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Home news eNewsletters e-newsletter 24 - September 2011
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TIPS e-newsletter 24

:::::September 2011::::

:::::            Issue ::::

newsletter_22_r4_c1 In this issue...
newsletter_22_r5_c1 newsletter_22_r5_c2

Back to the old routine!

 

illustration Like us on Facebook – visit our new Facebook page. We update regularly with news, information and advice for parents and professionals.

 

We hope you enjoyed your summer holidays and maybe even caught a glimpse of the sun? We went to Holland where the weather was cooler and wetter than in Scotland! The highlight of our trip was a visit to the Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam which was deeply moving. If you are planning a trip, remember to book your tickets in advance to avoid the queues. You can find out more online at: www.annefrank.org (this excellent website is available in six languages).

Please send us your 2011 summer holiday highlights and maybe we can share some of your pictures in a future issue... meanwhile we have a delightful new set of new photos sent in by our TIPS Testers.

Our featured website is Hanzak.com founded by postnatal illness expert Elaine Hanzak. She provides a one-stop resource covering all aspects of postnatal illnesses from the commonly experienced condition of baby blues to the rare puerperal psychosis. As well as being a poignant reminder of how devastating this illness can be, Elaine Hanzak 's book Eyes without Sparkle is full of hope.

We have reviewed four books for you - two of which are highly topical as our children return to school for the autumn term. The Starting School Survival Guide provides a child-centred but parent-friendly guide.  It's about the ups and downs a child may go through when they start school and also throughout primary school. Middle School – the worst years of my life is the latest block buster by James Patterson. This book was reviewed by two eleven year olds who thoroughly enjoyed every page. We have also reviewed the latest addition to the Which? Made Easy series covering laptops and mobile devices and the highly emotive Mexican Takeaway, charting the real-life journey of a Francesca and Rick as they try to become the first couple to adopt a child from Mexico.

As well as our regular mix of upcoming events, appeal, video cliparticleDVD, CD review and featured product, we have a new Daddy Blog and Top Tips features (including Top Treat and Top Value).

The new eagerly anticipated My Story is about the incredible diary of a mum's recovery after a vaginal hysterectomy. This must-read account of the highs and lows of this common but often traumatic procedure includes the resumption of sexual relations. This is a brave and powerful story by one of our loyal Parent Testers which you won't want to miss! Last but not least, we know you will enjoy reading part 7 of our Diary of a Student Midwife.

Don’t forget to check out our e-newsletter competition for a chance to win a week’s holiday for six in Cornwall worth £299 and 10 mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £550! So get your entries in to Brigitte and you could be a winner.

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

sharonsignature


greatvine banner

Dedicated advice lines:

  • You can contact me on my Greatvine Speak Now number: 09064006215* if I am unable to answer immediately, I promise to call you back.
  • You can also contact me on the Prima Baby/BabyExpert one-to-one advice line at: 09061949915*
  • 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 article :: Media coverage of infant feeding studies: informed choice or promotional opportunity? tipsducktipsduck

magazine pages

 

Sharon's article about the media’s treatment of infant feeding issues was

published in the June issue of Midwifery Digest.

You can read the article here....

Full reference: Trotter S (2011). Media coverage of infant feeding studies: informed choice or promotional opportunity? Midirs Midwifery Digest 2011 vol 21, number 2, page 233-4.

 

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:: tipsducktipsduckFeatured appeal /charity :: Disasters Emergency Committeetipsducktipsduck

www.dec.org.uk

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The unfolding tragedy affecting East Africa is heartbreaking to watch but it is possible to help by donating whatever you can to the Disaster Emergency Committee. This umbrella organisation brings together 14 UK aid agencies in a bid to finance the relief efforts for people suffering major disasters in poorer countries. It’s a one-stop shop for giving with detailed updates on how your money will be spent and how you can make a difference. For more information go to: www.dec.org.uk

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured product :: breast mate®tipsducktipsduck

breast mate illustration


RRP: £53.95 or $79.99AUD

Extra face plates cost £6.60 or $9.95 AUD

For more information go to: www.breastmate.com.au

 

Introduction by Sharon

Having read a press release about a new generation feeding tool I was intrigued to find out more.  I requested a sample from Australia so I could see and try out the breast mate® for myself.

As a passionate supporter of baby-led breastfeeding I have to admit I was sceptical at first. Why complicate what is a natural process when all you need are two breasts and maybe a sling? I advise mums to avoid timing feeds and not to get obsessed with weight charts.  However, an exchange of emails with designer Brooke Nicol, who responded to my many queries, reassured me this could indeed be a useful product for parents - especially when used from birth. Parents of a premature or special needs baby may benefit from using the breast mate® if they need a detailed record of feeding patterns. The breast mate® could become a favourite gadget for fathers who like to be directly involved with feeding (whether breast or bottle) – we all know how much fathers like electronic toys! Information recorded by the breast mate® can be downloaded.   As well as being interesting, such information may help to highlight breastfeeding problems. For example it could be used to confirm which breast is fed from more or less - this could help understand why mastitis or blocked duct is more common on one side. Simple steps can then be taken to change feeding patterns and avoid future problems.

While the breast mate® may not be a ‘must-have’ feeding tool, I have to agree that many parents would find it extremely useful. I would like to trial the breast mate® through the TIPS Award Scheme so that I can come back to you with a more detailed review in the future.

 

breast mate® – helps make baby feeding a breeze

During sleepless nights with their newborn, many Mums just long for a full night’s sleep. Marketing executive Brooke Nicol used the wee hours of the night with her firstborn to dream up a product she wishes she’d had as a new mum.

breast mate® is a breast-feeding timer and recording device designed to help you monitor your baby’s every feed and the overall feeding routine (click here to see a detailed diagram of all features).

The hair band Brooke used on her wrist as a reminder of which side she had last fed her baby on always ended up in her hair. The notepad used to record all the feeds was thrown out with Christmas wrapping. Brooke wished there were better ways of monitoring her baby’s feeds.

“I felt like I’d lost control of the feeding routine when the notepad was thrown away,” says Brooke. “It prompted me to see what was out there and imagining the ideal solution. It literally came about from sleepless nights. I thought about what was frustrating me and how I could incorporate it all in the one product.”

After three years of research and development, including discussions with other mums and consultation with a lactation specialist, Brooke's dream product became a reality. Her second baby was born during that time too.

breast mate® was launched in May 2001. It is a multi-functioning device that comes in four interchangeable face plates in two colours and two cute animal designs. It displays and records breastfeeding information - for example which breast side was fed from last, when the last feed took place, the total number of feeds in a 24-hour period (which can be especially important to monitor in premature babies); and the date and time. Its alarm function can be set as a reminder for future feeds or for medication.

breast mate® is designed to make breast and bottle feeding less stressful. It can also be used long after a baby’s first year as a night light and room thermometer. It comes with a docking station and rechargeable batteries so it can be used wirelessly. Information recorded by the breast mate®  can be downloaded and printed. You can also record additional information with breast mate®, for example your baby’s weight and development - this can be useful for health care professionals.

“The beauty of breast mate® is that once you’ve finished breast feeding it can become a permanent feature in your child’s bedroom as it also works as a night light and a colour changing thermometer to monitor the heat of the room,” says Brooke.

You can buy breast mate® online from Oogy Baby - go to www.breastmate.com The company will post nationwide and ship to Europe, the US and New Zealand.

You can read an interview with Brooke Nicol (founder of the breast mate®) here...

Congratulations to breast mate for winning the National AusMumpreneur award for Product Innovation.  Read all about it here...


For a chance to win a breast mate® check out mini-competition 1

 


 

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured website :: www.hanzak.comtipsducktipsduck

 

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Elaine Hanzak - Gott, inspirational speaker and author of

Eyes without Sparkle – a journey through postnatal illness

 

Introduction by Sharon:

I met Elaine at the London Baby Show in October 2010. We promised to keep in touch and I am pleased to feature her website - a one-stop resource covering all aspects of post-natal illnesses, from the commonly experienced baby-blues to the rare condition of puerperal psychosis. An established inspirational speaker on postnatal and related mental illnesses, Elaine provides invaluable online support for new mums. She is one of the experts who provide one-to-one advice at www.Greatvine.com

Elaine is also a trustee of The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation which was set up in memory of mother Joe who tragically lost her life to this terrible illness. You can find out more here....

 

Elaine’s story:

Elaine Hanzak thought she ‘wasn’t the type’ to suffer from postnatal illness. She thought she had it all: supportive family, huge maternal instinct, comfortable home, teaching career and an organised and efficient personality. Yet several months after the birth of baby Dominic, Elaine’s life was in tatters as she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital with puerperal psychosis (an extreme form of postnatal depression). Once she recovered Elaine felt she wanted to share her experience with others. She wanted to make it clear that you cannot ‘pull yourself together’, and to show that mental illness can affect anyone. Most importantly Elaine wanted to offer hope that it is possible to recover.

Elaine's book Eyes without Sparkle – a journey through postnatal illness (Radcliffe 2005) has been translated into French and sold around the world. Readers' testimonials show this book is useful for anyone involved with young families and how it is often the smallest of actions can have the biggest impact. Elaine’s open and honest style means that some readers will identify with some parts of her journey. She regularly receives complaints that the book kept readers up all night as ‘it is un-put-downable’!

  • Elaine’s website provides a wealth of information, advice and tips for coping. There are also updates on what Elaine is up to, and you can subscribe to her newsletter.

In February 2011 Elaine’s partner and soul mate Clive Gott died suddenly.

  • You can follow Elaine's blog covering her work on postnatal illnesses and bereavement since losing her husband.

For a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of copy of Eyes without sparkle check out mini-competition 2

 


 

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured books :: tipsduck::::::::tipsduck


Mexican Takeaway by Francesca Polini

Published by Matador in March 2011

ISBN: 1848766270 - RRP: £14.99 (paperback) £7.20 (kindle)

For more information about the author go to: www.francescapolini.com

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Review by Sharon

I admit to being sceptical about Francesca’s reasons for choosing to adopt a child, rather than have one. As a high-flying business woman in the corporate world I felt her decision to opt for this route to parenthood may have been motivated by a desire to gain knowledge that would make her eminently qualified to move into new areas of employment. I was wrong.

Husband Rick appeared to be more grounded and realistic about their chances of becoming adoptive parents. As the story developed it became evident that adoption was by no means an easy alternative to conventional parenthood - pregnancy and childbirth would have been a walk in the park! Ironically the gestation period for adoptive parents is often two or three years which may actually mean they are more experienced and ready to approach parenthood than biological parents.

During Francesca  and Rick's often traumatic journey, which unfolded over many weeks, we are introduced to the darker and more sinister side of foreign adoption and illegal surrogacy. This includes blatant exploitation of the most vulnerable mothers in the world who can't afford or get access to justice. This is basically baby-trafficking and it is right that Francesca should expose such dreadful practices.

I would not wish to spoil what is undoubtedly an exciting read. It has all the twists and turns usually associated with a page-turning blockbuster. Suffice to say this book has everything you would expect from a Jason Bourne thriller with the added bonus it is true! It is poignant, heartbreakingly sad, touching, frustrating and funny, but above all it is an honest, warts-and-all account of a couple's journey to parenthood.

By sharing their journey, Francesca and Rick can help prospective parents avoid many of the pitfalls they encountered. If you are contemplating adopting a child from overseas, this book should be on your ‘must read’ list.

Since writing the book, Francesca has set-up the organisation Adoption with Humanity to help prospective parents as they embark on their own journeys. You can find out more here....

 


For a chance to win a copy of Mexican Takeaway check out mini-competition 3


 

Laptops and Mobile Devices Made Easy

Editor Lynn Wright

Published by Which? Books On March 16 2011

ISBN: 1844901173 - RRP: £10.99

For more information about Which? go to www.which.co.uk

book cover

 

Review by Sharon

This is the latest in the collection of Which? made easy guides which include: Computing for the over 50s, Digital photography, The Internet and PC problem-solving. This guide about laptops and mobile devices covers all major brands of net books, ebook readers, PC tablets and smartphones.

Each chapter includes an introduction to each device and detailed sections about its features. I found the text boxes in the margins especially helpful. These were called either ‘Jargon buster’, ‘Try this’, ‘Watch out’ or general ‘tips’ (handy hints to help you get the best from the device.

Being a  technophobe I found the guide extremely user-friendly with easy-to-read text, excellent graphics and photographs of the devices. I had expected this to be slightly out-of-date, as technology changes so quickly, but I was pleasantly surprised at how current this guide is.

The last three chapters of the guide are about accessing the internet, being safe online and helpful resources. They provide excellent information and advice that all internet users will find useful. For me, the most valuable advice was contained in the top tips on protecting your mobile device. This included a recommendation to log them all with Immobilise - the free online resource www.immobilise.com. This is the biggest free register of personal property. Together with NMPR (the national police database of registered property ownership and stolen property records) www.thenmpr.com and CheckMEND (the world's largest database of over 40 billion serial numbered items of property) www.checkmend.com, www.immobilise.com can help to reduce crime and ensure that recovered personal property is handed back to its rightful owners. Immobilise is supported by all UK Police forces, the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and the mobile phone industry.

I knew nothing about Immobilise so finding out that such an innovative organisation existed was really worthwhile. I have registered my devices on the Immobilise database and ordered the simple property marking kit which comes with a UV pen and light, luggage warning tags and window stickers.

I would be happy to recommend this guide to anyone who wants to get the most from their mobile devices and maybe more importantly how best to protect them from theft.


For a chance to win a copy of Laptops and Mobile Devices Made Easy check out mini-competition 4.


 

The Starting School Survival Guide by Sarah Ebner

Published by White Ladder

ISBN: 1905410875 - RRP: £10.99

Available from www.whiteladderpress.co.uk

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The Starting School Survival Guide is packed with bite-sized tips presented in attractive advice boxes. It's crammed with real-life experiences from mums and dads, parenting experts, psychologists, teachers, head teachers and Governors. Rather than a lecture, this book is an easy-to-read guide that aims to answer all those questions you may have been afraid to ask – for fear of seeming foolish or ignorant.

Review by Parent Tester Fiona (Mum of three school age children):

As a veteran of three school starts, five if you include a change of schools after a house move, my main question when reading Sarah Ebner’s guide was whether it would have helped me seven years ago. I also wondered whether it would help or hinder parents starting out. I have read other similar books and found many either offer little valuable information or are just too prescriptive for my liking.

The Starting School Survival Guide is well structured with 12 chapters starting with choosing a school, which Ebner acknowledges is of less relevance to parents in Scotland, and finishing with the move to secondary education.  Each chapter has useful sub headings under which a wealth of information can be found. I particularly liked the question and answer ‘capsules’, and the quotes from parents and other experts. There are additional tips and handy links to websites. I think an index for quick reference would have been a useful addition. I was also slightly disappointed at the lack of guidance on bullying which, given the proportion of time parents spend worrying about it, is given scant attention.

I enjoyed the style of writing which struck a nice balance between the platitudes of some childcare manuals and the academic language of others.  Ebner discusses issues by first placing them in context before describing different approaches and discussing the pro’s and con’s, plusses and minuses of each. The advantage of this is that it recognises each child and each family’s individuality in a manner that a more academic approach would not.  Her practical guidance on learning multiplication tables is a good example of this.

The guide also looks good. The text is broken up with checklists, bullet points and italicised quotes - which all contribute to making it user-friendly. The guide I read was in paperback format which lends itself to being ‘dipped into’ whenever someone has a spare moment.

This book does more than it says on the cover. It provides a child-centred but parent-friendly guide.  It's about the ups and downs of your child not just when they start school but also throughout primary school. This well-informed but common sense advice would have helped me seven years ago and would still help me now.  I would therefore have no hesitation recommending it to others.


For a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of The Starting School Survival guide check out mini-competition 5.


 

Middle School – The worst years of my life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts

Published by Arrow (Young) on July 7 2011

ISBN: 0099543982 - RRP: £9.99

book cover

The story....

Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he’s got an ace plan for the best year ever, if he can pull it off. With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school’s oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class – 5,000 points! Running in the hallway – 10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm – 50,000 points! But when Rafe’s game starts to catch up with him, he’ll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he’s finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he’s been avoiding.

The author....

Middle School – The worst years of my life is by best-selling author James Patterson, who is known for his young reader series: Maximum Ride, Daniel X and Witch & Wizard. James is also famous for writing three of the top detective series – the Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club and Detective Michael Bennett novels. James is passionate about encouraging children to read. His own son's reluctance to read inspired James to write books specifically for young readers. He has also formed a partnership with the National Literacy Trust, an independent UK-based charity that changes lives through literacy. In 2010, he was voted Author of the Year at the Children's Choice Book Awards in New York.

The TIPS review... We asked two of our young Testers (both age 11 years) to read and tell us what they thought of Middle School and this book received a unanimous thumbs up! You can read these young readers' comments here....


For a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of Middle School – the worst years of my life check out mini-competition 6.


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tipsducktipsduckFeatured event 1 :: Trafalgar Square Malaysia Night - Friday 23 September 2011 tipsducktipsduck

Free event - 3 to 10pm

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This free Malaysia Night will take place in London’s Trafalgar Square. For one night only an authentic Malaysian Pasar Malem (night markets) will take over the capital. This was created by Malaysia Kitchen and designed to showcase the authentic and vibrant cuisine and culture of Malaysia. During Malaysia Night on Trafalgar Square over 20 Malaysian restaurants will serve their own individual signature street food, including inspired dishes such as laksa and nasi goring to satay and beef rending. This will give visitors the opportunity to taste the very best of Malaysian cuisine, and to buy authentic ingredients (including sauces, pastes and noodles) to cook Malaysian dishes at home.

Organisers will make sure this second Malaysia Night is bigger and better than last year's (see pictures above).

New at the event this year, visitors will be able to enjoy five performances by dancers from the Terengganu region of Malaysia including Gerak Tari Silat Kura-kura (martial arts performance), Zapin and Joget Terengganu (traditional dance) and Gamelan (traditional musical performance), as well as a fashion show of traditional clothing.

For more information go to www.malaysiakitchen.co.uk

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured event 2 :: The National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy Open day Wednesday 12 October 2011tipsducktipsduck

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The National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy (NCYPE) at Lingfield, Surrey invites parents from across the UK invited to attend the last epilepsy open day for 2011.

The NCYPE, a national charity with over 100 years' experience as a centre of expertise for all young people with epilepsy, is inviting parents from across the United Kingdom to attend its final open day of 2011.

The free event is open to parents who have a child with epilepsy or a related condition. It will give them the opportunity to meet the people at the NCYPE, see the world class medical and education facilities and have any questions you may have answered.

To find out more:

  • email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • phone Mandy Richmond on 01342 831348
  • visit www.ncype.org.uk

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured DVD :: Postman Pat – Happy Birthday Pattipsducktipsduck

dvd cover

Postman Pat© 2010. Woodland Animations Limited.  Original writer John Cunliffe.  Lic. Royal Mail Group plc.

Release date: 12 September 2011

RRP: £5.49 - Running time: 3 hours

 

Postman Pat celebrates 30 years of delivery adventure on 16 September 2011. The longest running animated TV series on the BBC, Postman Pat has delighted audiences for three decades and will be celebrating his birthday in style this autumn!

 

Postman Pat will be having fun on the morning of his birthday: the BBC will broadcast back-to-back Postman Pat episodes on CBeebies.  The Postman Pat costume character will be joining in the fun all morning on CBeebies and will also be hosting the “Birthday Slot” to celebrate with viewers who share his birthday. Pat will also be making several other appearances on TV and radio that day.

In order for all Pat fans to join in the fun, there will also be events around the country:

  • a party at Longleat Safari Park on 17 September
  • a VIP party at Westfield Shopping Centre on 16 September with a special screening of Postman Pat 'new DVD
  • the following weekend the new DVD will be screened in all Vue Cinemas throughout the UK.

Pat fans wishing to have a party at home and celebrate with their friends, can buy a huge variety of Pat themed party items online at Postman Pat Party Ware.

You can find out more about this DVD on the interactive Postman Pat® SDS website at www.postmanpat.com


For a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of Postman Pat DVDs check out mini-competition 7


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tipsducktipsduckFeatured CD :: Hypnosis for pregnancy and beyond...tipsducktipsduck

cd illustration

 

By Amanda Gwynne - RGN. RM. ITEC. Complementary Therapies, MNSPH Hypnotherapy, Baby Massage Instructor & HypnoBirthing Practitioner

RRP: £11.99 Listening time: 102 minutes (includes 12 page information booklet)

For more information:

  • contact Amanda (email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 07818 415 516)
  • visit www.mama2b.com/hypnobirthing

HypnoBirthing is as much a philosophy of birth as it is a technique for achieving a calm, relaxing and stress free way of giving birth. This wonderful program teaches prospective parents breathing techniques, deep relaxation, visualizations, glove anaesthesia and self-hypnosis for a more gentle and natural experience of birthing.

With over 30 years experience Amanda Gwynne offers hypnoBirthing, baby massage, babymooning, bespoke antenatal education, and natural fertility workshops throughout the UK. You can listen to 30 second clips of her three-part CD online at: www.mama2b.com/hypnobirthing

 

Review by Ariane (TIPS Parent Tester)

The idea of Hypnobirthing is to have a safe, easier, more comfortable birth.

I have only listened to the CD a few times so far but already feel more confident about the labour. It makes you see it in a completely different way and actually look forward to it.

There are 3 parts to this CD.

Part 1 is for the first trimester, and mainly helps with getting through the difficult morning sickness and tiredness stage.

Part 2 is for the second trimester, and deals with getting to know your baby as it grows inside you and understand your feelings about labour.

Part 3 is for the third trimester, and deals with tiredness and labour, as well as helping you to feel confident about how you will be after the baby comes.

I am currently on part 2, and can’t wait to get on to part 3 (one more week to go!). I am much more relaxed and less worried about how labour is going to be, and almost looking forward to it. I’m sure given another few weeks I will be looking forward to it completely.

It’s great listening to it first thing in the morning as it helps you focus on the day ahead, and feel calmer and more relaxed about pregnancy in general.

I will definitely keep on listening to this and hopefully this will result in a positive labour experience.


For a chance to win 1 of 2 Hypnosis for pregnancy and beyond... CDs check out mini-competition 8


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tipsducknEw tipsduck:: Daddy blog tipsducknEw tipsducknEw tipsducknEw tipsduck

tipsduck

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This excellent blog written by American ‘badass dad’ is well worth a read for any dad who wants to know how to support their partner trough the trials and tribulations of breastfeeding on the way to breastfeeding nirvana. It is a delightful diary of how this can be achieved, with baby number four due in nine weeks time. Check it out here....

 

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured video clip :: Covering up is a Feminist Issue

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I would love to be a part of the revolution that changes the way society views a woman’s body. This open and honest video clip gives a refreshing message of tolerance for breastfeeding which is truly infectious. Take a peak and see what you think...

 

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tipsducktipsduckDiary of a Student Midwife :: Part 7tipsducktipsduck

In this instalment of  'Diary of a Student Midwife' our student midwife prepares to move into her third year. She also shares the ups and downs of her recent placement in the Labour ward where there is never a dull moment.

Read more here...

 

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured My Story :: Life begins again at 43!tipsducktipsduck

This  'My Story' follows the diary of our parent tester as she recovers from a vaginal hysterectomy after years of suffering from heavy bleeding caused by fibroids. Although this type of hysterectomy is a common operation, with many graphic videos on youtube (not recommended for viewing by anyone who is squeamish!) there are few accounts telling it like it is which is why this is such a fantastic read. Pip goes into great detail including why she decided to go ahead with such a drastic operation at the relatively young age of 43. She charts her recovery day by day from pre-op to 26 days post-op including the all important resumption of intimacy with her husband – a question all women facing such an operation will be keen to ask. You can read the full story here...

 

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:tipsduck:tipsduckTIPS Top Treat :: Dragons of Walton Streettipsducktipsduck

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Lucinda Croft is the MD of Knightsbridge nursery specialists Dragons of Walton Street (www.dragonsofwaltonstreet.com). She created the bedrooms for a whole host of famous offsprings, including Princes William and Harry.

A former actress who dated Jason Connery, Lucinda has a showroom on Walton Street as well as stores in Moscow and Saudi Arabia. She is therefore able to give trend comment both here and abroad.

Some clients pay £100,000 for a Dragons nursery, but Lucinda has plenty of tips on how to pull together a nursery on a budget. She also has an insight on what the rich and famous are buying, with Samantha Cameron and Emilia Fox recently taking delivery of Dragons hand-painted rush-seat chairs (see picture above).

If you are looking for something special Dragons of Walton Street is the place to go. For the last word in nursery luxury check out the wonderful items on offer, including hand-painted toy boxes, upholstered chairs, bespoke artwork and interior design service at: www.dragonsofwaltonstreet.com

 

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tipsducktipsduck :: TIPS top value feature :: Guzzle Puzzle jelly sweetstipsducktipsduck

sweet packet

Guzzle Puzzle jelly sweets - Cost around 50 pence per pack but offers are available on multi-packs

Supplied by www.naturalconfectionery.co.uk (or Cadbury to you and me)

These sweets are:

  • an innovative way to make healthy sweets appeal to your children
  • from the company that brought you Jelly snakes, Forbidden fruits, Wild things and Dino mix.
Guzzle Puzzle  don't contain artificial colours and flavours
Guzzle Puzzle allows you to combine two jellies  to make your own flavour
With orange, lime, raspberry, cinnamon and banana flavours you can get:

 

  • raspberry + lime = pink lemonade
  • orange + banana  = bubblegum
  • lime + cinnamon = cola

 

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tipsducktipsduck :: TIPS :: top tipstipsducktipsduck

 

tipsduckSHEWEE® – the portable urinating device for women

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Shewee is a moulded, water repellent plastic funnel that allows women to urinate whilst standing or sitting - without getting undressed. It's ideal for outdoor pursuits and long car journeys or when travelling abroad. Shewee is also available on prescription for all types of medical conditions.

It means that uncomfortable squatting, sitting on unhygienic toilets and embarrassing bare bottoms may officially be a thing of the past!

Loved by women from all walks of life, including polar explorers like Ann Daniels and celebrities like Fearne Cotton, and those with a disability, Shewee has become an invaluable travelling accessory for women everywhere. Shewee is available on NHS prescription, Nato approved and recommended by travel doctors worldwide.

I contacted Shewee founder Sam Fountain (what a perfect name!) having seen a clip of Sam as she promoted her invention at the 2010 Outdoor Show. I had heard about this innovative device a few years earlier and decided it was time to look into this further. My son who is in a band now attends music festivals - a great place for girls to try out such a device. My daughter took her Shewee off to a Scottish loch with a group of her girl friends - all the girls thought it was a wonderful idea for those moments when you get ‘caught short’!

I personally road-tested a fetching pink version of the Shewee and have to admit it was easy to use, drip-free and after a few attempts I found I was able to pee standing up. The range of potential users is wide, including hikers, emergency workers and pregnant women. There are many new additions to the range in the pipeline (pardon the pun!) including the ingenious X-front pants (a variation on the traditional Y-fronts for men), the QeeZee (portable sick bag), extension pipes for use with bulky clothing and even a festival survival kit!

Congratulations to Sam on the cleverest collection of really useful products – every woman should have a Shewee!

For more information and a look at the full product range go to: www.shewee.com


For a chance to win a Shewee festival survival kit check out mini-competition 9.

 

 


 

tipsduck


As seen on BBC’s Dragon’s Den: Magic Blackout Blind

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Magic Blackout Blind is a temporary blackout blind window covering that can be reused on a daily basis (the exact number of times depends on how often you take it up and down), just peel off and reuse. Typically the sheets will last for 6-8 weeks and will naturally crease over time due to exposure to heat and the sun.

It is:

  • easy to use, portable and lightweight, and  perfect for use at home, at work and on holiday
  • sticks to any window or glass without tape, glue or blu tack using static.
Magic Blackout Blind sheets are easy to tear off and can be cut to fit most standard window sizes. There are 10 sheets on a roll (60x80cm – enough to cover 5 standard double windows)
Magic Blackout Blind is the perfect solution to help children get to sleep early and avoid them waking at 5am with the sunrise!

 

Magic Blackout Blind stops all light. It is made with recyclable statically charged polypropylene film that can safely be used on normal single and double glazed windows.

You can buy Magic Blackout Blind from many stockists, including Jo Jo Maman Bebe, Great Little Trading Company, Halfords, The Baby Catalogue, Tesco Direct, Mothercare .com, Amazon.co.uk, Ryman stores and Boots.com  RRP: £35.99

To find out more, visit www.magicblackoutblind.co.uk


For a chance to win a Magic Blackout Blind check out mini-competition 10.


 

tipsduck


KidStart

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Following a tough year of cuts to child benefit and increases in university tuition fees, UK families are taking some unusual steps to save money. With the festive seasons almost upon us families are looking for innovative ways to reduce everyday costs so they have a little extra money for Christmas.

KidStart - the free parents' shopping club - reveals the five most drastic money saving tips:

1. Make your own reusable baby wipes - Rather than buying tonnes of cotton wool or packets of baby wipes for wiping my baby's bottom, I bought a white fleece baby blanket in the charity shop and cut it up into small squares.  The idea is the same as lots of the eco-friendly fleece and terry reusable baby wipes on offer. I wash them with my reusable nappies - which are a hand-me-down. Also saving me money!

2. Forage for food! Forage for free food. In the autumn there are lots of fruit and berries on trees and bushes just waiting to be picked and eaten: blackberries, apples, pears, plums. Children and babies love fruit - by picking free fruit you can save lots of money! For example, a punnet of blackberries from the supermarket costs  about £3!  Fruit also freezes well. So stock up the freezer!

3. Turn shirts into baby clothes I recycle my husband's old business shirts for clothes for my baby daughter - they make fantastic cotton dresses, shirts and matching baby fabric shoes. A great idea if you have access to a sewing machine. Children's clothes can cost so much, especially as they grow out of everything so quickly!

4. Cut back on stain remover Instead of buying expensive stain removal products, leave stained clothes on the washing line in the rain, allow to dry naturally and wash again.  If the stain is set in, do as before then leave clothes on the washing line in the sunshine for a couple of days - stains vanish without harsh chemicals or expensive products.

5. Make soup from baby puree Make extra baby puree and turn it into soup - ideal for stay at home mums and easy teas!

For more information go to: www.kidstart.co.uk and www.saveforukkids.co.uk

 

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Dedicated advice lines:

  • You can contact me on my Greatvine Speak Now number: 09064006215* if I am unable to answer immediately, I promise to call you back.
  • You can also contact me on the Prima Baby/BabyExpert one-to-one advice line at: 09061949915*
  • 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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regular features....

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Diary of a student midwife

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new competitions

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Babycare - back to basics

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TIPS babies

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Here is a darling picture of baby Jamie on his first holiday to Spain. If he could speak he would be saying: ‘I love holidays with my Mummy and Daddy’.
TIPS toddler

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Here is a very cheeky Iman with a smile bright enough to light up your day! Thank you to Mummy for sending it in to us.
TIPS family

family photos

Here is a very special picture featuring Nicole and Brendan with Granny and Grandpa Draeger. They travelled all the way from Cape Town in South Africa to join in celebrations for their son Mark's wedding to Hannah (see picture of the wedding party). Congratulations to you all!
TIPS bump

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Here is our youngest ‘bump’ picture showing baby aged 20 weeks gestation – Ariane is due to have her baby in November so we will sure to update you on the new arrival in our December e-newsletter.
TIPS breastfeeder

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I thought I would feature a different breastfeeding shot this time with one of my favourite pictures of a breastfeeding mother that I came upon by accident in London. The statue shows a young mother breastfeeding her new baby while cuddling her toddler close to her. It can be seen at Royal Exchange Avenue, EC2 in the heart of the city. I cannot tell you the story behind the statue but if anyone out there can come back to me with more details I will send you a signed copy of my book – now there’s a challenge for you!

 

tipsduck Remember to...
keep on emailing your photos! If they are featured in one of our e-newsletters, we will send you a dedicated copy of Sharon's book Breastfeeding: the essential guide.
Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet (version 8) – out now!

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Version 8 of this award-winning leaflet is hot off the press. It 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.

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My Baby Radio - podcasts

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www.mybabyradio.com

New desktop radio player available! Launched on DAB digital radio in April 2010 - Broadcasting across Cheshire, Staffordshire and North East Wales.

Sharon's interviews about breast feeding, tongue-tie, baby skincare, cup feeding, baby baths, cuddle towels, decongestants and much more are broadcast regularly. You can also download them here....

If you would like to listen to My Baby Radio directly from your desktop, and without visiting the website, you can download the new desktop radio player (you will need to have the latest version of Windows Media Player installed on your PC or laptop). Go to the My Baby Radio website to get the player.

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TIPS competitions

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If you are on Facebook and want to take the opportunity to enter all 11 TIPS competitions in 1 go all you have to do is:

 

  • 'Like' us on Facebook illustration
  • Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and  tell us you wish to enter the e-newsletter competitions
  • remember to include your name and address in the message so we know where to send your prize(s)
  • Check out the list of winners in our December e-newsletter – it could be you!
e-newsletter competition
Win a luxury caravan holiday in Cornwall - worth £299!

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Thanks to the kind people at Trevella Caravan and Camping Park we are delighted to be able to offer a fantastic prize: a week’s holiday for a lucky family at the Trevella Park in October 2011.

The prize is for a 7 night stay in a two bedroom ‘Original’ caravan, which sleeps up to six people. Terms and conditions apply*

Set in stunning mature gardens and just a short walk from the fabulous Crantock Beach, Trevella Park offers the perfect base to enjoy all that Cornwall has to offer: cream teas, coastal paths, sandy beaches, quaint fishing villages, not forgetting beautiful gardens and world famous attractions like Tintagel Castle, the Tate Gallery at St Ives, the Minack open-air theatre and The Eden Project. Trevella’s facilities include an outdoor heated swimming pool with children’s paddling pool, an adventure playground, BBQ area, two fishing lakes, cafe, shop and crazy golf. As well as caravans for hire, the independently owned park also offers touring pitches, Ready Tents for hire, camping pitches and caravan holiday homes for sale.

For more information visit www.trevella.co.uk or call 01637 830308.


How to enter: All you have to do to enter is email the words ‘Trevella Park’ to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 14 September 2011.

To allow time to arrange the holiday we will contact the winner by September 18 and announce the winner in e-newsletter 25.

*The free 7 night holiday must be taken between 1 and 29 October 2011, subject to availability.  Bookings run Saturday to Saturday.  Only one free holiday is available and there is no cash alternative. Open to TIPS Ltd® members and testers.

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mini-competition 1

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For a chance to win a breast mate® all you have to do is 'like' us on Facebook illustrationor email the word 'breastmate' to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 November 2011 - we will announce the winner in e-newsletter 25.
mini-competition 2

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For a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of Eyes without Sparkle all you have to do is 'like' us on Facebook illustrationor email the word 'Hanzak' to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 November 2011. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 25.
mini-competition 3

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For a chance to win a copy of Mexican Takeaway all you have to do is 'like' us on Facebook illustration or email the words 'Mexican Takeaway' to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 November 2011. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 25.
mini-competition 4

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For a chance to win a copy of the Which? Laptops and mobile devices Made Easy all you have to do is 'like' us on Facebook illustration or email the word 'Which?' to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 November 2011. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 25.
mini-competition 5

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For a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of  The Starting School Survival Guide all you have to do is 'like' us on Facebook illustration or email the words 'Starting School' to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 November 2011. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 25.
mini-competition 6

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For a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of Middle School – the worst years of my life all you have to do is 'like' us on Facebook illustrationor email the words 'Middle School' to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 November 2011. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 25.

mini-competition 7

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For a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of the Postman Pat Birthday DVD all you have to do is 'like' us on Facebook illustrationor email the words 'Postman Pat' to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 November 2011. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 25.

mini-competition 8

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For a chance to win 1 of 2 Hypnosis for pregnancy and beyond...CDs all you have to do is 'like' us on Facebook illustrationor email the word 'CD' to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 November 2011. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 25.
mini-competition 9

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For a chance to win a Shewee Festival  kit all you have to do is 'like' us on Facebook illustrationor email the word 'Shewee' to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 November 2011. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 25.
mini-competition 10

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For a chance to win a Magic Blackout Blind all you have to do is 'like' us on Facebook illustrationor email the words 'Magic Blackout Blind' to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 November 2011. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 25.

TIPS winners...

 

mini-competitions


The 3  lucky winners of the month-long membership to MumsDateDads are Annette from Lincolnshire , 
Amanda from Lancashire and Alison from Lanarkshire.



The lucky winner of the Duncan Fisher book is Victoria from Cheshire.

 


The lucky winner of the Breastfeeding gift set is Olga from Lancashire.



 

The lucky winner of the Lactivist gift set is Caryn from Ayrshire.




The lucky winner of the ‘Fit to Bust’ book is Kerry from Ayrshire.



 

The lucky winners of the two pairs of tickets to the Alternative Families Show are Paula from Cheshire and Kat from Yorkshire.



 

The lucky winners of the Leapfrog DVDs are Shamina from Essex and Karen from Essex.



 

The lucky winner of Gentle Hands Baby Massage gift set is Marzena from Oxfordshire.

 


 

The 5 lucky winners of the Doidy cups are Natalija from Lancashire, Sarah from Yorkshire, Rachel from Aberdeenshire, Kerry from Ayrshire and Tracey from Ayrshire.

 


 

The lucky winner of the Turtle Sandbox is Françoise from London.

 


 

The lucky winner of the MoBoleez breastfeeding baby hat is Sharon from Israel.

 


e-newsletter competition

The lucky winners of the PopNFun play tents are Ale from London and Cheryl from Sussex.


 

 

 

 

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