*Surrey Hills Homebirth Team Clients past and present*
I know that this is very short notice but the team needs your help. We have to provide evidence by Wednesday that our monthly forums are valued by service users.
If you have ever attended one (or more) of our forums and found the experience useful- perhaps allowing you to explore your options initially, helped you to get to know all of the team members, providing a forum to discuss Positive Homebirth experiences and information, meeting other families who had had or were planning a Homebirth- could you please email a few words to that effect including your baby’s birth month and year to Tanya.firstname.lastname@example.org
I wanted to write to you to express my gratitude and share my experience of care from the homebirth team. The majority of my care for my three pregnancies and 2 homebirths was given by Deana Frost and Tanya Ashton and I don’t think I could ever effectively put into words how much they mean to me. Their ability to go above and beyond what would be expected of them is commendable.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting all the homebirth members and would like to thank all of them for working together to make a truly awesome team
I honestly believe they are unsung heroes and I wish every woman could experience such a personalised service during pregnancy, labour and post natal care that I have been fortunate enough to have.
The continuity of care provided me with the chance to develop a rapport with the midwives, this meant when I was in labour and felt most vulnerable, I was being cared for by women I knew and trusted. This cannot be compared to having 3 shift changes during my first labour where I knew nothing about them and they knew nothing about me.
The relationship that was built up over the course of meeting the same few women during my pregnancies gave me the trust that they cared about how I wanted to birth; I felt this, along with me and my baby was prioritised above all else. They work with you to create your birth plan and because they are working in your home, it feels as though you are working with them, all striving for the same goal. They watched my body but never asked to do internal examinations, they allowed me to listen to my body during the birthing stage, they gave me the time and oppurtunity to deliver my own newborn, they gave me the chance to have a physiological third stage and actively encouraged skin to skin contact for as long as we wanted. This is just so different to my hospital experience where my wishes were not always followed and at times I felt like a number on a ward.
I appreciate that not everyone wants to give birth at home, or even have a “natural” experience, but I think it should be possible to establish the same rapport and trust with teams of midwives at maternity units.
So many people have said you must be a ‘brave’ person to have a homebirth but Deana and Tanya made me feel so empowered by my first homebirth I honestly looked forward to having my second one.
Mother Theresa once said “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone that will make many ripples.”
Knowing how Deana and Tanya made me feel and reading the feedback from other mums I truly believe they are causing ripples within the birthing world, spreading empowerment, confidence and happiness to mums and babies across Surrey. And that is a pretty spectacular thing to do!
I hope I personally managed to express my heartfelt thanks to Tanya and Deana, but wanted to write to you as head of midwifery in the hope that they and the entire team can be recognised for the outstanding work they do.
A feedback letter written to the Head of Midwifery at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Posted with consent.
Skin to skin is a wonderful way to greet your baby and help them transition from the uterus in to the world.
Skin to skin has been shown to help your baby regulate their temperature, heart rate and breathing and start to develop their immune system through the colonisation of their skin with friendly bacteria.
Being close to you helps your baby to feel safe, secure and loved. When they feel like this your baby will release the hormone Oxytocin which has a wonderful effect on brain development helping your baby to be happy and grow in to a confident child and later adult.
Skin to skin also enhances the release of oxytocin in Parents . This helps to contract the uterus after birth, reducing maternal blood loss, is essential for breastfeeding and is the hormone responsible for bonding.
Ask your midwife about how you can incorporate skin-to-skin in to your birth preferences.
You can help your baby’s brain develop in pregnancy by taking time out to relax and bond with them.
Talking, reading and/ or singing to your growing baby, stroking your bump and learning your baby’s movement patterns are wonderful ways to increase yours and your baby’s oxytocin and promote bonding and brain development.