“So, this person on the next episode is gonna try something called ‘hypnobirthing,'” I told my husband.
Six months pregnant with my first child and preparing to watch what must have been my 375th episode of A Baby Story, I uttered these words with barely concealed skepticism and disgust. At the time — nearly 11 years ago — my primary knowledge about childbirth had come from three main sources: (1) birth horror stories told to me by friends and family, (2) film depictions of labor that were rife with emergency cesarean sections and flailing women whose necks were one vertebra shy of a Linda Blair spin, and (3) you guessed it: A Baby Story.
Mostly, these sources had taught me that labor was the only time where it was socially acceptable for women to threaten to murder the people around them. They had given me no indication that self-hypnosis would be anything but an ineffective, possibly laughable labor comfort technique.
In fact, I thought that hypnobirthing sounded on par with juggling bowling pins or invoking the mighty hammer of Thor in terms of its potential usefulness during labor. I wanted no part of it. Unless, of course, I could take part in a little schadenfreude as I watched what I assumed would be Read more