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Breastfeeding: A Special Relationship; A Video for New Parents.

A picture is worth a thousand words. With breastfeeding still being something that we attempt to do with discretion in our society, it is often difficult for expectant mothers to imagine or plan for the realities of the breastfeeding experience. This lovely video can be a help for understanding both the mechanics and the feelings involved in breastfeeding. The footage is graphic without being offensive and is accompanied by narration and the mothers themselves speaking. The stated purposes of the video are to help women know "what you need to get off to a good start" and to "answer questions." These goals are met nicely.

The video is divided into sections on: Feeding the newborn, Positioning, Latching on, Breastfeeding is going well when..., As your baby grows, What to do in case of..., and Going to work. Each segment combines footage of the mothers and their babies, professional narration by a newscaster (herself a two-time successful breastfeeding mother) and descriptions by the women themselves of their experiences. The information is presented in a concise, easy to grasp manner. The important information in each section is summarized in a handout for parents available with the video. The parents are of a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. Partners are shown as supportive in several vignettes, but some women are shown without partners. The women are fully clothed. Discreet nursing in public is shown. Hand expression and several breast pumps are shown. One mother, who is shown in several segments including going back to work, is nursing twins.

The greatest strength of this production is the way each section subtly affirms the new mothers' feelings, and encourages her to look to her body and her baby for the answers to most questions. For example, in the section "Breastfeeding is going well when..." the mother is told to observe her breast softening, her nipple comfort, feeling sleepy, the baby appearing relaxed, the baby's pattern of sucking slowing down, and the baby's state after nursing. The number of wet diapers and bowel movements is last on the list. In this way the new mother is encouraged to look at many factors that give her information about the breastfeeding relationship rather than focusing all of her attention on the clinical factors of wet diapers and weight gain. Many new mothers can benefit from this approach to knowing all is well.

This video is an excellent choice for showing in Childbirth Preparation, New Parent, or Breastfeeding classes. It is short enough to show the entire program or could easily be divided into sections appropriate to the class content. The lack of an overwhelmingly couples orientation and its multiracial "cast" enhance its appeal. However, there are no teens and most of the women appear middle class. The price is reasonable for institutions and individual instructors; it is probably too high for parents to buy for individual use. Breastfeeding: A Special Relationship corrects many of the deficiencies in other breastfeeding videos on the market while offering needed information in an accessible and supportive manner. It's a "must see."
COPYRIGHT 1992 Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Marcus, Cheryl J.
Publication:Special Delivery
Article Type:Video Recording Review
Date:Jun 22, 1992
Previous Article:Born to Live.
Next Article:Great Britain backs homebirth and midwifery.

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