Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Laugh and Learn About Childbirth|
Actor: Sheri Bayles
Director: Expect This LLC
Genres: Special Interests, Educational
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Helpful facts but biased presentation - think twice if you k
Mama to Be | Los Angeles, CA | 07/05/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a DVD set that's full of good factual information that's then clouded by the instructor's biases and obvious corporate sponsorships.
The facts: she does a very nice job of presenting critical information that I'm glad I now know - such as the 3 phases of labor and the stages within each, simple breathing techniques that I won't be likely to forget in the moment, etc. Yes, she's a little to full of her own sense of humor but in my opinion that's easily overlooked when you consider that you're getting tons of good information in roughly 4 hours of material. And at least she tried to make the subject matter interesting rather than just dry facts.
Biases: she's obviously a very strong advocate for natural birth - no pain meds, no interventions. While she acknowledges that there are sometimes medical reasons that make interventions necessary and describes the interventions well, she does nothing to alleviate the viewers concerns about these procedures and in fact makes you feel pretty bad about "putting your baby through it" (not her exact words but definitely her attitude). The pattern for describing an epidural, and inducement, or another intervention goes something like: (a) here is how the procedure works (facts), (b) here's why it's bad for you, (c) here's why it's bad for your baby, (d) oh, and sometimes it's medically necessary, oh well. As someone who knows that she fits into the "medically necessary" category I didn't appreciate the judgment and lack of support. I went to my OB with a list of questions a mile long after watching the section on being induced and he countered quite a few of her "why it's bad for you and your baby" arguments as extreme cases based on his professional experience and knowledge - I think she's presenting worst case scenarios for these interventions as if they're the most likely outcome. I bought the dvds to increase my knowledge and decrease my anxiety about labor -- I know more than when I started but she definitely did not decrease my anxiety.
The corporate sponsorship: she's very obviously a shill for Viacord (a cord blood banking company). I briefly worked for one of the companies (not Viacord but a major competitor of theirs) and I can tell you she presents a very, very one sided argument for cord blood banking. She's not presenting facts, she's using the marketing techniques that all these firms use to convince you to buy this "insurance". For some people it may be a wise choice - especially those with a strong family history of diseases that cord stem cells have been proven to treat - but I did not expect to nor appreciate being marketed to in the guise of education, especially since I PAID for this dvd set.
All in all, if you can ignore the rest, there's a lot of good factual information here that's pretty well presented. But, if I had known how biased the instructor would be, I would have looked for a different dvd."
Alexander Gitin | New York, USA | 07/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very Informative and Helpful. My wife and I could not make it to the Lamaze classes and we still glad we didn't. This video is great. My wife and I enjoy watching it, and learned a lot. The baby came out like a piece of cake (my wife doesn't agree on that one completely) but we both knew what we where doing)
We read the reviews that mostly criticized Sheri's sense of humor but we took a chance. Her humor is not that bad actually. She gets funny and sometimes goes a bit over the edge, however she is very knowledgeable and definitely has a talent of teaching. When she is describing important stuff she is serious and right on the point.
Some reviews criticized the quality of film making. I am professional photographer and my wife is an art teacher and we both studied film in college. In our opinion the cinematography part of the video is quite appropriate, informative video doesn't have to be a master piece.
Highly recommend it.
Good video, not as cheesy as people say
Saren | 05/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was very happy with this DVD set (and in fact just ordered the breastfeeding DVD from the same instructor). I watched it in lieu of attending childbirth classes and do not regret that decision. I had read several books about labor and delivery, etc., and can't say that the video really contained a lot of new information but it brought the information together nicely and made me feel more prepared overall. I also appreciated the fact that the instructor did not spend a lot of time on breathing techniques and did not overly emphasize natural childbirth. Instead, she discussed the desirability of postponing medications until the labor is well underway because of the cascade effect of interventions (which seems sensible to me). But she certainly didn't try to push going natural all the way. As for the humor, it's not anywhere near as bad as some other reviews have made it out to be."
Great info! Just buy it and thank Sheri later.
RobinHaislett | New Mexico | 03/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD was a welcomed relief for me! I had no clue what a Lamaze class was about and I thought I'd be sitting in front of the TV with my fiance for the entire time doing the "he he hoo" bit. That's not it at all! I'm an information junkie and Sheri really explains to you a lot of the medical terms that they'll use that you normally wouldn't understand. Like when someone says, "Shes 100%, -2 and 3" it means that you're 100% effaced, the baby has dropped to the -2 station (-4 is when the baby is past the pubic bone) and 3 centimeters dilated.
She gives examples of the different positions you can use to birth your little bundle of joy and what makes them work for the different situations. Also there isn't that annoying feeling of her talking directly to the camera since she is talking to the couples on set/class. Yes, she does go overboard with the humor sometimes but only sometimes. There were tons of times I was sitting on the couch just rolling with laughter as she talked about some funny stories that happened to her as a labor nurse and some demonstrations of "what you should sound like when you call the doctor as your contractions become five minutes apart."
Overall this is the best information I have gotten during my entire pregnancy and I've spent a small fortune on other literature. I'm bringing my portable DVD player and this video to my birth just so I can feel calmed."