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Mums The Word - Free Parenting Advice DVD

Find out what we thought of the NCT's brand new parenting DVD 'Mums the Word'.
Last week the UK's largest parenting charity, the NCT, released a new DVD entitled 'Mums The Word' designed especially for new parents.

While the DVD is completely free (see below for information on how you can get a copy), clocking in at a lengthily 2 hours we thought we'd review it so that we could let you know whether it's a worthwhile watch.

Here goes....

The basics

Presented by friendly TV presenter and 'celebrity' Mum Alison Hammond (originally of Big Brother fame), Mums The Word aims to break the mould of parenting DVDs. Unlike most films aimed at new or expectant parents it doesn't revolve around experts telling you how to look after your baby but instead focused on giving new Mums the confidence to care for their newborn in the way they believe is right. It's not a glamorous portrayal of life with a baby but this makes it all the better as it really prepares you for what's ahead but manages to do so in a really reassuring and inspiring way

The film features a balanced combination of expert interviews that make 'headache' topics like maternity rights easy to grasp, along with really honest chats with new Mums who share their own experiences of adjusting to life with a new baby. Both are incredibly useful in giving you an idea of how things will actually be after you give birth. The main focus of the film however is the story of first time Mum Abi Moore as she prepares for her son's arrival, gives birth and then learns to care for a newborn. This is a really great touch as watching someone else go through it all really helps to put having a baby into perspective!

The issues

Alison sets the tone right from the start by explaining how the 'Mums the Word' DVD is going to tackle the issues facing new Mums that no one really likes to talk about. Covering everything from how new Mums can feel left out once baby arrives, to what happens when you don't get the birth you had hoped for, and how you can cope if breastfeeding doesn't come as naturally as you expected, it certainly lives up to its intention!

Throughout the DVD the focus is very much on how Abi and the other Mums they chat to dealt with the changes that came with a baby. The Mums talk really openly about 'taboo' topics like what happens when you don't feel connected to your baby straight away and how a new new baby can put strain on your relationships with your partner. However, they also emphasise the importance of realising that you don't have to be SuperMum and accepting help from wherever it's offered (an essential bit of advice in our opinion!).

The set-up

Two hours does seem to be a bit of a long time for an 'educational' DVD (albeit one that's about a topic close to your heart) and we were slightly concerned that sitting down and watching it all in one go would feel like a bit of a long slog. Thankfully however our concerns were unfounded as the NCT had cleverly broken the film up into 6 manageable chapters which themselves contained a combination of 'expert chat with Alison', thoughts and opinions of 'real Mums' and, of course, some of Abi's story. This made the whole film much more enjoyable and easier to digest. It also meant it's much easier to stop watching and pick up on later if you don't have two hours to spare in one go.

The sponsors

As the NCT are a charity the DVD itself is sponsored by a number of parent and baby related companies and because of this the individual chapters were punctuated by short 'advertising' films (similar to the longer adverts you sometimes get on TV). While this could be a little annoying for those of you who just want to get on and find out how Abi and family are progressing, the mini films are rather cleverly packed with mini hints and tips on everything from dental hygiene during pregnancy to how you can save on your car insurance making them definitely worth the watch.

There is also plenty of information about the services the NCT offer, from their famed nearly new sales to their antenatal classes. Again they manage to introduce this information in a pressure-free way emphasising only how they can be of benefit to new Mums.

The verdict

This DVD really does what it says on the tin and provides a refreshingly true to life portrayal of parenthood that's really reassuring and informative at the same time. By talking about the issues that affect new Mums it helps to make them less taboo and really gets home the message that you're not alone, that it's ok to feel overwhelmed and that there are places you can go for help and advice.

So, packed with handy hints and tips and bursting with need-to-know new Mum information, this DVD is definitely a must watch for all expectant parents. So, order your copy, put your feet up and enjoy!

How can I get a copy?

You can claim your free copy by visiting www.nct.org.uk, calling the NCT on 0300 330 0770 or asking your midwife or health visitor for a free copy of the NCT's Bumps & Babies magazine.

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