Sibling Rivalry: The Furry Edition



Another gorgeous boy for this lovely family #HomeBirth



Summer Party Sneaky Peek*

We had such an amazing time celebrating the team’s 5th “birthday”. Thank you so much to everyone who came along and made the afternoon so special. It was wonderful to catch up with you all. A special thanks to Jane  (team founder) and Sam (team midwife until Jan 2016), who stopped by to celebrate with us.

It was especially magical to see the team’s oldest (five years) and youngest (nine days) “babies” enjoying the festivities!

While the Royal Surrey has had a home birth service for many years the formation of a dedicated team of case loading midwives only occurred in June 2011. We are very lucky to have developed such an established service in a relatively short period of time.

As a team we are very aware that other midwives do not have the luxury of being able to practice they way we do, that some areas of the country don’t have a dedicated case loading home birth service, are only just beginning to develop one, or are having to join together with their service users to  fight tooth and nail to maintain theirs.

We know that we owe the success of the teams establishment within the community to the fantastic work you all do sharing your positive experiences and passing on your word of mouth recommendations. We certainly don’t take the privilege of providing this service and working with your wonderful families lightly.  So, Thank you for everything you do to promote the team to your friends, families and the communities of Surrey and Hampshire.

Same time next year?!

*We are hoping to share some more of the wonderful images captured of the day. We just need to tick some boxes and cut through some red tape first. If you came to the party and you are happy for us to share your image for the purpose of publicising the team and its service, and you haven’t already completed a consent form, could you please get in touch with us at tanya.ashston@nhs(dot)net titling your email, Photography consent.

The Surrey Hills Team Celebrate its Fifth “Birthday”!

“It was a calm and empowering experience”

Five years ago Cheryl Cooke was the first mother to be supported by Royal Surrey County Hospital’s newly formed home birth team.

Here the sports masseuse explains why she is once again planning to welcome baby number two without setting foot outside her front door.

“When I was pregnant with Zara I was keen to go down the most natural route possible,” said the 40-year-old from Ash, Surrey.

“I quickly decided that the hospital environment was not for me and I wanted to give birth in my own way and be in total control of the situation.”

Cheryl discovered Royal Surrey’s newly formed Surrey Hills Home Birthing team.

She welcomed Zara, now aged five years, into the world on June 2011, from the comfort of an inflatable birthing pool in her living room.

“I managed to stay relaxed because I was in my own home,” said Cheryl.

“I was calm and just trusted my body to know what it was doing. It proved to be the most wonderful, calm and empowering experience.

“The home birthing team were just brilliant.”

Senior midwife Tanya Ashton said: “Woman can refer themselves to the home birthing team at any stage during their pregnancy.

“As a team of midwives, we are all passionate about home birthing and we are all equipped with the knowledge and expertise to achieve the safest outcomes for mother and baby, as well as providing a positive birthing experience.

The Home Birth Team will be holding a Summer Party for families past and present, as well as those interested in finding out more about the service, on August 6.

It will take place between 1pm and 4pm at Lawnsmead Hall, Wonersh, Surrey, and all are welcome..

Tanya added: “This promises to be a fantastic event not just for our families past and present, but also for those who would like to find out more about home birthing.”

To find out more about Royal Surrey County Hospital’s home birth team visit or  contact the team directly on 07467339395 or email

A Very Positive Birth Experience

Testimonial april 2016

If you had told me a year ago that I would have a baby at home with no pain relief I would have not believed it but it happened and it was an amazing experience. Not a feeling that I would have previously associated with the idea of childbirth. I had believed what I saw on the TV and didn’t know that there is another way.

I transferred to the Home Birth Team about half way through my pregnancy after a visit from one of the team and attending one of the forums and it was the best decision that I made.

I am so very grateful to the community midwife at the GP surgery that I attended at first for mentioning that a home birth was even an option. I did not know of the Home Birth Team’s existence and had no idea that a home birth was “allowed” for a first timer.

The care that I received throughout my pregnancy and following the birth was amazing. I felt that I had very personalised care, every appointment was relaxed and informative, every question that I had was answered in detail and I think that it is all these things that helped me to have a very positive birth experience.

I can’t really put into words how grateful I am to the Home Birth team as I just feel that they had such a huge impact on my biggest life event and made it such a happy time.

Surrey Hills Client April 2016

Virtual Tour of the Maternity Unit

The talented people at the Royal Surrey County Hospital Photography and Graphics department have created a fantastic virtual tour of the RSCH Maternity Department, providing a concise overview of the birth place choices available to our clients.

It video showcases the hard work that has taken place over the last few years to enhance the aesthetic of the department and create a more comfortable, homely and hormone enhancing environment in which to give birth.

So grab a cuppa, sit back and take a virtual tour of the unit from the comfort of your own home. For those of you planning to birth your baby in the most comfortable and homely environment you know- your own home- this might be the closest you ever get to the maternity unit on level G. For those of you still exploring your options, the tour is a great starting point for your research.

The video is provided in addition to weekend tours of the unit which will continue to be offered to you from your 34th week of pregnancy and tours included with antenatal education classes. You can learn more about the Royal Surrey’s Education Classes (here) and in the The Little Bag section of this site.

Never afraid promote client choice through the use of social media, the team are well represented in the video. Listen carefully and you will hear the soothing voice of our very own Deana Frost narrating the antenatal section of the tour. At 05:02 you can watch our mighty team leader, Tanya Ashton, promoting birth at home and the work of the team. Even this blog makes it’s YouTube debut at 05:25!

For more information about Maternity at the Royal Surrey County Hospital click here