Jessica Alba Swears By Hypnobirthing -- What the Heck is That?

Pregnant and worried about the pain of delivery? Take a page out of Jessica Alba’s playbook. The yummy mummy-to-be “highly recommends” hypnobirthing, a combination of self-hypnosis, meditation and extreme focus, to take the edge off those pesky contractions. The A-list actress claims she relied on it when she delivered her daughter, Honor Marie, and insists, “It just makes you chill.” Naturally, she’s planning to meditate her way through delivery number two as well.

Scores of hypnobirthing classes, books, DVDs and CDs include exercises to prep the body physically -- lots of squatting and breathing -- and some cool partner-exercises (for instance, you write your own “companion reading” together and then he reads it to you during delivery. And ideally you don’t punch him in the esophagus).

My friend Shelly signed up for hypnobirthing classes about five minutes after she peed on the infamous stick. She had an enviable -- almost cocky -- confidence going into the hospital. By this time I was pregnant (with my first) myself, and I gnawed at my fingernails waiting for Shelly’s postpartum report. 

“Well?” I barked when I saw her name on Caller ID.

“Dude, seriously,” Shelly panted into the phone. “I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. Get the drugs.”

When we talked about it later -- and Shelly was actually able to laugh about the whole thing -- my friend admitted, “I thought it was going to be this incredible thing that would take you to a higher zen place that wouldn’t have any pain. Obviously that wasn’t the case. At the worst, I thought maybe I’d feel the pain but it wouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Well, I did and it was.”

I love the hypnobirthing idea in theory, but for the record, my epidurals made me pretty chill, too. (Go ahead and judge me. I can take it.)


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