Laugh and Learn: Preparing for a Great Birthing Experience

For every first time mother, you know that waiting for your new little bundle to arrive can bring quite the mixture of emotions. Excitement, anxiety, even fear... Being in the last trimester of my pregnancy, I found myself nervous about the upcoming birth of my little girl. What can I expect? Will I make the right decisions for me and my child? Am I gonna make it?

Working a full time job and still being a keeper at home left me with no time for attending childbirth classes; so when I was offered a chance to watch the Laugh and Learn Videos by Sheri Bales, I leaped at the chance. And I'm so glad I did.

The first thing I liked about the DVDs was Sheri herself. She is very upfront in her presentation and untangles the medical jargon that you hear in the doctors office. A big part of her teaching technique is the bits of humor she adds to the class. I felt her humor was very appropriate for the situation and made viewing the video with my husband more relaxed and enjoyable. Who would have thought we would be laughing over something like "passing the plug"? Her presentation of information was so informative and enjoyable that my husband would not let me watch the DVD without him! Anyone who can get a man interested in a topic like labor and delivery has succeeded in my book.

The advantage to watching these DVDs, was that I was able to re-watch certain sections of it... something I wouldn't have been able to do with a live child-birthing class. I could also take in the information at my own pace. This was important to me since, as I said, my job and housework has kept me pretty busy these last months.

There are three different videos in the set. The first one (my favorite) is Laugh and Learn About Childbirth. This is a two disc set with information about all aspects of labor and delivery, cord blood banking, and one breathing technique.

I like the fact that the video was filmed in front of a live class who participated in asking questions. While Sheri covered the topic pretty thoroughly, it was nice to see others who had similar questions and concerns. One of the ladies in the class was a second time mom and asked questions that would be important for others in her situation.

Another advantage of this DVD was that I felt more comfortable practicing the breathing technique without worrying about looking silly in front of a class. This made practicing the technique more effective for me.

I felt that Sheri's mindset toward natural delivery is a balanced one. While she encourages mother's to avoid intervention and medication, she explains the benefits and situations where intervention can be helpful and necessary. She went through the different procedures and medications that can be offered and explained the pros and cons of each one. She also offered statistics and research to back up her position. That was especially helpful for me and my husband as it helped prepare us for the decisions we would make when the time came.

After watching this DVD, I feel more confident and prepared for my upcoming delivery.

The second DVD in the set is Laugh and Learn About Breastfeeding. This video gave basic information on techniques, different holds, and overcoming difficulties with breastfeeding. I didn't feel like I learned as much from this video because I have read many books on the topic. However, someone with absolutely no knowledge on the topic could benefit greatly from this video. The only sad part was that my husband couldn't watch it with me as the video frequently cut to live demonstrations of breastfeeding techniques which I preferred my husband not see.  This was extremely helpful for me though to see someone breastfeed live so that I could see the proper latch and holds. Overall, the information was good; I just wouldn't recommend this video as someone's only source of knowledge on the subject.

The third and last DVD is Laugh and Learn About Newborn Baby Care. This was more basic information on caring for newborns: bathing, diapering, swaddling etc. Again, I didn't feel like I learned as much but the information was still very good and it was nice to see a live demonstration of what I had only ever read about. If nothing else, watching this video boosted my confidence. I recommend it to anyone who is nervous about caring for their newborn or, like me, has little experience with caring for babies.

They say that experience is the best teacher. While that may be true, I'm the type person that likes to be as prepared as possible beforehand. That said, these videos have been the best resource of knowledge for me in preparing for becoming a good mother. Thanks, Laugh and Learn!

You can purchase these great DVDs from Laugh and Learn's site.  If you purchase the entire set during the month of December, you will be able to choose a cute t-shirt for free!  

*This review was written by my sister in law who is due on December 10th with her first baby. 

Disclosure: This review is based on my own honest unbiased opinion of Laugh and Learn. You may or may not agree with my opinion. I was sent product free of charge to review. No one from the Laugh and Learn was involved in the writing of this post. I was not paid to write this review.