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Southampton with Zana Parker

Southampton with Zana Parker


Why I became a practitioner

I have been teaching antenatal classes for many years but have often felt concerned that perhaps my classes aren’t making enough difference to the way women and their partners approach and deal with labour and birth. I have been aware of Natal Hypnotherapy for several years and it was always in the back of my mind as something I thought could actually make a difference in labour. I hear so many women saying that they’d like to avoid an epidural, but they don’t seem to have the tools to enable themselves to do anything else. I think Natal Hypnotherapy has more potential than other methods to support women to cope in a way they’d prefer during labour. I also like the fact that it makes no promises of a pain-free birth; it’s about understanding, accepting and calmly managing the sensations and emotions of labour, not getting rid of them.

My core beliefs surrounding pregnancy and birth

I firmly believe that the way a woman gives birth is hugely influenced by what is in her head. Women are mammals but with very clever brains. The down-side to this is that we have the capacity to build up, over many generations, all sorts of fears, anxieties and “baggage” about birth. The hormone products produced by fears are counter-productive to the hormones produced in a straightforward labour. So if a woman and her partner have the opportunity to release their concerns and re-picture what birth really is then they are more likely to have a happy, manageable experience. After all, women do really know what to do. It’s happening all over the world, all the time, and the human race is doing pretty well. We just need to unearth our birthing instincts!

My experience of working with pregnant women and my personal experience of Natal Hypnotherapy

I began training to be an antenatal teacher following the birth of my second child, back in the 1990s and have been a qualified antenatal teacher since 1998. I have had 100s of couples through my classes over the years. Natal Hypnotherapy hadn’t been thought of when I had my children but I was aware of the importance of relaxation and breathing, particularly when I had my second baby. Using these techniques I felt able to remain calm and in control throughout my labour which felt in complete contrast to my first birth. Having discovered this difference for myself I felt spurred to try and do something to help other parents to understand how being relaxed helps in labour. I’m not one for doing something unless I really understand the point, so this has been my starting position for others. I remain passionate and driven in doing what I can to help women approach birth feeling positive and looking forward to the experience.

Feedback from my classes

"This course should be on the NHS. All expectant parents can benefit."

"A must for all couples. A very bonding experience - empowering for both the mother and the father - better than any NCT or postnatal class I have ever attended. My little girl was born in 58 minutes! (from 3cm dilated to her being placed on my tummy). Her arrival was an amazing experience - I tell her she was born with love. I felt in control throughout the whole of my labour and much more knowledgeable about my body and what stage I was act. My little girl and I acted as a team - and it is something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

"As a worried expectant father, I learned so many ways to help my wife - as well as building my confidence to deal effectively with the medical team at the hospital”

"Fantastic course, so pleased we came, I would recommend it to everyone, it should be compulsory for all pregnant women, their partners and midwives. There was a wealth of information that was really useful especially the tools for birth. "
"It was very well structured and very informative to someone who was very sceptical at the beginning. The key parts for me were the breathing control and giving me the confidence to support my partner. The trainer was very good, very clear, was not judgmental and encouraged questions - the delivery of course was excellent."

"Thanks for a great 2 days. It was really useful for me to understand about the phases of birth and how to deal with the medical team and being given an important role in the whole process. I particularly enjoyed the hypnosis sessions and felt very comfortable asking any questions and talking about my fears"

"Understanding the physiology in plain English was great - it made me realize how natural it is and that relaxing is going to be far more beneficial than panicking"

My related qualifications & Associations

Dip HE Antenatal Education
NCT Licence to Practise
Dip HE Counselling (Gestalt)
I’m an Associate Member of AHPP (Association for Humanistic Psychology Practitioners)

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