Birth Bliss

Move over, Lamaze. Hypnobirthers say their form of deep relaxation takes the panting and pain out of labor

The phone rang at 7:30 a.m. and I stumbled out of bed, bleary-eyed and eight months pregnant, to find a message from Dan Gilman: his wife Laura Beth was in labor. I had never met the Gilmans, but they had generously invited me to witness the birth of their third child. They were using a pain-control technique I was learning myself: hypnobirthing.

I quickly organized a trip to the birthing center in Danbury, Conn., but just one hour after Dan's call, before I'd even made it out of New York City, Mitchell Gilman made it into the world.

When I...

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