Just to say thank you very much for the Birthwise DVD which I had ordered in September. It is very informative and I enjoyed the group discussions very much. The only thing was my husband and I only got through the first DVD and my waters broke earlier than expected. I definitely recommend this DVD to all expecting mums, but to get it way in advance!
I finished watching the second DVD only the other day (my daughter is now two months old) and I found myself nodding to some of what was said at the postnatal classes, having the same experiences as some of those women. I did wonder if there would be a video of their reunion after giving birth, wondering what had happened to each. Watching the first DVD I felt I was part of the group so it was nice to see them again in the second DVD. I considered attending NCT classes but I also booked late and couldn¹t find one in my area (I wanted to meet mums in my area and thought it was pointless to attend classes in another town so I opted for the DVD).
One minor thing, the box is lovely but I found the white over pink background a bit difficult to read. I found staying in bed for 10 days a sound advice, unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding my birth didn¹t allow this (c-section and I had a visit from the midwife at home everyday for a week from when I had been discharged at the hospital).
Thanks again and happy holidays to you!
– Catherine Batac Walder - December 2010
'Birthwise: Your Creation, Your Choice: I was so excited to hear that this popular UK video is now available in the U.S. (when I lived in London it was all the buzz among mums and celebs). Birthwise: Your Creation, Your Choice, created by two amazing women, Shirley McAlpine and Caroline Flint, helps you prepare for pregnancy, labor, birth and life with a new baby.. Leading midwife and prenatal teacher of over 30 years, Caroline, takes you through a full set of classes and helps you answer questions such as: What can I expect in labor? What kind of birth environment do I want? What is a “normal” pregnancy and birth? What sort of medical interventions might be recommended and how can I decide what is right for me? With so much information out there, how do I know who to listen to or what choices to make? This two-disc, approximately 8 hour DVD allows you to see real families grapple with questions, share their concerns and hopes and prepare for the life change that is having a baby. It’s a must-see!'
– Taken from: http://www.lifetimemoms.com/pregnancy/my-dvd-picks-expecting-moms
Birthwise is reviewed in leading Midwifery publication MIDIRS
This attractively boxed set of 2 DVDs is unique I feel, in aiming to provide a full package of antenatal education, allowing relaxed viewing in the home setting, in which the woman and her birth partner are encouraged to participate in exercises and discussion, as if involved in the actual class.
It follows a real life antenatal class, led by leading UK midwife of 30 years, Caroline Flint, in her relaxed jovial approach to a traditional structure: providing preparation for pregnancy, labour and life in the first weeks as a new parent. It appears to fill the ever widening void of reduced NHS antenatal preparation and the increasing cost of independently led courses in a convenient and cost effective manner (£29.99). It covers pregnancy, stages of labour, complications antenatally and during labour, breastfeeding, complementary therapies and the role of doulas and birth partners.
Women may particularly like the postnatal section where the new families meet to retell their birth stories, which conveniently include elective caesarian for breech, emergency caesarian section and planned and unplanned homebirths. Here is a realistic description of a traumatic birth and the feelings of guilt in not establishing breastfeeding – both of which are dealt with by Caroline’s words of wisdom, “Every birth is different and often it doesn’t go according to a pre-conceived plan. The key is to be well informed so that parents can feel in control regardless of what happens”.
Women are encouraged to imagine they are part of the class, to participate and perhaps even make friends in the online community provided by the website.
Caroline provides practical advice in a relaxed, humorous and straightforward manner in what does not appear to be an over produced TV performance, allowing her to give both thoughtfully considered responses and deal with members of the class, who are visibly upset whilst retelling a traumatic experience.
She is the master of story telling, leading the parents-to-be like young school children, hanging on to her every word. I would perhaps question the evidence base of the advice given for the woman to remain in bed for the first 10 days postnatally, and the advice provided for prevention of SIDS is not up to date in the UK. As an expert in her field, Caroline can sometimes assume the viewer understands the basics of a subject, such as mastitis, and this leads to what may appear as a vague and flippant explanation to a first time mother. However, Caroline does lead both realistic and revealing discussions within the group, both antenatally and postnatally, allowing time for reflection and analysis of what has happened to them during the journey of pregnancy and childbirth.
In addition to the classes, a section provides interviews with social anthropologist Sheila Kitzinger, NHS midwife Colleen Wedderburn Tate, and obstetrician Yehudi Gordon, the first two feeling a little inappropriate for the parent-to-be and more relevant perhaps to a health professional, but the latter providing straightforward advice “Chill out, what will be, will be!”
I think this provides an excellent medium for women, their partners and families to educate themselves in the antenatal period, in a relaxed and convenient manner, ensuring they have the knowledge to ensure informed decision making during their pregnancy and postnatal periods. It provides a realistic picture of the expectations and realisations of pregnancy and childbirth.
– Reviewed by Jane Pooley RM, BA (Hons), MSc. Senior Midwifery Lecturer, University of Bedfordshire in September 2010, Volume 1, Number 3 Edition of Essentially MIDIRS.
Birthwise is perfect for women who want a childbirth class at home and according to their own schedule. Many of my clients have Birthwise parties and watch it with family or pregnant friends. They also find it ideal as a refresher class. EVERYONE falls in love with Caroline. Not only is she a brilliant teacher, but her warmth, humour, and British ways win us over and have us quoting her to each other regularly!’
– Ingrid Andersson, MSN, CNM, Community Midwives LLC
‘‘They say ‘knowledge is power’ and the homebirth of my daughter Lucy proved it. The Birthwise video prepared me for all the phases of pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery. Led by a smart woman with a great sense of humor, the conversational format was very real and informative. I felt like I was part of the class, as my questions and concerns were being brought to light during the discussions. I also liked the ability to return to certain topics, in particular the labor and pain management sections, for a ‘refresher’ as the anticipated delivery date came closer. I was able to create the environment that would best support me during labor and I was fully present throughout the process.’
– Susan Becker, Birthwise Customer, Mother to Lucy, United States
I had my daughter premature at 32 1/2 weeks and my DVD arrived the week she was born so I had no opportunity to watch it prior to birth. I still think though, that it is a fantastic DVD with so much information that has helped me make sense of my birth experience and what I am going through now.
I was very lucky in the sense that I had a very quick labour and my baby, although she was in the special baby unit for 2 1/2 weeks, was well and breathing for herself. She took to breast feeding well and started putting weight on quickly, hence why we were allowed to bring her home sooner than we had expected. I did however, feel detached from the whole experience as I had not had time to prepare myself mentally for the birth. Birthwise has helped me deal with and helped me be able to look back and "enjoy" the experience as a special time.
I will recommend your DVD to anyone I know who is pregnant, first time or not, as it has invaluable information that I do not feel would be available elsewhere.
I think its one of the best educational DVD'S I’ve seen yet with a midwife. Congratulations. Caroline is what I hope all midwifes are and should be like; warm, friendly, and easy to approach with questions. This DVD certainly will empower any mum or dad-to-be who watches it. Too often I hear parents be disheartened after antenatal classes. This is a must to watch. As a Birthlight Pre-natal & Post-natal pregnancy yoga teacher and a Doula this is one DVD for everyone to watch.
– Miriam Fox, Yoga Fox Studio
Every expectant couple should have a copy of the Birthwise DVD. Nowhere else can you get such advice from some of the worlds foremost pregnancy, birth and parenting experts. To have this information in such an easy to watch format is an amazing achievement and one that I know will make a difference to so many women who will benefit tremendously from the pearls of wisdom this DVD imparts.
–– Eva Fernandes, Director – Born, transforming birth and parenting. www.borndirect.com
“I felt totally empowered and reassured about the process of giving birth after watching Birthwise. Because everything was explained clearly, especially about pain, I knew I could handle it. I kept hearing Caroline’s words in my head throughout labour and it gave me confidence. Caroline’s advice to stay in bed for 10 days is wonderful – it gave me permission to let myself stay in bed which then helped me to heal quickly and to establish breastfeeding. If you can give yourself the support of watching Birthwise, I would recommend it.”
– Rebecca Collins, mother to Cameron
“Birthwise really helped me to prepare for how it would be once the baby is born. It help me to set expectations and in the end really did prepare me. It was reassuring to watch and as a father it was great to hear other fathers and to learn everything – it is not just for women. Birthwise also helped us to get clear about key decisions such as breast feeding. Caroline is awesome, caring and you feel you can trust your life with her.”
– David Collins, father to Cameron
“The Birthwise DVD set is FANTASTIC and oh so valuable! "An antenatal education in a box". In the DVD Caroline Flint presents clear and concise information about pregnancy and birth that all parents need, filmed in a small class setting. However, almost more importantly, her manner, heart and soul come through and instill a confidence in the naturalness of birth that is so important for mothers to have when coming in to this important time. Fathers too will welcome the opportunity to build up their trust in the birth process by engaging with the information presented, perhaps even more than once.”
– Patrick M. Houser, co-founder Fathers-To-Be, author Fathers-To-Be Handbook. www.fatherstobe.org
"The Birthwise DVD's arrived as you said last week. They are absolutely excellent, we have almost finished watching them. We were very impressed by the quality of the DVD's and will be recommending them to friends etc. We were really disappointed and worried that we had not been offered any antenatal classes throughout this our first pregnancy but now we both feel so much better prepared having watched the birthwise DVD's. I am a GP trainee and am married to a PE teacher and although I have a good knowledge of obstetrics through my training I've never given birth or been a mum before, so was really greatful to watch well constructed and practical advice from a decent midwife! My husband has been asking me lots of questions since watching the dvd's so he has clearly taken in alot of good info. Thank you very much"
– Dr Amy Bishop-Cornet and Mr Jamie Sparkes