Times for birth: chronic and kairotic mediated temporalities in TLC’s A Baby Story

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-361
Number of pages15
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Mediated birth stories
  • chronos
  • kairos
  • obstetrics
  • rhetoric
  • temporality


Dive into the research topics of 'Times for birth: chronic and kairotic mediated temporalities in TLC’s A Baby Story'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this