PNMG // 2008 // 77 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dan Mancini (Retired) // January 10th, 2009
A sneak peek into pregnancy from a guy's point of view.
Being Dad: Inspiration and Information for Dads to Be was born when fathers-to-be Troy Jones and Sam Holt discovered that, though there is a multi-million dollar publishing industry based on providing women know-how about pregnancy, childbirth, and caring for an infant, there is a dearth of information designed specifically for men. Normally, guys are tossed a copy of What To Expect When You're Expecting and told to make do (99 percent of guys then "make do" by allowing the book to gather dust on their bedside tables). Jones and Holt decided to remedy that situation.
Being Dad succeeds in the difficult task of presenting birthing and parenthood information in a way that is compelling, fascinating, and even moving to guys (at least guys on the verge of fatherhood). It does so by combing three elements: interviews with experts like a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, a pediatric sleep specialist and family counselor, and two midwives; footage of Troy Jones navigating the ups and downs of his wife's pregnancy; and roundtable discussions (over pizza and beer, no less) with groups of fathers whose combined experience is impressive. It is the roundtable segments that make the video something special. Thankfully, they dominate the proceedings.
The show starts off light and breezy with the men relating how they found out their wives were pregnant, and talking about stuff like odd pregnancy food cravings, morning sickness, and sex during the third trimester. Things turn more serious (and more information rich) with discussions about the frequency of miscarriage (around 20% of couples experience it at some point), premature birth, labor pain, Caesarian delivery, forceps and vacuum extractions, episiotomies, and meconium. The show really gets down to the nitty gritty, covering nearly all aspects of pregnancy and delivery, pretty much in chronological order. The experts provide just enough medical information on each of the topics so that the childbirth neophytes for whom the video is made know what's going on. But the roundtable discussions are where it's at. Here, real dads take the medical information and describe what it looks and feels like in the real world, when it's actually happening (and as someone who's had a front row seat for a vacuum extraction, I can assure you that there's a huge difference between clinical descriptions of the procedure and the hardcore reality of it). Through the stories the men relate, one comes away with a sense of how varied and unpredictable birth experiences can be.
Sourced from a mix of high definition DV and consumer-grade camcorders, the image varies from decent to weak. Given that this is an instructional video, the shifts in quality are hardly noticeable let alone a major detriment. The presentation is 1.78:1, enhanced for widescreen displays.
Supplements are limited to five extended interview segments.
Being Dad: Inspiration and Information for Dads to Be provides an ideal crash course for men freshly embarking on the journey of fatherhood. It covers a wide range of topics in a way that supplements dry medical information with colorful, entertaining, and no-nonsense discussions of what fathers-to-be can expect throughout pregnancy and childbirth. As an added bonus, moms-to-be will enjoy the video, too. It may just surprise them how seriously most fathers take fatherhood.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 77 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Extended Interviews
* Official Site