“Empowering you to take control of your birthing experience and journey into parenthood”
Hello! My name is Sara Salter, I am mom to Grace who is 4 and Henry who is 20 months, I am an Ofsted Registered Childminder and a passionate Birthing Instructor.
After a traumatic birth experience with Grace, I left hospital feeling a little shell-shocked and assumed this was just how birth was, especially after hearing lots of other negative stories. Eighteen months later I became pregnant again (a little earlier than planned!) and within weeks the anxiety and worry about giving birth kicked in.
At an antenatal appointment, we stumbled across a poster for ‘The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme’ – we were very open to the concept because my husband had used Hypnotherapy techniques for teenage anxiety with great success. We attended the classes and found the ideas and techniques made sense to us. We threw ourselves in to practicing them.
At my 40-week planned induction we put the hypnobirthing techniques to good use from the moment that we arrived at the hospital. My breathing techniques helped me to remain calm and relaxed throughout, the midwife commented on how relaxed I was from the very first examination. We were told I would be examined that evening to see if it would be at all possible to break my waters.
We spent our time walking around the hospital, we laughed lots and kept busy until mid-afternoon when we returned to our cubicle on the ward. At this point I was having regular tightening’s. We made ourselves comfortable with a birthing ball, dimmed lights, our relaxation tracks and funny programmes on the TV.
By 5pm I was having regular but manageable tightening’s. I told Dave to go and find something to eat as he might be allowed to stay with me that night as the baby might be here the next morning! At 5.40pm Dave returned with a big smile on his face, after a nice takeaway! I continued with breathing, bouncing and enjoying my relaxation tracks. A short time later my waters broke all by themselves.
After being so quiet in our little cubicle we had been forgotten about and it took about fifteen minutes for a midwife to get to us. As my waters had broken the midwife asked if we could pop into delivery, do a quick examination and check that baby was still happy. I walked from the ward to delivery – pausing every time I needed to. The midwife briefly examined me and was a little shocked to announce she could see baby’s head!
Henry was born happy and healthy a few minutes later weighing 8lb 3ozs.
We didn’t even have time to get his nappies, clothes or a hat out of the car!
After Henry’s birth, I left the hospital feeling empowered, strong and very proud of what I had achieved. I couldn’t wait to tell anyone and everyone how amazing my experience had been.
It is only since completing my instructor training that I understand with Grace it wasn’t the physical birth that was traumatic, it was the feelings of powerlessness, loss of control, lack of information and lack of preparation that left me feeling emotionally traumatised.
NOW – I still can’t wait to tell anyone and everyone that birth doesn’t need to be feared or dreaded, it can me magical, empowering and a wonderful experience.
Before the birth of our first child, Grace we attended a free government led antenatal class. We found the class to be underfunded, out dated and slightly depressing! We spent a lot of time googling everything and second guessing ourselves. Whilst completing my Hypnobirthing Instructor training I was given the opportunity to offer what we had missed out on, useful and practical antenatal classes.