantly positive inspiration and myself and my husband strongly believe that her work in encouraging the use of hypnobirthing should be actively supported by the trust and more women should be made aware of the hugely calming and relaxing benefits of hypnobirthing. Using the hypnobirthing methods I had Charlie at home with the use of a birthing pool and cannot express enough how positive the whole experience was.
For the few weeks before Charlie was born and for the birth itself we were supported by the RSH home birthing team who we can also not praise enough. Deana Frost and Tanya Ashton attended the birth along with a student midwife, Sam, all three of whom were amazing and made the birth the most wonderful, calm and empowering experience. I cannot fault the professionalism of the team and the wealth of experience held by both Deana and Tanya meant the birth felt controlled and calm at all times. All three also provided my husband with support for which he is extremely grateful. In addition, the follow-on care provided by Deana and Tanya was well as Laura McLean and another student midwife, Hannah, was wonderful and meant Charlie not only had a wonderful birth but also didn’t need to attend the hospital at all in those precious few weeks following birth.
In my opinion it is vital that RSH continue to support and provide such a wonderful home birthing service-It is a true testament to the hard work of Tanya and her team that women such as me can have such wonderfully positive birthing experiences…We are already looking forward to having baby number two using exactly the same birthing plan!
Yours Sincerely Sarah W******** and Stuart W********”

Click here to visit our Paid Classes information page to learn more about Hypnobirthing classes run by the Royal Surrey County Hospital antenatal education team

Meet the team

Surrey Hills Homebirth Team

We are a dedicated team of midwives from Royal Surrey County Hospital who look after women who choose to have their baby at home.

We are all passionate about home birth and are trained to provide care that will achieve the safest outcome for mother and baby and a positive birth experience.

For more information about Surrey Hills Home Birth or to arrange a meeting with one of our dedicated team email

Alternatively come and meet us at one of our monthly home birth forums.


The Spinney Children’s Centre, Southway, Guildford GU1 1NR

July TBC

October TBC

Loseley Fields Children’s Center, Green Lane, Binscombe, GU7 3TB

February 1st 2016

May 9th 2016

August 1st 2016

November 7th

The Bungalow, Hale Children’s Center, Upper Hale Rd, Farnham, GU9 0LR

March 8th 2016

June 7th 2016

September 6th 2016

December 6th 2016

The Community Center, Sundridge Road, Woking GU22 9AT

March 24th 2016

June 23rd 2016

October 20th 2016