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Video Review: Breastfeeding Comprehensive

By Stephanie Scholz Neurohr
Mother of 7, Inc., 2006
130 minutes
Reviewed by Rachel Knighten
Appleton WI USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 43 No. 2, April-May-June 2007, p. 33

With a "You can do it!" attitude permeating this video, Mother of 7 presents Breastfeeding Comprehensive -- an encouraging and enlightening breastfeeding resource.

Stephanie Scholz Neurohr, the "Mother of 7," is our guide as the video progresses. Scholz Neurohr comes to breastfeeding as a medical professional, but in the video it is her role as a breastfeeding mother that is highlighted. Interviews with well-known specialists, including Drs. Thomas Hale and William Sears, as well as interviews with many mothers, bring a variety of perspectives and experiences to viewers.

Most of the information this video presents is introductory, making it an excellent first source. But mothers experiencing difficulties or a challenging situation would need to seek more information elsewhere, perhaps including other videos in Scholz Neurohr's series. This video makes a fine resource for prenatal education and breastfeeding classes, as well as for expectant mothers and their partners who seek an overview of the major issues associated with breastfeeding. At almost $150 (US), however, it is a purchase more feasible for LLL Groups, libraries, and hospital- or clinic-based lending libraries than for individuals.

The video begins with an extensive section on the benefits of breastfeeding. The rest of the video is organized into specific topics with a more specific "how-to" tone. For example, one segment provides a fairly detailed explanation of the anatomy of the lactating breast and how human milk is made. This detailed information is presented in an accessible manner, making it invaluable for expectant and new mothers.

The next section, "How to Breastfeed," shows a mother learning to latch on her newborn with the help of a pediatrician. The video shows examples of a proper latch on from various angles. It also shows an example of an improper latch on, which is handled casually and without any alarm. The mother latches her baby off and tries again, underscoring that wonderful "You can do it!" attitude. "Breathe, relax, and the milk will flow."

Subsequent sections provide more overview and less detail, which is appropriate for an introduction to breastfeeding. The topics include the most common, significant challenges, ranging from mastitis to tongue-tie. There are interviews with mothers who describe honestly the difficulties they encountered and how they dealt about them, underscoring the theme that breastfeeding problems can be solved with proper support and care.

The final sections of the video include information on nursing special needs children, the homecoming, returning to work, breastfeeding while pregnant, tandem nursing, extended nursing, and weaning. This segment ends with a discussion that moves from the personal to a more global view, attempting to provide a larger context for breastfeeding. As the overall tone of the video is informative rather than provocative, the segment serves mainly to raise topics such as the increasing pollution of the planet, increasing inequity in the distribution of economic resources, and the commercial aspects of globalization.

The video ends with a series of vignettes of nursing mothers. My favorite depicts a woman glowing with confidence as she calmly prepares to nurse her fussy baby, never losing her smile or breaking eye contact with her interviewer. In this age when mothers are encouraged to second-guess their every move, I thoroughly enjoyed watching a mother demonstrate that she knows exactly what she is doing. For me, that scene captures the very essence of the breastfeeding relationship.

Editor's Note: Mother of Seven, Inc. has also produced two additional breastfeeding videos, both of which include shorter excerpts from Breastfeeding Comprehensive: Breastfeeding Basics (20 minutes, $37) and Breastfeeding Intensive (45 minutes, $57).

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