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e-newsletter 10 - October 2008 Print E-mail
TIPS e-newsletter 10

:::::October 2008::::

:::::    Issue ::::

newsletter_22_r4_c1 In this issue...
newsletter_22_r5_c1 newsletter_22_r5_c2

Welcome to the tenth TIPS e-newsletter. As the number of TIPS e-newsletters reaches double figures the BIG news has got to be the recent launch of the brand new TIPS forum. 22 August saw the culmination of a long summer of planning before we were ready for the Forum to go live. Michael (our hugely talented forum designer and administrator) and I celebrated with Champagne as we watched TIPS Members and Testers start up their Forum conversations. To find out more about this momentous event go to the Diary page. Thank you to all the new Members, Testers and visitors who pop in and out to see what we are up to. With the statistics already up by 25 percent we can safely say that the Forum has been a wonderful success… and our Forum is still just a baby – come and join in the chat when you can: go to

All things dad…
You will undoubtedly notice the distinctly male theme of this e-newsletter – this is no coincidence. The TIPS Forum also has its own dads’ board. Tell your partners about it – let the men know they can have their very own chats about all things dad!
You can always check our FAQs on breastfeeding and baby skincare, but read on for the reviews on featured products, websiteseventsbook reviewsarticlespodcasts and extra special DVDs. We have an exclusive sneak preview (at present this has only been available at public screenings) of the latest DVD on natural birth called ‘Orgasmic Birth’. Definitely not to be missed! 
Check out the list of the latest TIPS e-competitions and e-newsletter 9 winners. The monthly TIPS e-competition is drawn mid-month; the main e-newsletter competition and of course our e-newsletter mini-competitions (six in this issue) are drawn before the new issue is published! Read on for details of some wonderful new prizes on offer. 

Remember if you’re not ‘in’ you can’t win!


sharon banner


Dedicated advice line: Remember you can contact me on my own Speak Now number, you can call me anytime on 09064006215* if I am unable to answer immediately, press 1 and you will receive a free text to alert you when I am next free.

My speciality subjects are breastfeeding and baby skincare although I am happy to take calls on any midwifery related issues.

Press and Media: If you are looking for expert advice on midwifery related topics you can also call me on my advice line.

*£1.50/min from a BT landline. Calls from Mobiles and other networks may vary.


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tipsducktipsduckFeatured products ::Decongestantstipsducktipsduck


Despite trying to slow down (those of you who know me will know this is an almost impossible task for me!) we have managed to publish the results of our first ever trial of natural decongestants. Six products were included in this trial. We are pleased to publish these results just before the autumn coughs and colds start – we hope this information will be really useful. No sooner had the results been published that I received a request for a retrospective trial of another natural decongestant so watch this space. Check out the results of the decongestants trial here


AW_best-of-the-best_deconge AW_best-innovative_deconges AW_best-budget_decongestant AW_highly-commended_deconge


For your chance to win a full set of Baby Nose Clear products, or one of the six Snufflebabe Vapour Rub or six Sterimar® Original Sea Water check out mini-competition 1

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured products :: Earth Friendly Baby range...tipsducktipsduck


The latest retrospective trials of Earth Friendly Baby and Earth Friendly Kids skincare products have just been completed. Read all about this lovely range here.

One-off trials are also becoming popular so look out for more reviews of innovative products appearing on the website. All this should keep our ever increasing family of TIPS Testers busy (due to our recent leap in Testers’ registration it is only a matter of days before the magic 500th TIPS Tester registers!).

AW_testers-favourite_baby_l AW_editors-choice_baby_wash

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured website :: www.bawbags.comtipsducktipsduck


Bawbags (



I came across the Bawbags boxers when buying them for my 19 year old son and was so impressed I contacted Midge and decided to feature him on the father’s page of the TIPS forum.
The brainchild of Edinburgh businessman Alan White (AKA Midge) this innovative company produce a range of funky men’s boxers and T-shirts with a cheeky tag line: ‘underwear for the discerning idiot’! Established in November 2007 in the east of Scotland the brand has been selling like hot cakes and is now stocked in over 37 retail outlets within the UK (27 in Scotland, 9 in England and 1 in Wales). Personal links within the snowboarding, skiing and surfing community gave Midge the idea to use his products quirky appeal as a way of raising awareness of testicular cancer with another of his tag lines: ‘pls check yer baws’. He aims to donate a portion of his profits to charities associated with this worthwhile cause. Midge told me: “As most of my customers are young men it seemed like a great way to highlight what can be a taboo subject and anything that raises awareness of this all too common disease has to be a positive thing”.
So come along all you lads and men out there, check out the boxers and T-shirts and while you are at it check out what’s in them on a regular basis (as if you needed any encouragement!). Boxers retail at £10 and T-shirts come in at £20. A new range of eco-friendly bamboo boxers are planned for later in the year but if you want to know more, visit the Bawbags website


BawBags1 BawBags2

Boxers: Sizes: XS S M L XL XXL (6 sizes) available in white, black, blue, grey and leopard.

BawBags3 BawBags4

T-shirts: Sizes: XS S M L XL (5 sizes) avaialable in various designs –

see website for details


For a chance to win one of the six pairs of Bawbags boxers check out mini-competition 2.

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured website

hi-baby (


A one-stop pregnancy shop for all your pre-natal needs
Hi-baby is a leading supplier of prenatal products designed to make your pregnancy an exciting, informed and comfortable experience. In their online shop you will find an extensive range of pregnancy pillows, pregnancy gifts, morning sickness relief and much more. 
They are one of the UK’s leading Doppler rental companies and are particularly proud of their range of fetal ultrasound Dopplers. A Doppler allows a mother to-be to listen to her unborn baby's heartbeat from as early as 12 weeks. Hi-baby has personally tested all fetal Doppler models to ensure they bring you the latest and greatest in fetal monitor technology at affordable prices. A Doppler rental service is provided with a minimum hire period of one month.
The latest addition to the pampering and gift section is the Mambino range of products which includes a stretch mark cream and nipple butter. Alternatively if you are planning a pregnancy Hi-baby stock a wide range of fertility tests, ovulation tests, pregnancy tests and pre-conception supplements. 
Hi-baby is also the UK distributor for the unique and exciting BabyPlus prenatal education system to stimulate your baby in the womb for a lifetime of benefits. Other products include TENS pain relief units, birthing pools and the Natal Hypnotherapy range of CDs covering pre-conception through to post birth recovery.
For more information visit or, or call 0800 0436680


See our mini-competition 3 for a chance to win two Korres mum-to-be products.

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured book :: Fit to Busttipsducktipsduck

Fit to bust - A unique celebration of breastfeeding and motherhood
By Alison Blenkinsop IBCLC
ISBN 978-1-906206-89-5 £9.99
Release date 1 August 08 to raise funds for Baby Milk Action
More information is available here.


Introduction by Sharon Trotter RM BSc
I have been lucky enough to know Alison since 2004 when she kindly offered to help proof read one of the first drafts of my breastfeeding book. Her ongoing advice and support has been invaluable over the years but most of all Alison is a totally genuine and lovely human being. 
This delightful book is a celebration of all things breastfeeding, complete with Alison’s unique compositions of songs, verse and other material including cartoons, stories, quotations and information on feeding in the human and the animal world. 
Profits from the sale of this book will be given to Baby Milk Action to help its vital work of protecting breastfeeding, and protecting babies fed on formula, by ending the irresponsible marketing of breast milk substitutes. Baby Milk Action is a non-profit organisation that works within a global network, the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). Visit to find out more.
The book's production is entirely independent of Baby Milk Action, and the organisation takes no responsibility for any of its contents.

Review by Diane, TIPS parent Tester


There is no doubting the author’s enthusiasm and knowledge of breastfeeding and motherhood. I would also like to applaud Alison for donating the profits of this book to Baby Milk Action - a cause which is, without doubt, beneficial for the human race, environment and general health.
The history of breastfeeding is an interesting subject and one that is not commonly found in feeding books. This book provides an informative guide, not only to the history of human feeding but also animals and the effects of alternative feeding.
The book is abundant in poems, mainly about feeding which are set down to various tunes. There are lots of amusing images too, each of which tells a story….a picture paints a thousand words!
It is a shame the book is so ‘breast’ focused as it would benefit from more ‘motherhood’ references and poems. I feel that there is far more to motherhood than just feeding.
Nonetheless, Fit to Bust is a lovely book although personally I would have preferred more cartoons and factual information.
I especially enjoyed the lovely pictures which show lots of contented mummies and babies in different positions, at various ages including twins. Such wonderful images would certainly give a confidence boost to any new mum.

For your chance to win a copy of this delightful book check out mini-competition 4

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured book :: Fathers-to-be handbooktipsducktipsduck

Fathers-to-be handbook
By Patrick M Howser
ISBN: 978-1-903789-10-0


Aimed at fathers-to-be this concise and beautifully written book is a must-have for any man on the threshold of fatherhood. In fact any mum-to-be, grandparent or step-parent would find this invaluable.
Patrick’s personal experiences are woven into his text, adding warmth and empathy to every page. He offers prospective fathers real insight and an understanding of the hopes and fears associated with the transition to parenthood.
By providing a selection of easy to follow ‘power tools’ the author guides us from conception to fatherhood. These simple techniques - including visualisation, affirmations, meditation, breathing and the ‘fathers circle’- reassure readers that whatever their background they too have the innate ability to be a positive role model for their children.
Patrick acknowledges the imperfections of each and every father while reaffirming the amazing contribution they can make to the experience of birth for their partner and unborn child.
I lost count of the times I nodded in agreement (I could have written some of the text myself!) but you will have to read the book to see if you agree with me. Here is a small sample of my favourite lines in the book:

• “Women place a high value on being listened to….this doubles for a woman and quadruples for a pregnant woman!”
• “The type of committed support a midwife can provide is profound”
• “a woman needs to be calmly encouraged or simply left alone so their bodies may work unhindered”
• “accept nothing less than continuous connection between mother and baby (unless there is an actual emergency)”
• “what you achieve on the journey to fatherhood is immeasurable”
• “there can be no measure of the value of breastfeeding for the mother and baby”

I applaud Patrick’s wise and intuitive approach to fatherhood which cannot fail to boost the confidence of any father-to-be.
If you know a man who is about to become a dad there is no better gift than this book. I will leave you with this final quote:
“Fathering a family is something you will grow into and get more comfortable with over time and experience. It is a journey not a destination”
Review by Sharon Trotter©2008


For your chance to win one of three copies of this delightful book check out mini-competition 5

tipsducktipsduckFeatured event :: Womb to World - innate behaviours confrencetipsducktipsduck

Imperial College, London, 11 October 2008


Chaired by Veronika Robinson, Editor of The Mother Magazine, this will be the first international nurturing conference. Speakers at this event include: Ina May Gaskin Midwife, Suzanne Colson PhD, Christina Smillie MD and Consultant Neonatologist Jane Hawdon.
For more information go to

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured event :: Nursing in Practise Event and Award ceremonytipsducktipsduck

Birmingham NEC, 19 November 2008


The inaugural NIP Awards ceremony will take place at this event and I am thrilled to announce that I will be one of three finalists nominated in the dermatology category. The NIP events are designed specifically to meet the educational needs of practice nurses and other primary care specialists. Each programme features an impressive collection of speakers delivering highly topical and relevant presentations.
These educational conferences are complemented by exhibitions featuring key charities, product suppliers, educational institutes, services to primary care and recruitment specialists.
For more information go to

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured article :: Breastfeeding basics: advice for new mumstipsducktipsduck

Trotter S (2008). Breastfeeding basics: advice for new mums.
Nursing in Practice (September/October 2008) Number 44 – (Children’s health): 23-5.

My latest article is a breastfeeding toolkit for health professionals. The aim was to provide accessible information for parents and anyone supporting new mothers as they embark on their breastfeeding journey. The toolkit can be used as a quick reference guide to the do’s and don’ts of how best to get breastfeeding established or as a problem solving tool. You can read the full draft version here.


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tipsducktipsduckFeatured DVD :: Orgasmic Birth - The best kept secrettipsducktipsduck


Orgasmic Birth – The best kept secret
Directed by Debra Pascali-Bonaro
(In English with French, German, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles)
Running time: 85 minutes
Price: £25
UK distributor:


For your chance to win a copy of this amazing DVD check out our main competition

Orgasmic Birth DVD cover picture0001
One quote from this DVD describes birth as: “[the] greatest journey a woman will ever make in her life”.
Until now public screenings were the only way to see this film. However, from late October 2008 it will be available on DVD for £25 from the UK distributor Creative Film Systems ( ). I was keen to see what all the fuss was about. Having watched a review copy I can now pass on my feedback.
The viewer is welcomed into the private world of eleven couples as they embark on their individual journeys to becoming a parent. This intensely moving and intimate portrayal highlights the positive, ecstatic, transforming, life enhancing, empowering, sensual and yes sexual, aspects of birth. The powerful images will fill you with awe and strengthen your belief that all births should be more like this. Freedom of choice over where we birth, the environment of birth and the people we choose to share that birth with are at the very heart of this issue. It is obvious to me that when a woman is empowered to make these decisions, the outcome will be light years away from our present model of birth. 
Over the past century, technology has increasingly interfered with the natural process of birth. The long term effects on our children and society as a whole are impossible to predict. This leaves maternity care at a crossroads. Research fails to demonstrate that it is safer to birth our babies attached to machines. If parents were aware of the alternatives it would be possible to reduce the alarming rates of instrumental delivery or caesarean. Many of the complications we see result from the unnecessary intervention imposed on birth. For the vast majority of women birth should be unhurried, joyous and even pleasurable. Sadly we have lost sight of this fact.
This DVD, with its excellent commentary by eminent experts in the field of obstetrics and natural birth, provides the viewer with a way back. It explains why labours go wrong and how the pain and fear of normal labour can be harnessed to positively enable a woman to birth her baby safely. We have an innate ability to deliver our babies but the freedom to do this is often denied to us. 
With the right support and understanding, most women can enjoy the beautiful birth experiences shown on the DVD. Changing the model of birth will not happen overnight as many of the skills to help women achieve a natural birth have been lost - but they can be regained. This film goes some way to redress the balance giving prospective parents a glimpse of what is possible.
Review by Sharon Trotter©2008

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured DVD :: Hello Dadtipsducktipsduck


Hello Dad DVD
Directed by Debra Pascali-Bonaro
Running time: 24 minutes
Price: £11.75

The Hello Dad DVD states that it aims to help new dads to recognise the earliest signs of infant communication. The DVD follows couples from a variety of backgrounds as they interact with their baby, some of whom are only a few minutes old. The DVD tries, amongst other things, to teach the viewer about mutual gaze, signs of tiredness and helping baby to sleep. The DVD does give some very good pieces of information. The live footage does help to encourage the viewer to follow the information provided. However, being only 24 minutes long, I did find this DVD too short to cover so much information. This resulted in a lack of depth when explaining the techniques involved with ‘baby watching’. 
Nonetheless this DVD will provide most dads with a sneak preview into understanding the body language of babies. This should hopefully help them to feel less helpless in the critical early weeks of fatherhood. Information on the DVD is backed up by excellent resources provided from and
Review by Michael (TIPS Forum Admin and not yet a Dad!)


DadInfoCards Pack of nine A5 cards + two posters (aimed at new dads)
Available from
Price: £69 for 20 pack (£3.45 each)
Dad Packs which consists of nine A5 cards and two large posters are available from The cards cover a variety of subjects from health to myths. They are full of great information set out in a fun and interesting style, which makes them really easy to read and understand. One of the A2 posters shows a map of development from before birth to seven and the other gives you 100 ways to praise your child. Both the cards and posters provide a good quick reference for any new dad and I have no hesitation in recommending them.
Review by Michael (TIPS Forum Admin and not yet a Dad!)

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured DVD :: Fathers Toolkittipsducktipsduck


Fathers Toolkit (aimed at practitioners) 
Available from
Price: £9.95 (discount for bulk buy)

FathersToolkit FatherhoodInstitute
Finally we have the Fathers Direct Toolkit for Father-Inclusive Practice. The cards are aimed at developing father-inclusive practice, to meet with policy requirements for father-inclusive services coming from numerous different departments and services. The pack consists of 15 cards covering the likes of volunteers to recruiting fathers, with each card full of important information and references. Although the information within the pack isn’t aimed at me I can see how the pack would be useful, explaining these rules in an easy to follow manner.
Review by Michael (TIPS Forum Admin and not yet a Dad!)

For your chance to win the full pack of materials including the DVD, Dad cards and toolkit enter the mini-competition 6.

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured podcast :: My baby radiotipsducktipsduck


My interviews about breastfeeding, baby skincare, cup feeding, baby baths, cuddle towels and decongestants are regularly broadcast on at 10am and 5pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays (in the ‘ask an expert’ slot). Click on the logo at the foot of our homepage and follow the link to ‘Today’s shows’ then click on ‘Tune in’ to listen online.

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tipsduck :: TIPS ::..Late News....Late News....Late News....tipsduck

TIPS calendar….

We had planned to publish our first TIPS calendar but due to the short time left (believe it or not calendars need to be planned in the summer!) we have decided to postpone this until next year. Please continue to send us your delightful pictures as these will be considered for inclusion in our newsletters and the best of these will be featured in the 2010 TIPS calendar!


My story ….
In the meantime we are considering a new feature on the website to complement our TIPS tip of the month. We would like to feature a ‘My story’ each month. This will be written by one of our TIPS Testers. If you have a story (no more than 300 words) you would like to share  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , if you have one, and we will do the rest. Each story featured will win a signed copy of Breastfeeding: the essential guide.

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tipsduck :: TIPS::Competition winnerstipsduck


10 July – 14 August 2008
Q : Who will be running the brand new TIPS forum? 
A: Michael 
WinnerDebbie from Greenock

15 August – 14 September 2008
Q: What is the latest TIPS bump balancing on her tummy?
A:A glass of drink
Winner:Kathleen from Greenock

e-newsletter 9 main competition

The lucky winner of the hand crafted solid 9ct gold TIPS duck pendant worth £85 is Eleanor from Kilwinning.

e-newsletter 9 mini competitions:

  • The lucky winner of the BabyGROE book ‘Green parenting’ is Juliet from Hatfield.
  • The five lucky winners of the Kamillosan thermometer soothers and Milton wipes are Sarah fromLytham, Louise from East KilbrideKate from Ayr, Nishafrom Northolt and Fahrana fromIlford .
  • The lucky winner of the Real Baby Milk DVD: ‘Breastfeeding by mums for mums’ is Gillian fromGreenock.
  • The lucky winner of the nappy cake from Mumztheword isSimone from Manchester.
  • The four lucky winners of the First response ovulation and pregnancy tests are Juliet fromHatfieldJeeny from Leicester,Louise from East Kilbride andMary from Port Glasgow.
  • The 12 lucky winners of a pack of Bickiepegs teething biscuits areHelen from BexleyheathTanyafrom BillingshurstStella fromLatomiLorna from Port GlasgowEleanor fromKilwinningLouise from East KilbrideDonna from Troon,Jeeny from LeicesterKat fromCroydonNisha from Northoltand Kirsteen from Greenock.

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sharon banner

Remember you can contact me on my own Speak Now number, you can call me anytime on 09064 0062 15* if I am unable to answer immediately, I promise to call you back. My speciality subjects are breastfeeding and baby skincare although I am happy to take calls on any midwifery related issues.

Press and Media: If you are looking for expert advice on midwifery related topics you can also call me on my advice line.

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Read TIPS reviews...

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- TIPS Testers' pix!

new competitions

- Babycare - back to basics

- TIPS top tips

TIPS baby


This is the son of our first Greek Parent Tester. It shows baby Kyriakos snuggled into his Freedom Slings swaddle Sock which he won in one of the TIPS e-newsletter 8 mini-competitions. A signed copy of Breastfeeding – the essential guide is on its way to you.
TIPS toddler


I think you will agree that this mischievous pair (Faye and Ryan) deserve to be featured. They may be sitting in the laundry basket but just one look is sure to wipe away your washday blues! A signed copy of Breastfeeding – the essential guide is on its way to you.
TIPS family


In keeping with our dad theme we have included this delightfully ‘male’ picture of Tony with his boys Harry and Alfie(Tony is the ‘Mr’ behind his ‘Mrs Boobie Buddie’ who is the founder of the wonderful breastfeeding dolls which we featured in a previous TIPS e-newsletter). Pip is rightfully proud of her lovely boys
TIPS bump


This lovely picture shows Reesa and Ben as they contemplate impending parenthood. As any parent will tell you the transition from being a couple to being a family is mind blowing but this wise two-some have come up with a great idea which could catch on. Not content with a ‘Baby Shower’ Reesa and Ben decided to host an ‘Open Crib’ party (AKA… Bump-to-Baby Bash!). This involves bringing together all your friends and family for an evening of food and drinks (no presents required) as it will likely be a while before you get the chance to socialise again – how forward thinking can you be?! Anyway hope the party went well and we look forward to seeing the new addition.You can have a look at their invite here.We are pleased to report that Reesa and Ben are now the proud parents of a gorgeous baby boy!!
If you would like your baby or todder to feature in the next issue of the TIPS e-newsletter, just email me their picture.
Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet (version 7) – out now!


This award winning leaflet is distributed around the UK at various professional and parenting events. Health professionals and maternity units can buy hard copies – email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information. As well as all the hints and tips you need about baby skincare, skin-to-skin contact and feeding but, this leaflet now includes the latest and safest advice on reducing the risk of cot death. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like a free copy.

We are working on the draft for version 8 - so watch out for updates on the TIPS website.

TIPS top tips!

Calling all dads – a wonderful way to enjoy your new baby is to share a bath together. Skin-to-skin contact is not only great for bonding while you and baby enjoy a bath, but mum gets a break too!

TIPS competitions
Orgasmic Birth -competition

Orgasmic Birth – the DVD everyone is talking about!
For your chance to win a copy of Orgasmic Birth (reviewed in this newsletter but not yet available to buy) all you have to do is answer the following question: When is the next screening planned for this film? (you will find the answer on our forthcoming events page)
To enter, email your answers to Brigitte here. We will announce the winner in newsletter 11.

Orgasmic Birth DVD cover picture0001

Decongestant mini-competition 1

We have one decongestant set from Baby Nose Clear® worth £18.99, six Snufflebabe Vapour Rub and six Sterimar® Original Sea Water Microspray to give away. 
To enter email the word 'decongestant' to Brigitte here

We will announce the winner in the TIPS e-newsletter 11.



Bawbags mini-competition 2

We have six Bawbags boxer shortssets (worth £9.99 each) up for grabs. 
To enter email the word 'Bawbags' to Brigitte here. We will announce the winners in the TIPS e-newsletter 11.


hi-baby mini-competition 3

For a chance to win one of the two Korres mum-to-be products email the word ' hi-baby' to Brigitte here
We will announce the winner in the TIPS e-newsletter 11.


Fit to bust mini-competition 4

For your chance to win a copy of Fit to Bust, email the author's name to Brigitte here. We will announce the winner in the TIPS e-newsletter 11.


Fatherstobe mini-competition 5

To win one of the three Fathers-to-be handbooks up for grabs,email the author's name to Brigitte here
We will announce the winner in the TIPS e-newsletter 11.


all things Dad! mini-competition 6

For a chance to win a DVD and cards plus Fathers institute toolkit email the words 'Hello Dad' to Brigitte here. We will announce the winner in the TIPS e-newsletter 11.



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