Monday 5 October 2009

Being Dad DVD

I've just had baby number 3 so I guess you could say I'm an old hand at the whole pregnancy business, but there are always new things that crop up that you suddenly realise you didn't know anything about. Whether it's a symptom, a health issue, a new product, a medical procedure, you can go straight on to any one of a huge number of websites to get all the answers you could possibly ever need - netmums, mumsnet, mumslikeyou, askamum ... Which is great - but what about if you're a dad ? Even the more neutral sounding ones, like raisingkids, ukparentslounge, thebabywebsite, etc are 99% full up of mums if you venture on to the forums. I suppose part of the reason is that mums are on maternity leave in the weeks or, in the case of health issues, months leading up to the birth so they have plenty of time to go online and get chatting to all the other mums and mums-to-be in the same situation. It's fantastic to have a support network of people going through exactly the same things at the same time.

But what do you do if you're a dad-to-be ? They probably have just as many questions, if not more, and - men being men - they won't ever admit to not knowing something or being scared or just feeling totally at a loss ! And (with hindsight I can admit this !) mums-to-be have so many hormones raging around their body that they're probably not at their most patient and reassuring and rational, so if the men actually sit down and try to ask lots of questions to their partners, they'll probably just get their heads bitten off anyway. They end up so scared of saying the wrong thing that they just stop saying anything slightly risky and make do with non-committal "hmmmms" to every possible question or conversation !! Not the best way to feel united and mutually-supportive during the whole pregnancy !

I watched the Being Dad DVD three months after having our third baby and it had me laughing pretty much the whole way through. It was a real eye-opener for me too ! I thought that if you got a group of men together around a few pints, the conversation would inevitably centre on sport, cars, work and that scantily-clad young lady over at the bar ! Well, who'd have thought it !! They actually have "girlie gossip" sessions about life, love and the universe just like we do - the only thing missing is the family-sized bar of chocolate and the cheeky references to George Clooney and Brad Pitt in the nude ! It's hilarious to be a fly-on-the-wall and listen in as they talk candidly about pregnancy and birth from the male point of view. They're brutally honest and their no-holds-barred discussions break down every taboo. The DVD even touches on miscarriage and stillborn babies, tough times for both parents but from which the dads often feel excluded and ignored when it comes to the grieving process. They're not physically involved but mentally, they're still going through the same processes, but without the whole support network that concentrates on supporting mum. Seeing the dads give their viewpoint and share their experiences is touching and poignant.

For the dads-to-be, they can listen in and realise that they are not the only men to have all these doubts and questions, so it's a huge relief to find out that they are perfectly normal ! It was fascinating to have the male-oriented expert information too - I'd never even wondered about the science behind pregnancy-tests but now I know how it works ! I cracked up at one dad saying he did a test himself too, just to be sure it really worked !! It's a great way to open up communication between mums- and dads-to-be and help ease some of the tensions and misunderstandings that inevitably arise during the emotional minefield of pregnancy.

The DVD follows Australian dad-to-be Troy and his partner throughout the pregnancy and birth. Just to reassure the guys, there are no yucky images to sit through ! It's informative but above all funny so although most men (if they're anything like mine ! ) will probably come to it thinking it's an obligatory boring DVD they have to sit through to prove they're taking this pregnancy seriously, I can pretty much guarantee you'll have a very enjoyable 90-minutes of viewing time together. They should show this at all ante-natal classes instead of the usual birthing technique videos !

RRP : £19.99

star rating : 5/5

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