Despite repeated acclaim within the television industry, feminist media scholars have argued that TLC’s long-running program, A Baby Story, disciplines women into selecting obstetrical intervention by offering a standard episodic structure for understanding a complex birth experience. This article thickens this line of inquiry by arguing that TLC uses a narrow, but decipherable, range of temporalities to leverage biomedicine’s claim to childbirth. Drawing on the rhetorical concepts of chronos as narrative duration-time and kairos as interruptive moments of possibility, I argue that episodes are structured by a chronic articulation of “family completion” and “hospital biomedical duration” that conditions women to expect a kairotic interruption of selected birth plans. I conclude with implications for studying birth temporalities and rhetorically crafting women-centered birth narratives.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- Mediated birth stories