Superstitions in Pregnancy, Birth & Motherhood

We have some big changes taking place in our family over the coming weeks.  Not only are we are coming to the end of the school year but it’s the end of primary school for my eldest.  I have to be honest I don’t think I’m ready.  He on the other hand has had a great time at primary is completely ready for this next stage in his life.

Last week, as I dropped him off for his secondary school taster day, I found myself saying as he went in “Good luck and have fun!”

Upon reflection it wasn’t the best thing to say.

I say luck a lot, it’s a habit.  One that has been with me since childhood.  My Mum and my Aunt were always saying things like, good luck, touch wood and fingers crossed.  These phrases have suck with me and pop out from time to time.

Do you have any phrases like this that you often say without giving much thought to?

So you’re probably wondering what on earth is wrong with wishing your child good luck when they go into a new school environment.

Well here’s the thing.

Superstitious phrases, those things that determine your luck actually create anxiety and stress.

I know they seem so harmless dont they.

Let me explain a bit more.

You might be thinking that “reading your horoscopes doesn’t do harm, or there’s nothing negative about believing in fate”


I’m afraid not.   The thing is these disempowering phrases, thoughts, actions and beliefs often get said and how detrimental they are to your personal power goes unnoticed.  Every single external belief you hold is disempowering you in some way, shape or form.

Every thought you hold on to about fate, luck and chance, ‘magical’ influences or treatments, social pressures the influence of your past experiences, your lack of skills and such like all make you feel a little less powerful in some way or other.

Every belief you hold to be true about ghosts, life after death, mediums, fate, synchronicity, magic, playing the lottery and so on, has a significant impact on how much personal power you have.

And can actually cause you more harm than good.

When you allow yourself to believe in superstitions you are basically allowing yourself to believe that areas of your life are being controlled by magical forces outside of you.

Now, here’s some basic psychology, in any given situation the amount of anxiety and stress we feel depends on the amount of personal control we feel we have over it!

Think about this, do you really think that believing that whether you are going to have a good or bad day is down to a number, a black cat, a magpie, a piece of wood or a bird poo-ing on your head etc. Or anything or anyone else for that matter, is a good thing?

Or would you rather believe whether you are going to have a good or bad day depends on the effort you put into it – it’s something you can directly influence?

This topic was a huge for one for one of my clients this week.  So much so we came up with list of old sayings, superstitions and actions that are disempowering.  I also asked members of our community to join in with making this list too and this is what we collectively came up with:

  • Baby should not look in a mirror for first year.
  • Buying a pram/cot and having in house b4 baby is bad luck.
  • Black cat crossing your path.
  • Don’t walk under ladders.
  • Don’t step on cracks.
  • No new shoes on a table.
  • Don’t put a Brolly up inside.
  • If you put a piece of clothing on accidentally inside out u will have good luck but don’t change it to the correct way as u will change ur good luck to bad luck.
  • Don’t put your umbrella up indoors cos you’ll make it rain.
  • Never put shoes/slippers on table as it can cause bad luck.
  • Never put your purse on the floor. You’ll loose money.
  • Don’t walk under ladder.
  • Always go out the same door you came in as it’s bad luck not to.
  • Don’t cross on the stairs.
  • Breaking a mirror gives you 7 years bad luck.
  • Bad events happen in threes.
  • Don’t put the chair back under the table when you visit a friend or you won’t return .
  • There’s one about seeing magpies. It is unlucky to see a lone magpie. There is a rhyme ‘one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret to never be told’.
  • Friday 13th is unlucky.
  • Don’t let a black cat cross your path.
  • Getting married in the rain is supposed to be lucky and a good omen.
  • Bad luck comes in threes.
    U have to break a match to break a cycle of bad luck
  • Don’t cut your nails on a Sunday.
  • Eating crust will put hairs on ur chest or give ur curly hair.
  • If you drop a knife you should never pick it up yourself again it’s bad luck – someone else must pick it up.
  • You should never give someone an empty purse always place a piece of silver in it that they should never spend and also you should never buy your own purse/wallet.
  • Don’t we’re green to a wedding or the marriage won’t last .
  • Never cast a clout till May is out.
  • If a bird poops on your head you’ll have good luck all day.

Fantastic list I’m sure you’ll agree and reading through them reminds me of listening to my elder relatives as a child.  Whist they feel harmless, what they actually do, if you take them as words to live by, is leave you feeling out of control of your own life.

Another more fashionable example of superstitious behaviour would be to ask the universe for something … this is an incredibly disempowering magical belief.

Can you see why?

Which reminds me of client I once had.  She had a pair of unlucky socks that she always wore on a certain day of the week. She told me this particular day was always stressful, her (unlucky) socks were believed to be the trigger.  Of course the socks had nothing to do with it, it was the association she made between the sock, her thoughts, her emotions, her behaviours and her outcomes that made the day difficult.

You only need to think a thought for a second time for you to believe it to be a personal truth.

If you want to release luck from your life and build up your personal power in pregnancy, birth and motherhood start by focusing on what you can directly influence in your own life for the better.

What superstitions do you live you’re life by?

Watch The Wright Stuff: Hypnobirthing with Gisele Bundchen & Nadia Sawalha at Southend Hypnobirthing

Listen to Nadia talk about hypnobirthing on The Wright Stuff.  She is so down to earth and passionate about her experience.  She got the birth she wanted and worked for it weeks in advance of her due date to achieve it.  This is lovely to hear and happens for many of my clients.

Watch The Wright Stuff: Hypnobirthing with Gisele Bundchen & Nadia Sawalha at Southend HypnobirthingYou’ll often hear me talk about the importance of having a strong desire for a positive experience, self belief and confidence and enhancing your natural skills for a positive birth outcome.  Nadia’s clip below echo’s this.

However, not all positive experiences of birth are the same as the one Nadia’s describes.  Some birth require intervention, epidurals and sections and it doesn’t matter how hard you’ve worked in advance of your baby birth.  Some births are always going to be tricky.    These births can still be positive.  In-fact the confidence, self insight and tools we teach on our course are even more profound when birth birth goes off plan.  You’ll see that when you read through our Southend Hypnobirthing client birth stories.

Our signature course The Birth Anxiety Breakthrough Formula will set you up for a positive experience no matter what type of birth you have.  Because we teach you how to strengthen your core psychological roots in advance of birth.  This leaves you in full control of your thoughts and emotions before during and after birth.  We teach you true empowerment, that doesn’t require you to reply on someone else or something else for your feelings of safety, security, calmness and confidence.  Although having that support is nice and we’ll show you how to enhance that too.

Your birth experience and how you interpret it is solely down to you.  Your birth experience is what you make it regardless of where you are and who is with you.  And that may sound a little scary at first but trust me when I say this, its actually a lot easy, and enjoyable and most importantly effective than you think.

With over a decade of experience working with anxiety and birth at Southend Hypnobirthing we have everything you need for a positive birth.  That’s the antenatal education, the hypnosis for birth and my secret sauce for eliminating anxiety for years to come.

Don’t just expect your birth to turn out okay, take the action to achieve it in advance.  Start with our free quiz and video series which will highlight the natural style thinking you adopt for birth and how it can affect  your birth and of course what to do about it.


Watch The Wright Stuff: Hypnobirthing with Gisele Bundchen & Nadia Sawalha at Southend Hypnobirthing

A Positive Induction Story from Sal and baby Laurie

Positive Induction Story Southend Hypnobirthing
Looking for a Positive Induction Birth Story, read Sal’s birth story here.  I’ve worked with Sal twice now as she has prepared for birth.  Both experiences were very different but in Sal’s words “the hypnobirthing techniques even more profound this time”.  
Hi Sarah
positive induction story southend hypnobirthingI hope all’s well with you.
Apologies for the lateness in getting in touch with you after our refresher session.
Baby Laurie arrived a little early the week after we met!  It was a very different experience to George’s birth as I had to be at hospital from the beginning following my strep b diagnosis.  Nottm City were great and got me set up in the sanctuary birthing unit on arrival. Despite my waters breaking, I wasn’t in active labour but they gave me chance to get my hypnobirthing mp3 going to get into the ‘zone’ and try to get things moving. Thanks to your refresher session I felt confident to make my own choices and positively challenge any points regarding intervention. I found the hypnobirthing techniques even more profound this time, and even though my labour ended up being induced (due to Strep B risk with waters having broken), i felt completely empowered by the whole experience and totally at ease. Dare I say it, I don’t even think I felt ‘in pain’ as such – just had gas and air to see me through the last 30 mins.
I wanted to get in touch to say a big, big thank you. I truly believe your support through both my births has led to me having such positive experiences. Laurie was super chilled on arrival and remains the placid boy we met that day – all thanks to a comfortable and natural delivery.
Keep up the fab work! I recommend your programmes without a doubt.
All the best
Sal x

Are you second guessing your baby’s birth?  

Are you second guessing your baby’s birth?  

Every now and then do find you put stuff off because you know your going to find it tough? Can going to new places, meeting new people makes you feel nervous? At the same time when old friends you haven’t seen for ages ask to meet up out of the blue, do you start to wonder what they really want?

At work, if your boss asks to talk to you, do you worry it might be about something really bad? Do you find that you don’t push yourself as much as you should in your career because you know you won’t be able to progress as much as you’d like?

During the summer, If you want to plan a party in the garden do you hold back on finalizing the plans, setting the date because you think it’ll it most likely rain?

It’s like carrying around that feeling of when you come home from your holiday you feel like you’ve left something behind in the hotel room, even though you know you check thoroughly before you left.

You always trying to do things but never quite make it. Like setting yourself some new years resolutions then you find them really hard to keep.

You don’t take the bus because buses always make you late, don’t they? And when you wake up on the morning of your blood test and you’re filled with dread because you just know it’s going to hurt.

If you’ve found yourself nodding along to this so far it’s most likely that you’ve adopted second-guessing as your natural style of thinking. You’re someone that believes or assumes that they know what’s going to happen next. You suspect that you know what something it going to feel like regardless of whether or not you have experienced it before. You assume you know what it will be like and you hold that thought tight and believe it to be true.

You ‘‘just know’ what’s going to be said before it’s even been said. You take a punt, a prediction and convince not only yourself but others around you of your assumptions.

So what’s this got to do with your pregnancy and the up coming birth of your baby?

Southend Hypnobirthing The Birth Anxiety CoachWell, quite often your assumptions are inaccurate and in most cases based around your unhelpful thoughts. You see second guessers can perceive all sorts of unhelpful scenarios about pregnancy and birth because they assume they know exactly what will happen during their baby’s birth and how that will feel and what they can or can’t cope with.

The real truth is none of us own a crystal ball or a time machine so predicting how your baby’s birth will be for real is just not possible.

So you end up perceiving a birth experience that’s unhelpful, filling you with anxiety when you should be looking forward to meeting your baby for the first time. This assumption, this second-guessing takes that pleasure away from you.

You’re probably thinking “Great. Thanks for highlighting it. Now what do I do?”

It’s easier than you think to change the way you think, it just requires a bit of effort and know-how on your part and I’m happy to share that with you now.

There’s a great hypnotherapy technique called Image Rehearsal.

Everyone does it to a certain extent but doing it with purpose will work well here for you here. It originates from a French Physician called Emile Coue and businessmen and women, sportsmen and actors and actresses use today in a purposeful way. You just need to learn how to put your imagination to good use so it works for you and not against you. Basically you need to stay focused on what you want to happen rather than what you fear might happen.

You see second-guessing in a positive way will have positive effects on your body during your pregnancy in the run up to and during your baby’s birth. These positive effects will take place in your mind and play out on your body, leaving you feeling calm, confident and excited at meeting your baby. In turn your baby will feel loved, safe and support, ready to meet you. Aim to use a well-written Pregnancy Preparation MP3 and pregnancy and birth affirmation that steer well clear of words like ‘don’t’ ‘try’ and ‘should’, language is very important here and enjoy hearing positive birth stories from friends and family to reframe your negative thoughts about birth.

If you struggle with finding positive birth stories from people around you take at look at ours, they are all over the website and in our community group.

southend hypnobirthingEnjoy making your natural style of thinking work for you and your baby.

Take the Natural Style of Thinking Quiz and find your top three thinking styles and how they can affect your baby’s birth.

Hypnotherapy for Turning A Breech Baby in Southend

Hypnotherapy for Turning A Breech Baby

At 36/37 weeks your midwife will usually check to see the position of your baby.   At this point in pregnancy most babies have turned from the breech position to the vertex position in preparation for birth.  This generally happens without you realising it, especially if it occurs in your sleep.

Occasionally this turn is delayed.

If this is the case for you, your midwife may want to book you in for a planned cesarean section.  Before you get to that stage you might like to consider using hypnotherapy to turn your baby into the head down position.

Is hypnotherapy a safe option to turn a baby?

Hypnotherapy is a safe and gentle way to encourage your baby to change from a breech position to a head down position.  Often breech babies are in a breech position because the muscles in and around the uterus are tight and are not allowing baby to turn easily. Feelings of fear and anxiety may be keeping these muscles tight.

Through the use of relaxation and gentle suggestions, many mothers are able to completely relax and release tension from this area enabling babies to turn all on their own. This method is extremely gentle and safe for both mothers and babies.

Is there any evidence to back up the use of hypnotherapy to turn a breech baby?

In a clinical study, hypnosis was found to be 81% effective in turning babies head down.  A researcher at the University of Vermont, Burlington, USA, used hypnosis with 100 pregnant women whose babies were in the breech position between the 37th and 40th week of gestation.  The women received hypnosis with suggestions for general relaxation and release of fear and anxiety. While under hypnosis, the women were also asked why their baby was in the breech position.  81% of the babies in the hypnosis group moved to the vertex position, compared with 48% of the control group.  Hypnosis was most effective for the women motivated to use the technique.  Aside from the visualisation involved, the deep relaxation of hypnosis can help your abdomen to relax enough to allow the baby to turn if it wants to.
(Lewis E. Mehl, MD, PhD (1994) Archives of Family Medicine, Vol. 3, Oct. 1994)

Sometimes we find babies are in a breech position when we go into labour. This means that their heads are up and bottoms are down. Babies can be born this way safely. I have had clients go into labour and discover at this point their baby is breech. They have gone on to deliver their babies naturally and vaginally.

But everyone is different, very birth is different and whilst it is possible to birth your baby in a breech position sometimes we like to increase the chances of baby turning. This hypnotherapy MP3 is purely for that reason.

I’d like to give hypnotherapy a go, what should I do now?

Hypnotherapy for Turning A Breech Baby in SouthendDownload our Breech Turn Hypnotherapy MP3 from the shop.  And follow the guide on how to use it for maximum effect.  Use the MP3 as often as you need to, hypnotherapy is accumulative.

How to use the MP3:

  • Find a time when you can be undisturbed for at least 40 minutes
  • Lay yourself down stretched out as flat as you can
  • Use pillows to support you down one side
  • Make yourself as comfortable as possible and create as much space in your tummy as possible
  • Play your MP3 & allow yourself to deeply relax

The idea of the MP3 is to guide you into a relaxed state and allow the muscles of your uterus be free from tension giving baby space to move round freely. It may happen whilst you are listening or later on whilst you are sleeping.

Remember you can use this as often as you like as its accumulative, so go for it!

Buy The Hypnotherapy for Turning A Breech Baby MP3


Thinking About Hypnobirthing?

Are you Thinking About Hypnobirthing?

Great. Do it.  You and your baby will benefit hugely I have no doubt about that.  Since 2008 I have taught hypnobirthing and I’m blown away that 85.71% of my clients take the time to share their positive birth stories with me.

Out of those, 84.85% of them have had positive experiences of birthing in hospitals and 61.67% of my clients achieving this are first time mums.

The reason I have such positive feedback is because I am an anxiety coach that specialises in birth. Working with me you’ll get so much more than The Tools and Techniques for birth that you’ll find in most Hypnobirthing courses.  You’ll also get the The Birth Anxiety Breakthrough Formula.  A unique formula that highlights how you unwittingly create and maintain your biggest worries, fears, stress and anxieties, and shows you how to be free of them for good.  Perfect for pregnancy, childbirth and of course the mini day-to-day challenges that being a new mum brings.

Over a decade of experience, has shown me that you and other women like you can live an anxiety free life. And birth your baby’s feeling calm, confident, capable and courageous.

Hypnobirthing is so much more than chanting positive affirmations and relaxation classes.  You are mind is a beautiful and complex thing that has many different layers.  Let’s face it if it was as simple as pinning up your affirmation cards and breathing it all through life would be a bed of roses, wouldn’t it?

My hypnobirthing course takes a deep dive below the surface tools and strengthens your core psychological roots, making you emotionally strong, resilient and confident not just for birth but of life.

One way we do this is by identifying and enhancing your Natural Styles of Thinking.

What’s Your Natural Styles of Thinking & Why Does It Matter If You’re Expecting A Baby?

Thinking About Hypnobirthing? hypnobirthing southendIdentifying your natural style of thinking and enhancing the style to work for for is a game changer. The small changes you’ll make with this knowledge will undoubtedly make a big difference to you, not just in pregnancy but childbirth and motherhood too.

There are numerous styles of thinking that we adopt over time. Some are partly due to our genetic make up and some are learnt from others. Each style of thinking gets heightened at different times in our lives, different scenarios we find ourselves in will ‘turn up’ the the thinking style.

Think of your thinking styles as dimmer switches that you can turn up and down.  Some are tuned up because of your nature.  Some are tuned up because of the way you’ve been nurtured.

How Do I Know Which Thinking Style I Am?

Take my professionally designed quiz to determine your natural style of thinking.  Allow around ten minutes to answer the questions and answer them as honestly as you can for the best results.

Once completed you’ll results will be sent directly to your inbox, the email will also contain a link to a personalised video where you can explore your thinking style further.  The video series that follows will also teach you how your thinking style can affect your baby birth and what you can do about it.

Still Thinking About Hypnobirthing? Take Sarah’s quiz here : Natural Styles of Thinking Quiz


Watch the video to find out more & take the quiz to discover which natural style of thinking you are most likely to adopt & find out how it affecter baby’s birth Take the Quiz HERE

Remember to share your results with us!


Still Thinking About Hypnobirthing?  Find out more a hypnobirthing with Sarah Brent The Birth Anxiety Coach & Hypnobirthing Specialist in Leigh on Sea, Southend.

Is hypnobirthing is for all types of birth?

Absolutely blown away this week…

Is hypnobirthing is for all types of birth? Yes it is and here’s the proof! I was blown-away this week by the number of beautiful birth stories I received.

Out of the blue, I’ve received 3 very beautiful, very different birth stories from gorgeous mummy like you.

Seriously I cried tears, I love a good birth story, especially those belonging to people I worked with one way or another.

So this week I just had to share them with you.

Katrina had an induction

My hope was for a home birth using gas and air and my worst nightmare had always been a hospital birth with lots of intervention but unfortunately things don’t always go to plan …….
we started contracting Sunday / Monday they stopped come morning . Saw the midwife and had a sweep this did nothing . started contracting again Monday/ Tuesday due to this excepted induction on Tuesday just felt this was the right time for us. had pessary put in late Tuesday and started contracting on and off but nothing major , Ian was encouraged to go home to get some sleep as they didn’t think anything would happen . Ian immediately had to come back as jacks heart rate had begun to drop, doctors then chose to take pessary out.  then we began contracting every two mins but come morning just randomly stop yet again . Due to taking pessary out the only option was to break my waters went up to labour ward at 3 began mild contracts but nothing major so was put on to the drip. Managed this on gas and air all good after 4 hours became really intense and had the urge to push. When examined  said this was due to him being back to back and was also not dilating so recommended epidural due to the time this would possibly take and the pain . I agreed and epidural was put in fine again this felt right for us. then his heart rate dropped so Doctors then rushed me in for an emergency C section luckily I had excepted the  epidural so wasn’t put to sleep.  Turns out jack has his cord around his neck and chin up so was compressing the cord with the contractions hence the heart rate dropping. we are both doing fine I just lost quiet a lot of blood so had 2 transfusion …….. even after all that it is the best thing I have ever been through I felt so empowered during labour, Ian also said he had never seen someone so calm and collective at every decision making step I personally feel this was down to the steps you talked us through during hypno birthing. Jack just obviously had other ideas and wanted a dramatic entrance.

Rosalind’s Vbac birth 

Hi, I just wanted to thank you for helping me get my baby here! I only came to your little talk at Burton waters earlier this year. I didn’t do the course as I didn’t have any spare money but I remembered what you said about the breathing in for 8 and breathing out for 8, or in for 4, out for 8 which is what I actually did. After a horrendous EMCS 3 years ago, I had a VBAC in April with the help of your breathing technique, gas and air and diamorphine. The midwife kept asking me if I wanted any more pain relief and I kept saying no I was ok! I was induced and contractions were coming and hurting! But they didn’t seem as bad as last time I was induced and I think the breathing helped. After 3 hours I suddenly needed to push. I told the midwife,  she said no not yet, I’m not even going to check you for another hour! I said I’m pushing, I’m pushing! She said hold on then I’ll check you at the end of the contraction. She checked and yelled, you’re 10cm go go go!!! She couldn’t believe I’d got this far and wasn’t in that much pain!
Well I needed a bit of help to actually get him out. Doctor said c section and I said no way, I’ve come this far, not another c section. They chucked some scrubs at my husband and he put them on. The doctor was waving a consent form in my face and I said no I wanted to try for a VBAC! The midwife was really positive and said to him, no she can do this! Well I pushed and pushed and with a bit of help from an episiotomy and kiwi cup, out he came, no c section, no epidural and no more drugs needed this time 😀. Unfortunately he had to go to ICU after 12 hours and back to hospital again but he’s ok now, in fact he’s so lovely so I just wanted to thank you for helping me get here.  I truly believed it helped me and crazy at it seems even being ‘high risk’ due to gest diabetes and high BP and age, I would actually love to do it again! Xx xxx


Rebecca had a home water birth 

Hi Sarah,
Sorry its taken me so long to send you my full story, im not sure where the last 9 weeks have gone.

Ill briefly touch on my first birth with my son Dylan. I did barely any preparation for the birth and was nieve to think that it would be easy and that Id follow my mums lead with a quick and straight forward birth. How wrong was I with a 24 hour labour, and forceps delivery. When I look back on the experience I believe labour slowed down once I got to hospital and felt like I was tied to the bed with a drip and monitors attached to me. The whole environment is cold and not relaxing making me scared and full of adrenalin. I felt traumatised by my experience for months afterwards.
So this time round I was determined to have an empowering and truely positive experience. I started by making sure I remained fit and healthy, drinking plenty of water (which helped keep the swelling down, I was like a balloon with Dylan), doing pregnancy yoga and lots of squats (this helped me keep calm, practice breathing techniques and keep the pelvic floor muscles strong) and practicing the hypnobirthing techniques.
I got to 40+2 and went for a sweep at 10am, by midday I started getting period like cramps about every 20 minutes. I spent the next few hours doing some yoga, rocking on the birth ball and reading my affirmation cards. I remember feeling so positive and happy but didnt want to get my hopes up too much that this was it as I had a false labour with Dylan. At 4pm I went out to pick up my husband from work and Dylan from nursery (after deliberating for some time whether it was a good idea, still unsure if this was real labour). The cramps were getting stronger but I used my breathing techniques learnt through hypnobirthing and repeated birth affirmations to myself. I felt so in control throughout. We got home, had tea and I took Dylan to bed. At around 7.30pm I thought I ought to call the midwife as we were having a home birth, but when I called I was told another lady was already in labour and having a home birth so I would potentially have to go into hospital ( not enough midwives in lincolnshire). The community midwife rang back and said she would come and assess me, whoever was furthest along in labour would get the home birth. She arrived about 8.20pm and felt my contractions which were at this point coming thick and fast. My blood pressure was high and due to having pre eclampsia with Dylan she was going to transfer me to hospital however on examination I was 9 1/2 cm dilated so she decided it was too late and baby would end up coming in the ambulance. My husband then frantically began filling the pool (neither of us could believe how fast things were progressing). My waters broke at around 9pm and I could feel baby moving down and my body was doing all the work. The pool was only just filled to the minimum line when I got in and I could feel baby pushing down with every contraction, I continued to breath my way through it. I was in the pool for about 10 minutes before Poppy was born at 10.25pm with only a few pushes, much to the surprise of the midwives. I still cant believe how perfect the birth was and how to plan it went, even down to the fact our son was fast asleep in bed through it all (no need for babysitters), he woke at about midnight and came down to meet his sister. Perfect, and I totally believe this is down to hypnobirthing. I felt so calm and incontrol throughout, I cant say it was pain free as it wasnt but hypnobirthing gave me the confidence to have the empowering experience I hoped for. I hope people will read my story and give them feelings of positivity and optimism towards there own births.  Many thanks,Rebecca xx

Having read theses you can see why!

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