Congratulations on your pregnancy or on having
just had your baby!
My name is Saveria Upcraft and I am a hypnobirthing Wise Hippo Instructor, a Clinical Hypnotherapist, an NLP, IEMT and HypnoMothering practitioner, and a birth and postnatal doula. This means that I provide physical, emotional and spiritual support at all stages of pregnancy, labour, birth and early motherhood. I am based in Wallingford, South Oxfordshire, and offer a variety of services, as detailed below and on the other pages of this website, covering most of Oxfordshire, parts of Berkshire and parts of Buckinghamshire (Wallingford, Cholsey, Didcot, Benson, The Stokes, Abingdon, Reading, Henley, Aylesbury etc.).
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What is the hypnobirthing Wise Hippo Birthing Programme?
While I trained in HypnoBirthing™ – The Mongan Method with the HypnoBirthing Institute (the original American HypnoBirthing programme) in 2012 and taught the course for 3 years, I now teach the classes created by the Wise Hippo Ltd, which offer modern, UK-based programmes. These have been helping women have a safe, natural and comfortable birth for over 2 years now, and their statistics prove it. Hypnobirthing is simply about birthing while in a state of very deep relaxation. When you are relaxed, your birthing muscles work in harmony, you may feel little or no discomfort (a lot of women just feel pressure and tightening around their tummy) and your baby is birthed safely and calmly. Hypnosis in this context has nothing to do with stage hypnosis – women remain totally in control and are not made to do and say silly things just to entertain an audience who wants to be entertained. It is merely about going back to the basics of birth, learning how the birthing body works, and trusting your body and baby to do what they need to do, just as Nature intended. In my Wise Hippo Birthing Programme classes, you will learn how to prepare for birth using breathing, visualisation and self-hypnosis techniques and affirmations, reprogramming your mind so that you are not fearful of birth and trust your body and baby to do what they need to do. Thanks to all these tools (and plenty of MP3s), women remain totally in control and actually feel empowered, and so do their husbands/partners, who fully take part in birth preparation and the birthing process. At The Wise Hippo, we believe that a positive birth experience is a state of mind; it’s not defined by what happens during labour and birth but by how a woman feels about her baby’s birth. The skills and knowledge that you will learn will empower you to trust your instincts and ensure that your baby has the right birth on the day.
Antenatal, birth and postnatal support – what is a doula?
A doula is a professionally trained birth companion. The word originated in Ancient Greece, where a ‘doula’ (pronounced ‘doola’) was a woman’s servant or slave. It is a bit more glamorous nowadays but the role is essentially the same: a doula tends to the woman’s every need, in every way that she can, whether it be emotionally or practically. Postnatally, the doula looks after the mother and her baby, but also her other children if this is not her first. The doula is there to ‘mother the mother’. Equally, antenatally, the doula is there to mother the mother or mother-to-be, helping with light chores around the house, cooking meals, looking after the older child(ren), walking the dog, running errands, etc. She is also there to assist with preparing the upcoming birth, thinking about birth preferences, planning childcare and generally discussing any concerns the mother or parents may have.
Nests and nesting
There is a French saying that goes: ‘Petit à petit, l’oiseau fait son nid ’, which literally translates as ‘Little by little, the bird builds its nest’.
This is true of birds, but it is also true of women, who use the 9 months given to them by Nature to make a baby and build their ‘nest’ around it, slowly, as their baby grows. And of course, this is true of the postnatal nest – it takes time to get the nursery/baby room ready!
As a mother of two, hypnobirthing instructor, birth doula and postnatal doula, I also believe that it takes time to prepare for the birth itself and the postnatal period. We can put these 9 months to good use – get everything, but also ourselves, ready to meet our new little bundle of joy, whether it’s the first, second, third or tenth.
In these pages, you will find all the information you need for this preparation and I will explain how I can help you as a hypnobirthing instructor and as a birth doula. You will also discover the services I can offer as a postnatal doula during the weeks and months beyond the birth of your baby (I am currently unavailable for antenatal services other than helping you plan the birth, discussing your birth preferences and providing information) as well as a HypnoMothering practitioner, an IEMT (Integral Eye Movement Therapy) practitioner, a Professional and Clinical Hypnotherapist and an NLP practitioner.
As for the ‘Nesting Mums’ logo at the top of these pages, the nesting dolls represent the various stages of motherhood and how I see the doula (the one dressed in purple!) as the mother of them all – the mum who mothers the other mums as well as their babies. The logo also represents continuity of care from someone you get to know and trust in pregnancy during hypnobirthing classes and/or antenatal doula sessions, someone you build a solid rapport with over several months, thereby feeling calmer and better prepared for the birth and beyond. My aim is indeed to provide continuous support to mums and dads, through hypnobirthing and HypnoMothering classes, antenatal doula sessions, birth doula support and postnatal doula help.
- shorter labour
- elimination or reduction of the need for conventional pain-relief methods (gas and air, epidural etc.)
- reduced likelihood of ventouse, forceps and caesarean section
- increased chance of successful and long-term breastfeeding
- better mother–child bonding
- increased self-esteem and decreased risk of postnatal depression
A better birth experience and better early motherhood are at the root of a better world