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Welcome to our winter issue!
Our September newsletter was delayed due to my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding so I make no apologies for including a few wedding themed features in this issue. Ashley is our only daughter (we also have three boys) so I was able to enjoy my one and only experience as Mother-of-the-Bride! I am thrilled to report that everything came together perfectly on the day, although I will admit to experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions along the way! We only had six months to organise the wedding celebrations but it turned out to be easier than we had thought. During this time we came across a few great websites and handy tips that we can share with you, not to mention a few of our favourite pictures.
Since our last newsletter in June we have published the results of our two trials: Sterilisers4All and the trusted Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits - which achieved not one but two TIPS Awards! We have also received a delightful review for the all-natural deodorant OY! by Green people. It was sent to us by one of our young testers. You can read the review here.
Our featured websites include a unique photography service called: Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org). The more people know about NILMDTS the more families who suffer the tragedy of losing an infant will be able to gain comfort from this very special service. The second featured website is www.motherandbabyhomes.com which launched on 14 August 2013. Mother & Baby Homes is a research based website: it uses oral history interviews to document the stories of young unmarried mothers. These powerful accounts of real life events show why so many women were forced to enter Mother & Baby Homes in England in the 1960s with heartbreaking stories of how their babies were forcibly taken from them and given up for adoption. This is also the subject of our featured DVD, Philomena, starring Dame Judy Dench and Steve Coogan.
Our featured book How to Potty Train, is an easy to use book by Judith Hough and Diane Titterton, designers of the award-winning training pads Dry Like Me. It will help to make potty training simple and even enjoyable for parents and children.
I have been busy writing many of the parenting articles for the second edition of a publication for new parents called The National Parent Guide (www.thenpg.org.uk). This will be available from local registry offices, many maternity units and parenting organisations.
In our Top Tips features, you can find out about National Family Mediation – an organisation set up to help parents with the trauma of separation or divorce. It offers a cost-effective alternative to going to court which is also far less stressful. We feature our friends' Glow Skincare 8 top tips for winter skincare. For those of you thinking about getting married we feature the gorgeous Debbie Graham Wedding Jewellery and Tiaras: a beautiful range of handmade jewellery, designed to your specific needs including the latest trend: back jewellery, as worn by me as Mother-of-the-Bride!
Check out our delightful Testers' photos including pictures of my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding last September. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.
As well as our regular mix of featured articles (our updated TIPS Toolkits on Breastfeeding, Tongue-tie and Introducing Solids), blog (Grace under pressure), event (our family wedding!), DVD (Philomena), Top Value (ReadyBed®s by Worlds Apart) and Top Treat (Weleda Haircare range) - not forgetting our latest news section which highlights the fantastic work carried of Independent Midwives UK.Â Our Video clips feature the work of neonatal nurse Sonia Rochel. By watching the beautiful footage of newborns being immersed in warm water baths, we are given a unique view of a baby’s recent life in the womb. Last but not least we bring you part four of our regular feature Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under.
As a special treat for the festive season we are giving away a Tummy Tub full of goodies in our Newsletter Competition so get entering and you could win the lot! Don't forget to check out our 7 mini-competitions with a total prize value of £350! Email your entries and you too could be a winner.
Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!
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Â Â :: NeW :: NeW :: NeW :: Featured publication :: NeW ::NeW ::NeW :: The National Parent Guide
The National Parent Guide - revised and updated version just published: www.thenpg.org.uk
As I was one of the first people to complain about the information and images in the first edition of The National Parent Guide, I can relate to all your concerns. In this article, I would like to explain why I agreed to take on the challenge of rewriting many of the articles in the guide.
Let me first of all make it clear that I have no links, commercial or otherwise, with the publishers of this guide. Indeed my first ever contact was when I emailed them to complain. Thanks to the feedback, constructive criticism and suggestions for changes you, me and others submitted, the publishers agreed that the second edition of the guide should be revised and updated accordingly. As a midwife specialising in breastfeeding and baby skincare, my prime objective is to provide parents with advice based on best-practice.
I hope you will agree this new edition provides parents the top quality they and professionals deserve, and is, fit for distribution to any maternity unit, or parenting organisation - including those who are Baby-Friendly accredited.
I have written eight articles for the second edition of The National Parent Guide: Breastfeeding: tips for success; Don’t forget Dad!; Babycare back to basics™; Safer Sleep, developing routines and reducing the risk of cot death;, Introducing solids; Cup feeding; Teething explained; and Keeping babies and children safe in the sun and in hot weather. I was also involved in the review of all health and well-being of mother and baby articles and facilitated Elaine Hanzak's article: Baby’s arrived - so why am I not happy?ÂÂÂ
The National Parent Guide is funded by advertising. I can however assure you that each advert and image in this publication meets the criteria for Baby Friendly accredited organisations.
- If you would like to suggest topics for future editions, or if you have any concerns about articles or photographs in this issue, please email
. We welcome and value your feedback.
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Featured products ::
SterilisersÂ and Bickiepegs® Teething Biscuits
Many congratulations to our latest TIPS Award winners on their well deserved wins...
One of the suppliers I had approached about a trial of breast pumps (something I am keen to do being a passionate supporter of breastfeeding) suggested we trial sterilisers first. So this is what we decided to do. Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, you will need to sterilise any feeding equipment before use.
8 products were carefully selected for this trial. 80 test samples, supplied by 4 manufacturers were sent to 48 Parent Testers (the age range of baby and toddler testers was birth to 55 months of age).
You can read all the reviews and find a steriliser to suit your needs here....
For a chance to win one of the sterilisers we tested check out mini-competition 2
Two TIPS Awards for Bickiepegs® Teething Biscuits
Between August and September 2013, we tested the Bickiepegs® Teething Biscuits.
I am delighted to bring you the final results of our latest one-off trial of Bickiepegs® Teething Biscuits.
Our Testers were so impressed with this product we have decided to award it 2 awards: Clever idea and Editor's choice.
Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits are made with quality ingredients using a recipe developed by leading paediatrician Dr Harry Campbell in 1925. Dr Campbell wanted babies to have a biscuit that promotes exercise known to be vital for good teeth, jaw, and chewing skills. Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits can also help ease the pain of teething. Bickiepegs are not intended to be eaten and do not form part of the child’s diet. They are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Recommended from the age of 6 months, Bickiepegs biscuits have been used in royal nurseries. They contain only three ingredients: wheat flour, wheat germ and water. Bickiepegs also manufacture the TIPS award-winning Doidy cup: another classic design ideal for all ages.
Our Parent Testers liked the simple but effective design of the packaging which hinted at its trusted reputation. They were especially pleased that there was no added salt or sugar in the recipe although some did suggest that a variety of flavours or a gluten-free biscuits might be welcome. The biscuits were the perfect size for little hands and most parents agreed that the Bickiepeg biscuit kept their baby happy for long enough to distract them from their sore gums. All in all this classic teething biscuit was a hit with parents and babies alike and we are delighted to award the Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits not one but two TIPS awards:
Clever idea and Editor's choiceÂÂÂ - you can read all about this trial in the TIPS Award section of our website
Some fascinating facts and photographic evidence regarding the early years of Bickiepegs
Welwyn Garden City (WGC) Heritage Trust recently contacted Bickiepegs to see if they had any information regarding photos held in the WGC Library's Local Studies Collection.ÂÂÂ The first of the two photos is an interior shot of the Bickiepegs factory, taken in the 1930s. We can see a couple of ovens on the left of the picture and the small workforce helping to check and pack the cooked biscuits.
The second image is of factories in Broadwater Road - the central square factory was occupied by a confectionery company with the address 13-15 Broadwater Road, with the Bickiepegs factory at 11 Broadwater Rd (shown here on the left of the photo).
It is also interesting to read an old advert for Bickiepeg Bone and Vegetable Broth (circa 1931) that the company made at this time. This broth is advertised as being given ‘from birth’ which conflicts with today’s advice to avoid introducing solids until six months of age. However it does still mention that their products do not contain sugar preservatives or starch. More than 88 years after the Bickiepegs teething biscuits were first manufactured, they are still beingade today, using the same recipe which is free from added salt and sugar, additives or colourings.
The factory in Welwyn Garden City continued to manufacture Bickiepegs teething biscuits until the early 1950s. They moved to Jopps Lane, Aberdeen but when the North Sea oil started new factory units were built at Blackburn Industrial Estate. Bickiepegs were the first company to move into their unit, where production continues to this day. Bickiepegs also manufacture the TIPS award-winning Doidy cup: another classic design ideal for all ages.
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Isobel's Review of Green People 'Oy!' Deodorant
An effective, natural and certified organic deodorant for all your smelly bits! For guys & dolls.
- Suitable for people who may be prone to eczema and psoriasis
- Soothing and active with long-lasting antibacterial action
- Made without alcohol and pore-clogging Aluminium
- Herbal extracts to soothe delicate skin
- Gentle scent of Orange & Vanilla
- Made with fairly traded, organic ingredients
- Free from gunk! You won't find any pore-clogging Aluminium, Parabens, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol) or artificial fragrances in this natural deodorant.
Review by Isobel - young TIPS Tester
My name is Isobel and I have tested this product for Sharon....with a little help from my younger brother!
Initial impression: Â
- The packaging is very nice, I particularly like the big, big, 'Oy!' The deodorant smells very nice, I can smell a sweet smell of orange and vanilla fragrance.
Using the deodorant:
- When I first put the deodorant on, it is freezing cold like ice cubes!! It is very smooth and very nice to put on. It doesn't take too long to dry....my brother and I walk around with our arms above our heads!!
- It works very well and is lovely to wear....I smell very nice :-)
Thank you Sharon & Green People for my deodorant!
To find out more you can:
For a chance to win a OY! deodorant check out mini-competition 3
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Â :: Featured websites
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep - www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org
Sharon, Aidan and Calum aged one week
Introduction by Sharon Trotter
On 20 April 1986 our first born son Calum did not wake up. He was only three weeks old and his death left us distraught with grief. Time does help to heal the pain associated with sudden death but you never forget. Thankfully we were keen photographers and we had quite a few precious pictures of our darling baby (like the one above) but some people are not so lucky. So when I came across this unique website I knew I wanted to share it with you. If more people know about NILMDTS then more families who suffer the tragedy of losing an infant will be able to gain comfort from this very special service. Please read on and spread the word...
There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.
By Nicky Heppenstall
First published in 2011 for Midwifery Matters, the journal of the Association of Radical Midwives.
Ten years ago, I lost a stillborn daughter, Kim. After 3 days I was able to take some photographs, but it pains me to look at them because they are not how I remember her. She had changed in those 3 days almost beyond my recognition.
Five years ago, one bereaved mother and one photographer connected to form a charitable foundation to place professional photographers with families in need of remembrance portraiture. Currently there are approximately 7,000 professional photographers in 25 countries who volunteer their professional services to the ‘Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep’ Foundation.
Three years ago, I came across the NILMDTS website and was moved to tears as I watched footage of stunningly beautiful and sensitive images that parents could treasure forever, that could be framed and on display without fear of causing fright.
At that time I was a keen amateur photographer tentatively exploring taking my passion further, but I knew that I wanted and needed to be able to provide the NILMDTS service to parents in my area. Discovering the Foundation was a major catalyst in the decision to make something happen in my life to enable me to help other bereaved parents and I became an affiliated photographer last year, within months of turning professional.
NILMDTS coverage in the UK is sparse but slowly growing. For more families to benefit from this amazing service two things need to happen: more photographers need to volunteer, and more hospitals need to be aware that this service exists and be willing to offer it.
You the midwife are the best placed person to make parents aware of this service. As the frontline carer you are on hand as parents are losing their baby and if there is an affiliated photographer serving your unit, you can check if they are available before showing parents a leaflet which explains exactly what we do. A phone call to check our availability, and a second one to request we attend if the family wish it is all that’s required, the rest is up to us.
The first family contacted me in January after their unborn baby was diagnosed with Trisomy 13 (Patau’s Syndrome), unlikely to be born alive, or to live long if she survived her birth, her parents wanted me to photograph her. I had the chance to meet with this young Mum in advance and talk at length about what was likely to happen, and about my own experience of loss. Baby Imogen (see picture) was born on a Tuesday in May, alive. I photographed her with her parents and brother on Thursday at the hospice where they were being looked after for the few days that Imogen survived. She died in her mother’s arms in the small hours of Sunday and I returned to the hospice on Sunday afternoon to photograph her without her oxygen tube, as if peacefully sleeping, helped by two wonderful staff. Meeting a family in advance is not the norm, but does happen from time to time. I am honoured to be a part of this family’s journey through grief, and to provide a tangible link to the precious few days that Imogen was with them.
The second family were being looked after by a midwife who attended an informal coaching session that I regularly provide at my local maternity unit. The idea of the coaching sessions is to improve midwives’ confidence in taking pictures for bereaved parents with a compact camera provided by the hospital, on memory cards provided by the local Sands group (Stillborn and Neonatal Death Society) as part of a memory box scheme. The midwife asked if I would be able to provide a NILMDTS session that day and I returned that afternoon. At the coaching sessions I talk about why I’m doing what I’m doing, and explain about NILMDTS. This NILMDTS session is more the norm – to be asked if I am available and come in at short notice.
I met Jonah’s parents and grandparents and photographed him with them and also with an older sibling and his aunt. The midwife had made them aware of my own loss and they commented how this must be difficult for me to do, but I think it’s because of my own loss that I am able to do this at all. I have travelled my journey, I am comfortable with myÂÂÂ grief, and I have found that whilst I can feel empathy for their loss, I am able to softly and gently go about capturing images that will bring much greater comfort than any word or gesture of mine could possibly do.
Families receive details of a password-protected online gallery within a week, and then within a month they receive a disc which includes high resolution images suitable for printing through any retail outlet, along with slideshows of their images in formats suitable for ‘smart phones’, and for viewing on a laptop/pc, and an 8”x10” print. This is all provided free of charge. All volunteers are professional photographers and as such are fully insured; we are independent of the hospitals we visit and are grateful to the various Trusts who help us to provide this service for bereaved parents.
I know firsthand the devastation of losing a much wanted baby, to have your empty arms ache to hold her, and to be so bereft it’s almost as if the pregnancy was a dream. I have hand and footprints and a lock of hair, but photographs taken sooner would help me to remember her as I want to. My sincere hope is that NILMDTS volunteer photographers can provide images alongside Medical Illustration Photographers and midwives, who already help grieving parents by taking photographs when they can, but whose time is often very limited.
- “The service offered by NILMDTS is unique and provides families such as ours with memories which will last a lifetime. The time you have dedicated to us has been incredible and we can never repay you for all you have done. I hope you don't mind me saying I think Kim would be very proud of you.” – Izzy Shouler, mother of Angel Imogen.
- “I just wanted you to know that you've been a massively important part of this journey…” – Katie Dowler, mother of Angel Jonah.
To find a local photographer available to provide this service, go to www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org and click on ‘Find a Photographer’. Medical Personnel should contact a NILMDTS photographer first to determine availability before offering the service to the family.
Nicky Heppenstall LNPS is a parent, a bereaved parent, and a photographer. She has been volunteering for NILMDTS since 2010 and believes the images she provides can make a real difference to the families who have lost a lifetime of capturing memories in photographs.
To find out more about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep:
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Website 2 and DVD: Mother & Baby Homes - www.motherandbabyhomes.com
Announcing the launch of a new website on the history of Mother & Baby Homes in 20th Century England
In our June newsletter we featured the campaign Movement for an Adoption Apology. This campaign aims to achieve recognition and acknowledgement of the pain and grief suffered by many birth parents and their children because of the unethical adoption practices of the past. The Movement for an Adoption Apology believe that this can only be achieved by a full parliamentary apology with cross-party support. This has been achieved in Australia but, has yet to become a reality in the UK.
Released earlier this year, the film Philomena further highlighted this distressing issue. The movie is based on the true story of a mother’s quest to find the child who was forcibly taken away from her and adopted by an American family. You can find out more about the film Philomena on Wikipedia.
This is an issue close to my heart, so when I heard about a new website about the plight of unmarried pregnant mothers I decided to check it out. The Mother & Baby Homes website launched on 14 August 2013. The information published on the website was gathered as part of a research project. This included interviewing women who had spent time in the Mother and Baby Homes in England - more particularly in the 1960s.On the website, you will find out about:
- attitudes to unmarried motherhood
- conditions and daily activities in the Mother and Baby Homes
- the birth and caring of babies and young children in the Homes
- the adoption process and the grief that followed for birth mothers
- life after adoption for women who were coerced into giving up their babies
- the search for their adopted babies, often over many years with little or no success...
This website has lots of valuable information for anyone interested in maternity, single motherhood, twentieth century sexuality, residential institutions and issues around adoption and reunification. Anyone affected by these issues will also be able to relate to stories of women who spent time in these Homes and how it has affected the rest of their lives.
These fascinating and sometimes heartbreaking stories are taken from Rose Bell’s MA dissertation in Public History at Royal Holloway University of London gathered over many years of research.
- To find out more go to www.motherandbabyhomes.com
- To contact Rose email her at:
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e-newsletter competition :: win a fabulous TIPS® hamper worth £80
Win a fabulous TIPS® hamper with: a Tummy Tub, TIPS® towel, TIPS® duck, TIPS® Breastfeeding: the essential guide, Weleda unscented Baby Oil, Doidy® cup, a pack of 4little1 vapour rings, a pack of Jackson Reece® baby wipes and a pack of Nose Nuzzles, a pack ofBickiepegs® teething biscuits, The Blossom Method™ book and a Sophie La Girafe® teething toy
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Featured articles ::ÂÂÂ TIPS toolkits updated and published!
We are delighted to bring you our fully revised and updated TIPS Toolkits about: breastfeeding, tongue-tie and, our newest topic introducing solid foods. You can download these documents from the for parents section of our website.
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:: book review Â :: :: How to Potty Train
How to Potty Train: the ultimate potty training resource book in 5 easy steps
by Judith Hough and Diane Titterton
Published by Brewin Books - ISBN: 185858518X - RRP: £8.95Â
How to potty train without going potty ...
Potty training can be one of the most stressful stages of being a parent. This new, beautifully illustrated and easy to use book by Judith Hough and Diane Titterton, will help to make potty training simple and even enjoyable for parents and children.
Judith and Diane's personal experiences led them to design award-winning potty training pads Dry Like Me. Over the last few years, they have spoken with hundreds of health visitors, continence experts and parents, and realised sometimes parents just do not know where to turn for help and information. This is why they set about writing a common sense guide to help parents through their five stages of potty training: from preparing to potty train, right through to getting dry at night. The book contains lots of ‘read together’ sections to parents and children can learn together, as well as stickers (see picture above) to reward progress.
To find out more about Dry Like Me:
For a chance to winÂ 1 of 2 copies of 'How to Potty Train: the ultimate potty training resource book in 5 easy steps'Â check out mini-competition 1
Featured charity :: LUMOS
I first heard about this inspirational charity when founder J K Rowling (world famous author of the Harry Potter books) was interviewed on BBC news. She explained why she had chosen to highlight the plight of 8 million children who live in institutions because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority.
This is a serious problem, on a massive scale, but there is a solution. Lumos works with governments, professionals, carers, communities, families and children, to transform outdated systems that drive families apart. Together with their partners Lumos replace institutions with community based services that provide children with the health care, education and social care they need. With this support in place families can provide the loving care their children need to develop to their full potential, and build a positive future.
Why is it so important for children to be looked after by their families?
Institutionalisation denies children individual love and care. It can damage their brain development and destroy their understanding of right and wrong. Of the 8 million children in institutions worldwide, more than 9 in 10 are not orphans. Most have families who love them and want to care for them. However children end up in institutions because of poverty and discrimination on the grounds of disability or ethnicity. This is not only a violation of their human rights but can negatively affect the children for the rest of their lives. One study found that young adults raised in institutions are 10 times more likely to be involved in prostitution than their peers, 40 times more likely to have a criminal record and 500 times more likely to take their own lives.
Lumos lobby European Union decision-makers to provide sufficient funding for all children with special needs to grow up in caring families and family-type environments. With your support Lumos, can convince those negotiating EU funding priorities to help end the institutionalisation of children in Europe for good.
What can you do to help?
Sign the Lumos petition and spread the word: the more people sign the petition, the more powerful Lumos message to Members of the European Parliament and European Council will be.
- Please email your friends and family this link wearelumos.org/get-involved/take-action.
- Find Lumos on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lumos.at.work) or follow them on Twitter @lumos and invite your friends and family to do the same.
- You could also add the link to the petition in your email signature with a message saying: Please support vulnerable children in Europe – sign this petition.
- Donate to this excellent cause (monthly or one-off donation) - Lumos pledges that 100% of donations received will go directly towards funding their programmes
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For a chance to win a copy of ‘My New Baby’ and ‘Big Beds and Bedtime’ check out mini-competition 2
Â :: Featured video clips "Thalasso Baby Bath" (Baby Spa) by Sonia Rochel
You can play the videos using the links below:
The first two beautiful video clips have been attracting huge audiences on YouTube - one has been viewed over 8 million times! They show single babies being immersed in warm water. This seems to send them straight to sleep. It is not a new therapy, but it does show how powerful water can be in relaxing your newborn.
The third clip shows twins being bathed under running water. This gives a unique insight into how twins react to each other in the womb – it is not only relaxing for the babies involved but also for the viewer – enjoy! I could watch them over and over again.
You can find out more about Thalasso Baby Bath on Sonia Rochel's Facebook page: facebook.com/ThalassoBainBebe
Please remember to keep your baby safe: if you try this at home you MUST make sure the water temperature is constant!
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For a chance to win a copy of Birth Made Easy check out mini-competition 3
Featured :: event Family wedding!
Mother-of-the-Bride at last!
A few of my favourite pictures from the day... Order of our Day; Miles (Drummer) and Mitchell (Bag Piper); Jason and Amanda (in red); Trotter family with new son-in-law Jan; ‘Journey to the big day’ wedding cake!; Photobomb by Mitchell with his cousins!
You may remember we featured our very first ‘TIPS Engagement’ picture in the June issue of the TIPS e-newsletter. After six short months of planning the big day dawned, even the weather was kind to us (unusual for the West of Scotland!). The happy couple chose a Humanist wedding ceremony organised by Fuze Ceremonies (www.fuzeceremonies.co.uk). Hair and make-up was carefully designed by Stacey at Francis John (www.francisjohnhairdressing.co.uk) and Lauren from Mitchell Fisher (www.mitchellfisher.co.uk). The wedding was held outside on the beautiful lawn of Lochgreen House Hotel, with views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Island of Arran. Flowers were provided by the lovely Michael from Designs by M in Troon (www.designsbym.co.uk) and the chairs were dressed by Ambiance Venue Styling (www.ambiencevenuestyling.com). The unique wedding cake (designed by mum and dad as a surprise for the bride and groom) was painstakingly recreated by Nancy at Sugar and Spice (www.sugarandspicetroon.com). Brigitte helped us to design our Order-of-the-Day booklet and to help us remember every single detail of this very special day we were joined by husband and wife photographers from Paul Walker Images (www.paulwalkerimages.co.uk). Music during the ceremony was provided by the highly talented Caspia Trio (www.caspiatrio.co.uk) and in the evening we were all entertained by the amazing wedding band Riffreshers (www.theriffreshers.co.uk) including a traditional Scottish country dancing ceilidh set.
We would like to thank each and every person involved in helping to make our day so perfect. As Mother-of-the-Bride, I could not have been prouder of my daughter and my wonderful boys. Our younger two boys lead the wedding party out as they played their bag pipes and drum. My wonderful husband then walked our darling daughter down the aisle, followed by our eldest son Jason who escorted Amanda, the bridesmaid. There were tears but they were all joyous.
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For a chance to win a £20 voucher for Debbie Graham Wedding Jewellery & TiarasÂ check outÂ mini-competition 6
Featured blog :: Grace under pressure
We will be reviewing Sophie Walker's book Grace under Pressure. This is the story of her journey to cope with the highs and lows of raising a child with Asperger syndrome, and the physical challenge of training for the London marathon. Based on her blog of the same name, author Sophie Walker gives us an honest insight into the many challenges faced by many other parents who are trying to cope with this difficult and often misunderstood condition. You can read Sophie’s blog here.
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Featured My Story :: One mother’s long journey towards parenthood...
Our latest My Story focuses on the painful subject of recurrent miscarriages and one mother’s long journey to parenthood. Charlotte explains how, after 5 heartbreaking miscarriages, she and her husband finally became parents to not just one but two wee miracles – this is an inspiring story that is full of hope and determination which many of you will relate to. You can read Charlotte’s inspiring and hopeful My Story here...
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Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under :: Part 4
In this update, find out how our 'Student midwife down under' has seen her attitudes towards pain relief in childbirth change since starting her course.ÂÂÂ Read all about it here...
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*** latest news ***
Independent midwives UK responds to the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) survey which concluded: ‘A quarter of all midwives would consider quitting profession in next 12 months’.
Independent midwives UK (IMUK) today responded to the RCM survey which highlights that almost a quarter of midwives working within the NHS would consider quitting their profession in the next 12 months because of resentment over pay and conditions. The survey by RCM found that staff were demoralised, disillusioned and burned-out in their roles.
IMUK grows increasingly concerned that unless the UK government provides financial support for self-employed midwives after February 2014, options for midwives and birthing women will be further compromised, putting even more pressure on a system at breaking point. Currently, independent midwifery saves the NHS £13m every year and relieves pressure on overstretched NHS services by caring for women away from the system.
IMUK Chair Jacqui Tomkins said: 'Maternity units are closing because they do not have enough midwives to deliver care safely. This reduces or removes choice for women at a time of unprecedented demand. If self-employed midwives are not supported either, our concern is that optimum care will not only be unavailable within the NHS but outside of it too. There will be fewer options and positions for midwives at a time when, despite the NHS shortage, 20% of newly qualified midwives will not secure a job within the NHS. Ensuring choice was a pledge by the Government yet we appear to have less of it than ever within a maternity setting. We urgently appeal to the Government to prioritise maternity care in the U.K and recognise independent midwifery as a part of the solution.'
IMUK expects the Department of Health to make a decision this month about whether or not they will support self-employed midwives to continue to practice after February 2014. This is the deadline set in an EU Directive which requires all health professionals to have professional indemnity insurance.Â
Although they are registered and regulated, independent midwives are unable to get indemnity insurance. From February 2014 it will become illegal for any health professional to practise without insurance. Campaigners say if the government does not step in to help them, it could mean the end of independent midwifery.
IMUK’s campaign needs your help to save independent!
To find out more:
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Update on Hands Off Midirs - Facebook page Â
10 October 2013
Copy of final post by Sharon Trotter, Founder of Hands off Midirs (HoM):
I would like to explain why the HoM Facebook page has been quiet during the past few weeks:
As the most prominent administrator of the HoM Facebook page, I have been the focus of a personal legal action concerning content posted on this page. Whilst the result of this legal action remains confidential it has resulted in a personal financial detriment of almost £1200!
The original aim of this page was to raise awareness of the hostile take-over of Midirs by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) and provide supporters and subscribers with an open and transparent forum where they could freely discuss their concerns. These goals have been achieved, and so for this reason I have decided to step back from my position as administrator. The HoM Facebook page will remain live so that anyone interested in finding out more can access the truth.
The issues that prompted a need for this page to be set-up have NOT been resolved. Let us not forget that 14 high profile and highly respected editors and midwifery professionals resigned with good reason. If you wish to query any of these issues you should contact the Charities commission who have the power to set-up an investigation.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone (both NCT and Midirs members), who have contacted me by PM or directly on this page, for your unswerving support and encouragement since 1 May 2013 when this page was started. I wish you all the very best and sincerely hope that a positive, fair and amicable conclusion to this dispute can be found soon.
Please support this campaign on the following social media channels:
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:: TIPS top value :: ReadyBed® ::
We have two fantastic My First ReadyBed®s by Worlds Apart to give away. Mums love that there’s no fussing over spare beds and sheets: ReadyBed® includes pillow, mattress and duvet!
ReadyBed® features a built-in inflatable bed head and air bumpers down the side to prevent your little ones rolling out. There's also handy pocket where your favourite story book can be kept safe at night. Â The cover can be easily removed for washing. ReadyBed® comes with an easy-to-use pump and a carry bag which makes transporting the bed easy. With this sleepover essential you can be sure children’s nights will be lots of fun at home and away!
My First ReadyBed® is suitable for children 18 months and over and comes in a choice of attractive designs: Peppa Pig, The Gruffalo, Octonauts, Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine. The bed measures: H130 x W61 x D23cm and costs £30.
Junior ReadyBed® is for children 4 years and over. It is available in a variety of designs: Turtles, Monsters University, Disney Princess, Cars 2, Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse (£29.99).
Tween ReadyBed® is for children 6 years and over. It is available in the following designs: Hello Kitty, Star Wars and One Direction (£34.99).
There is even a pop-up ReadyCot® suitable for babies under 6 months old. This costs £39.99 and is ideal for travelling with new babies.
For a chance to win 1 of 2 My First ReadyBeds®Â (Thomas the Tank Engine and Peppa Pig), worth £30 each check out mini-competition 5
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:: TIPS top tip 1 :: National Family Mediations::
National Family Mediation have been awarded the Help and Support for Separated Families Mark in recognition of their work to support families affected by separation.
Family breakdown is often a challenging and uncertain time. Many families are unsure how or where to get help.
Since April 2013, legal aid for divorce, separation and child contact issues has been withdrawn except in cases where there is evidence of severe domestic abuse. However, not many people know that legal aid for family mediation is still available and can be accessed through the National Family Mediation and member mediation services.
National Family Mediation support families affected by separation by providing the information they need, and a range of services to help with the family mediation process. This:
- empowers families to make their own decisions about everything to do with separation, including financial issues, property ownership and arrangements for the children.
- helps families minimise conflict and resolve issues.
- is quicker and more cost-effective than going to court.
National Family Mediation has a network of 48 Legal Aid Agency accredited family mediation services in over 500 locations across England and Wales.
For couples who use National Family Mediation, divorce or separation usually takes just over three months to be finalised - cases that go to court can take four times longer. National Family Mediation is also much more affordable, especially as we are able to offer legal aid to eligible clients. Professionally accredited family mediators can help families resolve all the practical, legal, emotional and financial issues that arise from separation. Most importantly, they can help families make long lasting arrangements that benefit their children.
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:: TIPS top tip 2 :: Debbie Graham Wedding Jewellery & Tiaras ::
Debbie Graham Wedding Jewellery & Tiaras – perfect solution to this Mother-of-the-Bride’s jewellery dilemma!
While hunting for a necklace to suit the low-backed dress I was to wear at my daughter’s wedding (see pictures) I came across Debbie Graham’s website. I am delighted to report that she does indeed offer a very personal service! I was able to design and order the fresh water pearl back necklace, exactly as I had imagined it, and it was delivered to my door within days. I would happily recommend this service to anyone looking for that special piece of jewellery - and not just for weddings, the possibilities are endless!
Debbie Graham Jewellery is an online wedding store with a large collection of pearl and crystal wedding jewellery, and bridal jewellery accessories, for all budgets and tastes.
The wedding jewellery collection features a great range of vintage inspired bridal jewellery, wedding necklaces, bridal backdrop necklaces, wedding bracelets, wedding earrings, bespoke bridal hair accessories, bridal bracelets, bridesmaid’s jewellery and bespoke wedding jewellery. Â
Each piece of jewellery is handmade to order, in Debbie's Yorkshire studio where the finest pearls, crystals and other materials are selected to use in each jewellery piece. This ensures each one is finished to a high standard. Bracelet and necklace lengths can also be altered to suit customers' requirements.
You can also choose the finish of your jewellery from:
- Sterling Silver
- Gold Filled
- Silver & Gold Plate
Debbie offers a bespoke service to customers with a set budget or a specific piece of jewellery in mind. She is happy to work with every customer to accommodate all their needs.
Postage & Package is £6.95 (special delivery) - regardless of how many items are ordered.
Free Delivery for all orders over £100
For a chance to win a £20 voucher check outÂ mini-competition 6
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:: TIPS top tip 3 :: 8 Tips for Winter Skincare by Glow Skincare ::
Moroccan Argan night repair cream
How to keep your skin feeling hydrated and glowing this Winter:
- Avoid coarse or abrasive scrubs on your face during winter, instead use something gentler such as round jojoba beads- a kinder way to effectively to remove dead skin cells and embedded grime from a city commute. Try our new Radiance Facial Polish.
- Leave the clay masks for Springtime - they are too drying for Winter. Instead, revive your parched skin with a super intensive facial treatment mask with hydrating rosewater and hyaluronic acid .
- If you have the budget, a serum applied at night time will work on your skin while you sleep.
- Cleanse with a plant based milky or creamy cleanser - this will maintain your skin's outer barrier. Â Use this opportunity to massage your face and neck and stimulate circulation. Relish the touch and feel of your fingers on your skin - use this as an opportunity to slow your breathing down to a calm level and to really focus on your own well being.
- Remember the forgotten bits - feet, legs, elbows - a bit of TLC and forward planning with lotion or balm now will make them more presentable come Spring time.
- Use a facial spritz to rehydrate your skin in dry environments. Place a bowl of water near your radiators, or use a humidifier. For an extra touch, add 3 drops of essential oils to the water and you will bring a natural and gentle fragrance to your room.
- Always, always ALWAYS remove your make up. No matter how tired you are.
- Keep up with your herbal teas, water, fresh fruits and Manuka honey.
For a chance to win a Moroccan Argan night repair cream (worth £67) check out mini-competition 7
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Â :: Top Treat Â :: Weleda shampoo range ::
Weleda have introduced a new range of all-natural haircare products that will not weigh hair down or irritate your scalp. Pure plant extracts and precious oils in the Weleda range revitalise hair and scalp and restore your hair’s natural strength and shine.
The new range is NATRUE-certified genuinely natural and uses plant-based cleansing agents as gentle on the scalp as they are on the planet. Made from coconut oil and plant sugars Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, creates a soft sudsy lather with excellent cleansing properties - it is biodegradable and won’t irritate the scalp. Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate is a similar biodegradable surfactant - made from coconut oil and ‘fatty’ alcohol from vegetable oils, this skin-friendly cleanser won’t strip the natural oils from the scalp and hair.
All the base ingredients for the heavenly smelling essential oils in Weleda haircare are cereals. In nature, cereals use the sunshine and condense it into silicic acid which gives the wheat, oats or millet its structure. Silicic acid is often taken as a nutritional supplement to improve the strength of hair (preventing brittleness) and the surface of the skin/scalp. Cereals are extremely well tolerated by human skin and in these products they have additional nourishing and structuring benefits. The new range of all-natural haircare products includes:
- Millet Nourishing Shampoo
- Oat Replenishing Shampoo
- Wheat Balancing Shampoo
- Oat Replenishing Conditioner
- Oat Replenishing Treatment
- Revitalising Hair Tonic with Rosemary
To find out more:
visit the weleda website www.weleda.co.uk
find them on facebookÂÂÂ www.facebook.com/weleda.uk
follow them on Twitter @WeledaUK
For a chance to win the full set of goodies from the NEW range of Weleda haircare products check out mini-competition 4
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