Just because (thanks to my boss, Mark Stencel):
Speaking of natural, drug-free births, Lucy says she plans to use a method called HypnoBirthing. When I first heard that word, the "hypno-" part of it threw me off. Is it some sort of weird, New Age-y, hippy trend? Is a woman actually being hypnotized while she's in labor?
But after doing some basic research, I learned that HypnoBirthing isn't about lulling laboring women to sleep — it's about concentration and relaxation.
The method has been around for a while. Here's how The New York Times explained it in 2006:
The mother "breathes the baby down" and out instead of pushing, according to the tenets of HypnoBirthing. (The name was trademarked in 2000.) During sessions over several weeks, and daily home exercises, the mother also practices visualizing the baby easily descending and leaving her body so often that the image becomes imprinted in her mind; a CD is available for practice and for last-minute guidance. A birthing companion — husband or midwife — tries to keep the mother in a positive, totally relaxed state of mind.
This sounds like a peaceful and empowering birth method, but I've never met anyone who's actually used it. I know you're out there, though. Anyone care to share?