Archive | March 16, 2011

DVD Review: The HUG: Understanding the Secret Language of the Newborn

DVD Review: The HUG: Understanding the Secret Language of the Newborn
Created by Jan Tedder, 2010
21 minutes, $25

Reviewed by Molly Remer, MSW, ICCE

Developed by a nurse-practitioner to help educate new parents,  HUG stands for “help, understanding, guidance for young families.” In this short, informative DVD, parents learn about the baby’s ability to use distinct body language to communicate its needs and emotional states. Short sections showing real newborns with their parents address calming a crying baby, helping baby eat and sleep well, and playing with baby. It is helpful to see footage of real babies that illustrate a baby’s “Zones” and SOS cues (“Sign of Overstimulation”). The families shown are ethnically diverse.

The information provided on The HUG is very simple and basic. It is nurturing, empowering, and clearly presented. Mentions of breastfeeding communicate that it is the normal and expected way to feed babies. The HUG is a good resource for people who have little previous experiences with newborns or for birth/postpartum professionals looking for ideas about communicating newborn behavior to new parents.

Most new parents are eager to learn about more than just the “baby basics” newborn care such as diapering and bathing. The HUG takes parents into more meaningful territory and helps them learn about their baby’s special communication abilities.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this DVD for review purposes.

Threshold Moments

In cleaning off my desk this weekend, I found the following note from a webinar by Rose St. John that I attended some time ago:

“Labor is all about finding your threshold and learning you can go beyond it.” –Rose St. John

Threshold Stone, Newgrange, Ireland

I think one of the powerful lessons of birth is about one’s own immense capacity—each of my births has had a “threshold” moment and, indeed, I have some notes taken for a possible future article about “At the Threshold: Pivotal Moments in Birth.” With my first son it was during pushing when I realized I had to just do it, I had to push him out even though it was scaring me to do it. With my second son, it was when I realized that I was actually in labor—I had a distinct sense of literally crossing a threshold. A sense of, “there is no turning back now. I’m going back into the house and I’m having a baby.” With my third son, it was when I got up in the night feeling contractions and went into the kitchen. There, I talked to the baby, telling him it was time to let go of each other—“Lets do this. Lets get it done by 3:00” (and we did).With my last baby, it was when I was talking to myself prior to pushing—fretting that I was too “in my head” and not letting go enough. After this moment, I did let go and she was born very rapidly after that.

So, looks like I had two “pushing” thresholds and two “bring it on—labor is beginning” thresholds. The pushing thresholds occurred during my longer labors and the bring it on moments during my short labors.