Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Review: Simply Breastfeeding DVD

This week I got the chance to watch and review a DVD on breastfeeding.

Simply Breastfeeding: The Criso Method is a 2-disc set hosted by IBCLC Shari Criso. In the first disc, which is about an hour long, Shari details why you should choose to breastfeed your child. Shari is not only a lactation consultant and certified nurse midwife, but she also nursed both of her daughters for a year each. Shari's manner is extremely warm and inviting, but she doesn't mince words. She describes breastfeeding as your baby's birthright and the only way for your baby to reach her full potential. Shari makes some controversial statements (C-sections don't affect your milk coming in, breastfeeding can raise your baby's IQ by 8 points, etc) but overall the information presented is very straightforward and accurate. Shari believes that the commitment to breastfeeding is often more important than learning the how-tos. She feels that if a mom is committed to nursing, she will seek help to work out any problems she faces, so Shari spends a lot of time on the benefits of breastfeeding to both mom and baby.

The second DVD talks about the hows of breastfeeding: positioning, preventing sore nipples and how to know your baby is getting enough milk. Shari talks about the various positions in which you can nurse a baby and which ones are best at what stage of your breastfeeding relationship. Interspersed with her discussions is footage of women breastfeeding and demonstrating the various positions. Shari has some unique tips and suggestions that I have never heard anywhere else before, based on her years of experience in her own practice.

Overall, I enjoyed the DVDs and think they would make a really good gift, especially for the woman who hasn't decided if she wants to breastfeed, but there were a few cons for me. First of all, I can't really figure out why they put the two chapters of this set on separate DVDs. I didn't feel like getting up to change the DVD and I'm not even pregnant! Second of all, the first DVD will feel like a waste of time for the woman who is already committed to nursing and has read up on the benefits. There is a lot of really good information on the first DVD that I think the woman who already knows she wants to nurse might skip over. And finally, there was absolutely NO DIVERSITY in the DVDs! Are there no Asian, Hispanic or black moms who could have been featured in the video? In 2009 is this still acceptable? I own several breastfeeding books with pictures and none of them are homogeneous. I would have liked this set a lot more if it had been more inclusive.

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