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Happy 10th Birthday to TIPS®!
I can hardly believe that TIPS® is celebrating its 10th birthday. I remember writing the text for the About us page on our website and explaining why having written 'Breastfeeding: the essential guide' I had decided to start my own publishing company. Here is an extract:
“I was unable to persuade a publisher to take me on (even though their comments were extremely supportive). The interest was so great I decided to start my own company and self- publish. Hence the name: Trotters Independent Publishing Services. My name is Trotter, my project was definitely independent and I was publishing my own book. It also contains many useful tips, which is how TIPS was born!”
TIPS® has evolved and developed since 2004. I would just like to say that I could not have kept TIPS® going without the hard work and constant support from my dear friends Brigitte and Michael – this really has been a team effort and something that we are all very proud of. Since the launch of the TIPS Award Scheme in 2007 TIPS® has become a thriving online community. Since 2007, we have registered over 1000 TIPS® Parent Testers. We are so grateful to all the Parent Testers who over the years have helped us review nearly 300 products! Ultimately TIPS® is nothing without our loyal followers and supporters, and everyone who spreads the word about our independent and impartial advice. So we would like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to you all and hope you enjoy this bumper issue of our e-newsletter 34.
Since our March e-newsletter we have published reviews for a brand new category of products: ointments suitable for cuts, grazes, burns, rashes and much more (this includes 9 TIPS® Award winning products that comply with our strict criteria). We include here a short review of the innovative Diary Dolls pants, recently launched by TV presenter Carole Smillie and tennis professional Annabel Croft.
We feature 2 websites: the creative SewJems (unique handmade gifts and toys); Families Need Fathers (information, advice and support to help separated parents achieve a positive outcome for their children. Our featured charity is Smallsforall originally set up to provide underwear for vulnerable women and children, it is now so much more...
We have reviewed 3 books: Goodnight Pirate (an adorable children’s bedtime read); Grace Under Pressure – going the distance as an aspergers mum (Sophie Walker's inspiring autobiographical book); and our latest TIPS® Must-have Book Award winner: The Baby’s Coming by independent midwife Virginia Howe.
We also feature Overcome Birth Trauma a brand new CD by the Natal Hypnotherapy company (featured in e-newsletter 28). The CD aims to help Mums with this sensitive issue through the use of gentle breathing, calm and safe visualisation.
Check our Top Tips features for the new Which? guide: top 10 car seat tips; Green People's latest sun protection products for pregnancy and baby use; and a2™ Milk a new type of cows' milk that is free from the hard to digest A1 protein.
Check out our delightful Testers' pix: adorable pictures of our featured baby, bump, family, baby wearer and baby-led-weaning as well as a couple of photos of our ReadyBeds winners! 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 features we bring you news of our latest My Story, event (Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games), You Tube video clips (incredible births including that of an elephant!), Top Treat (Pippa & Jip designer products plus an offer of 10% discount for the whole of June!) and Top Value (Freezeez ice cream maker).
Last but not least we bring you part six of our Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under and news of the third edition of The National Parent Guide (www.tnpg.org.uk ).
We have some amazing competitions for you to enter: a very special TIPS® Hamper filled with a wonderful selection of TIPS® Award winning goodies to celebrate our 10th Birthday, and 8 mini-competitions. Altogether, prizes are worth over £475 so get your entries in and you too could be a winner!
Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!
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e-newsletter competition :: TIPS Hamper :: runner up prize Milton Sterilising Kit
Win a fabulous TIPS® 10th Birthday Hamper jammed pack with TIPS Award-winning goodies (worth over £140!): a Tummy Tub, TIPS® towel, TIPS® duck, TIPS® Breastfeeding: the essential guide, Weleda Baby Products Gift Set, Swimava Swim Ring, Doidy cup, Bickiepegs teething biscuits, baby finger toothbrush, Multi-Mam compress and Balm, Jackson Reece baby wipes and Jackson Reece Nose Nuzzles, Nom Nom Skincare products and a Duck & Sarah DVD.
We also have a runner-up prize (worth £45): a fantastic "Sterilising Kit" from sterilising experts Milton to give away. Milton has been a leading name in sterilising baby feeding equipment in the home for over 65 years, during which the ‘Milton Method’ of cold water sterilisation has been used by millions of parents, and in homes and hospitals throughout the UK and beyond.
This pack has everything you need to keep your little one clean and tidy, not to mention germ-free, wherever you're headed including Milton Solo Travel Steriliser, a 2-in-1 microwave or cold water steriliser, ideal for sterilising when travelling or away from home. It cleans and sterilises breastfeeding equipment, bottles, teethers, plastic toys and other small baby equipment from 2 minutes in the microwave and in 15 minutes for cold water. A portable, lightweight, practical way to sterilise - whether at home, a day trip out, overnight stay or away holiday! It also includes the award-winning Milton Mini Portable Soother Steriliser – a totally unique and original method to safely sterilise soothers in and out of the home.
NEWS:You can now find Milton's entire product range at Superdrug.com, including Milton's Mini Portable Soother Steriliser in all 3 colours! Check it out http://bit.ly/1lo9Moy Read more here -http://bit.ly/1szoJGQ
- For a chance to win our TIPS® 10th Birthday Hamper filled with goodies or the Milton Sterilising Kit set email the words ‘TIPS Birthday Hamper’ to
by 24 August 2014. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 35.
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Featured products ::
TIPS-tested Ointments for cuts, grazes, burns, rashes and much more...
New TIPS category of skincare products: Ointments for cuts, grazes, burns, rashes and much more...
Many congratulations to our latest TIPS Award winners on their well deserved wins. Nine products were carefully selected for this trial:
- Best of the best - Weleda Baby Calendula Weather Protection Cream
- Best eco-friendly -Shea Mooti Mama's Everything Body Balm
- Best organic - B Organic Soothing Body Balm
- Must-have - MamaStella Stella Baby Butter
- Must-have - Essential Care Organic soothing salve
- Must-have - Organic Babies Nappy Cream Baby Balm
- Highly commended - Allison England Aromatherapy Soothy Cream
- Highly commended - Aromababy Barrier Balm
- Highly commended - JĀSÖN Extra Strength Vitamin E Oil
Read all the reviews and find an ointment to suit your needs!
For a chance to win some of these TIPS Award winning products (plus many others besides) check out our main newsletter competition for our TIPS Birthday Hamper!
Featured product review Diary Doll period pants
Diary Dolls period pants...we’ve got your back covered!
Come in sizes 1 (6-8), 2 (10-12), 3 (14-16) and 4 (18-20)
Cost: £14.99 (complete with carry bag – see picture)
Colours: Jet Black, Baby Pink and Dotty Blue
Created by tennis star Annabel Croft and TV presenter Carol Smillie, Diary Dolls are lightweight, breathable super soft and contain a secret waterproof panel to protect clothing and bedding against any embarrassing leaks, perfect for period, pelvic floor, or even post maternity problems.
Made in Britain, Diary Dolls are completely washable and look and feel exactly like your favourite pants, giving you extra time when you need it most.
Worn together with your normal protection, nobody need ever know!
What our TIPS Testers thought:
I came across this innovative product at a midwifery conference and was lucky to meet up with Carol Smillie. She kindly offered to give me 4 pairs (one in each size) to review and a further 4 pairs to give away in a mini-competition. Our TIPS Testers just loved these clever pants so rather than write a review I am just sharing their comments:
- I love that they come in their own wee storage bag as it makes them easy to locate in even the messiest of underwear drawers!
- They are really good quality and I love that they can be machine washed and tumble dried too.
- The material was lightweight and has a waterproof lining just in the gusset area, I was expecting to get over hot wearing them but I didn't at all, you can wear them all day and stay comfortable.
- I normally wear pads with wings on and love that I don't need the wings with these as they give such a secure fit. Plus I can wear tampons without the fear of leaking a bit (I have a very heavy flow sometimes!)
- I am a pretty average size 10/12 and I found them nicely fitting and very comfortable. They were a deep Thai style fitting but very pretty and not frumpy at all, in fact they were totally not what a was expecting for waterproof pants.
- They washed up and dried well and easily pack back up in the carry bag.
- I thought that they were a really good idea for days when you just need that little bit more confidence, for example going out, interviews or sport either for days when you period is heavy or if you are prone to small leakages.
- I just loved the way they fitted so neatly, washed perfectly but above all they gave me great peace-of-mind.
- You obviously still need to use your normal protection, but I think these are a useful addition to any knicker drawer.
- I was very pleased to be offered a place in this trial. For me, periods are a nightmare, wearing two night time pads as I somehow manage to leak either at the front or back, sometimes both! I have such a heavy flow that even with wings there is no protecting my underwear or pyjamas/bed sheets.
- So reading that they should be used WITHOUT wings left me slightly sceptical. But I had nothing to fear! They felt so comfortable on, fit me like a dream and were so lightweight.
- The stitching around the legs was so comfortable, I find my underwear digs into my legs during the night and this was not the case for these.
- I haven't had a single leakage at all! You can't even tell they are waterproof, I imagined a 'nappy-like' gusset area for the waterproof section but you would never know these were waterproof until trying them out for yourself.
- These are absolutely ideal if like me you suffer from heavy flow, night time leakages or like me you wake up ding the night in a panic thinking your bed sheets may not have survived the night.
- They have given me a worry free night’s sleep during my period which is just fantastic. I'm very impressed!
Here is how to keep up to date with news from Diary Dolls:
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For a chance to win1 of 4 pairs of Diary Dolls pants check out mini-competition 4
:: Featured website 1
SewJems: unique gifts made just for you - www.sewjems.co.uk
Prices range from 50pence (for a pair of knitted baby doll socks) to £20 (for a set of clothing for an 18inch doll). Unique gifts for christenings, weddings or birthdays available on request.
SewJems is the brainchild of a dear friend of mine who is a retired midwife. She has always enjoyed knitting, sewing and crafting unique handmade gifts and toys. Having retired, my friend started working on more pieces. She soon ended up with a few spare items which she started to sell at a monthly craft market before launching her online shop at www.sewjems.co.uk.
You can order beautiful clothes for your favourite doll or teddy - just give SewJems the size and they will do the rest. SewJems use buttons and snap fasteners as well as hook and loop tape to make it easy for little fingers to fasten fiddly clothing. Each piece is carefully made to withstand most toddler activities. However, should anything needs to be repaired within 6 months of purchase) just send it back and SewJems will fix it for free – you can’t say fairer than that!
The maximum delivery time for items made to order is 6 weeks. If a special item is going to take longer, SewJem will let customers know when they place their order. A 10% deposit is required with each order.
How to find out more about SewJems:
For a chance to win a doll's knitted sleep suit check out mini-competition 6
:: Featured website 2
Families Need Fathers – www.fnf.org.uk
National helpline: 0300 0300 363 open every day 7am to midnight
The charity Families Need Fathers (FNF) aims to maintain a child's relationship with both parents during and after family breakdown. FNF offer information, advice and support to help parents achieve a positive outcome for their children. In the UK, the FNF forum and network of over 50 branches also offer free guidance from professionals familiar with family courts, including solicitors.
FNF services have been highly praised, by many professionals, including, Dame Elisabeth Butler-Sloss, former President of the Family Division of the High Court and Deidre Sanders, trustee of the National Family and Parenting Institute and Britain's most respected Agony Aunt. The Rt Hon David Blunkett, child psychologist Dr Hamish Cameron, author Louis de Bernières and actor Nigel Planer are FNF patrons.
FNF lobby parliament to change legal and social attitudes. They have regular contact with politicians, the judiciary and the media. Their current campaigns aim to: get court orders for shared residence; increase the time children are allowed to spend with their 'second parent'; bring about more effective action when one parent defies a court order and prevents their children from having a relationship with the other parent; and replace adversarial court hearings over children matters with child-centred discussions.
FNF relies on subscriptions and donations to fund much of its work. Membership costs are modest (between £35 and £39 a year). Members can access many services and the FNF support network.
How to find out more about FNF:
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:: book review 1 :: :: The Baby’s Coming by Virginia Howes
Published by Headline (13 March 2014) - ISBN: 978-1472211736 - RRP: £6.99 -
Review by Sharon Trotter:
I LOVED this book and would highly recommend it to all student midwives, practising midwives, parents-to-be and anyone interested in the topic of birth. This book is not just a great read, it is also a story that will inspire you to follow your dreams.
Over the years I have reviewed many books for TIPS but only The Blossom Method™ by Vivien Sabel achieved a Must-have TIPS Award (read the review here). This inspirational parenting book introduces a revolutionary way of understanding the subtle but amazingly simple language of newborns. So when I was sent Virginia Howes' first book The Baby’s Coming, I did not anticipate it would become the second recipient of a Must-have book TIPS Award.
Quite simply I could not put this book down, and finished reading it at 02:45 on Mother's Day - having shed tears of joy, empathy and frustration! Virginia’s detailed and vivid descriptions of a number of home births (including breech, twins, vbac and even one in a local hotel) makes the reader feel like a VIP guest at each unique birth.
However what I enjoyed as much as the birth stories was Virginia’s own life story which is interwoven throughout the text. She is refreshingly open, frank and brutally honest - this is both touching and compelling. Virginia shares details of her personal life, and although this has its fair share of ups and downs she remains an eternal optimist. What shines through is her unswerving determination to become an independent midwife. Her own birth choices had been compromised, partly by the ’one-size-fits-all’ model of midwifery provided by an NHS that can sometimes be a post-code lottery. This system all too often fails women, leaving them feeling isolated, scared and disempowered.
Virginia is not afraid to fight for the women in her care, even if this means she has to confront her superiors regarding midwifery practice. She gives us one example of this when she talks about ‘the bisons of the labour ward’. She uses this nickname to describe a small minority of negative and controlling midwives who made Virginia’s life very difficult on many occasions during her midwifery training. Sadly the actions of a few might affect the excellent work of the vast majority of midwives, who work tirelessly to create lasting positive memories of birth. Virginia is refreshingly eager to stand her ground. She is more than happy to challenge these bullies whose intimidating actions should not be tolerated: they are neither professional nor conducive to natural birth.
The strong and trusting relationship between the parents and their midwife is precious. It develops over time throughout pregnancy and labour. However this trust can very easily be shattered with a few ill chosen words, or with actions that are at best insensitive and at worst bordering on professional misconduct. Such behaviour highlights the unwillingness of certain midwives to practice, as they have been taught, by following their instincts. Instead they choose to follow outdated hospital protocols that are no longer backed up by credible evidence. Virginia is determined to provide a tailor-made gold standard of midwifery care that all maternity units should aspire to.
To say that Virginia is an inspiration is an understatement. Her CV is impressive with life skills that are many and varied: kissogram business owner, mother of four, grandmother of five (all delivered at home by Virginia), general nurse, hospital midwife, passionate supporter of breastfeeding, inventor of the Howes Birth Mirror and founder of Kent Midwifery Practice (to name just a few!).
In recent years Virginia has spearheaded a campaign by Independent Midwives UK. The campaign lobbies the UK government to introduce an indemnity insurance option for independent midwives when a new EU directive is implemented in October 2014. I am certain that Virginia's campaign will succeed - I have already joined as a full member. Additionally, I am convinced she will continue to inspire and empower her clients to achieve the birth they have longed for.
Virginia shows us that Mother Nature (she uses her own term: ‘Birth Angels’) invariably knows best. If a woman gets the support and encouragement she needs (and deserves) at this very special time, then she will be able to birth in a place, at a time and in a way that is right for her and for her family.
So now I'm sure you can understand why I loved this book. In fact it has all the ingredients for a great ‘feel-good’ movie but for now I hope that Virginia will be pleased to accept her well deserved ‘Must-have’ TIPS Book Award!
Here is how to find out more about Virginia and her work:
For a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of 'The Baby’s Coming' check out mini-competition 1
:: book review 2 :: :: Goodnight Pirate
by Michelle Robinson and Nick East
ISBN: 978-0141350738 - RRP: £6.99 - Published by Puffin (April 2014)
About the author
Michelle Robinson always wanted to be an author like her hero Roald Dahl: she already shared his birthday and his love of chocolate! It took a while, but now at last, Michelle is a real author too. She lives in Frome (Somerset) with her husband, son and daughter, and there's lots of information on her website www.michellerobinson.co.uk
About the illustrator
Nick East has been working as a museum designer for the past 16 years. He has always been a storyteller, whether as a child filling sketchbooks with quirky characters, or as a adult and designer displaying a collection of ancient artefacts. Nick lives near York with his wife and two children and, when he isn't drawing, he is out riding bikes and spending time with his family.
Review by Ariane and Freddie:
I thought this was a beautiful book, very well illustrated, and Freddie (2.5 years) likes it too. We have read it together a few times and he likes to point out who is a pirate, where is the flag, the treasure and there's 'Polly Carrot' aka the parrot!
It's a nice one to read at bedtime, although I find that Freddie likes a 'proper' story first: Julia Donaldson's books, Peppa Pig or 'Oh No George' are his favourites. Once we have read the story that he has chosen, Freddie then likes to say goodnight to this book, and we go on to say goodnight to the toys in his bed, the books and toy chest in his room, and of course, goodnight to mummy.
Goodnight Pirate is a lovely relaxing book, perfect for saying goodnight, and nice that it rhymes too. I always find that Freddie takes really well to books that rhyme, we can sort of do it in a song song way. I think I'll look into getting the 'Goodnight Digger' one as he loves anything to do with diggers and trucks.
Would definitely recommend for bedtime, what a lovely way to relax your child and say a proper goodnight.
To find out more about Michelle Robinson and her work see:
For a chance to win a copy of 'Goodnight Pirate' check out mini-competition 2
:: book review 3 :: :: Grace under Pressure – going the distance as an aspergers mum by Sophie Walker
ISBN: 978-0-7499-5826-8 - RRP: £13.99 - Published by Piatkus (2012) - Blogspot: http://courage-is.blogspot.co.uk/
Review by TIPS Parent Tester:
Grace under Pressure explores the themes of a mother’s love and devotion towards her beautiful daughter who has Aspergers Syndrome. The book describes how the mother struggles when her child does not fit into the world she was born into. Sophie Walker recalls periods of depression, sleeplessness and constant emotional problems shortly after her child was diagnosed. She eventually finds emotional strength in running. It is common for carers to neglect themselves. As she continued to run she set a goal – the London Marathon – and the book continues on – showing how she gets physically stronger, and this in turn makes her emotionally and physically stronger to support her daughter in whatever she needs. She has high points as well as low points as she tries to cope with parenting a child with this condition.
Upon reading this book I felt a strong admiration towards Sophie as I feel she is an inspiration to other parents. She shows us that although we may think our world is falling apart and it feels like there is no point in going on – there is always hope – and many things can be achieved. I could particularly relate to chapter 6: Autism is everywhere. This poses questions like: ‘was it me?’, ‘was it something I did?’. Sophie talks very openly about how she watches other people’s children and how her own parents just to try and understand the why.
I love the way Sophie is very honest about her life talking about her feelings and emotions very candidly and I can totally relate to everything she says and strives to do as I have a son who is also autistic.
I found inspiration in how Sophie started running, using this to help her cope, but I do feel that the text lacked any relevance to the condition her daughter was diagnosed with. However I would still thoroughly recommend anyone to read this book. It was heart warming and well written. It made me smile and, at times, I had to wipe away many tears.
To find out more see:
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Featured charity :: Smalls for All - www.smallsforall.org
Smalls for All is a young charity set up in 2010. It was set up by Maria Macnamara following a series of trips to orphanages where she worked as a volunteer.
Founder Maria Macnamara
Each volunteer trip was a huge learning experience for me and holds lots of memories, not all good. When I first visited Ethiopia I stayed with a host family and worked in an orphanage. I met a little girl called Elsa who was clearly very ill. Like many people would, I felt a real need to take action, perhaps pay for a doctor or even bring her back to the UK for medical attention. I discussed this with one of the Sisters but she told me a doctor had seen Elsa and said she would “expire on the operating table”. So she just lay there waiting to die. Each day I would go to work, wondering if she would still be there.
When back home after one of those trips I was always very aware that I’d left behind many children who had got used to me and had come to rely on me. I was very worried that perhaps I was doing more harm than good by spending two to three weeks with them, then leaving again. So I realised I needed to do something more sustainable that would have longer-term benefits.
Underwear was just the start...
Then I remembered a priest in Zimbabwe speaking about the lack of underwear and the problems this can cause. Not only is this a health and hygiene problem for many poor African communities (women often only own one pair of tattered pants or have none at all) but underwear is also seen as a status symbol and offers a degree of security. Women who can afford underwear tend to be considered as having someone who cares for them – a husband, brother or father. This makes them less vulnerable in the eyes of their community.
And that’s how Smalls for All came about! It’s a registered charity aiming to help vulnerable women and children. Our board of knowledgeable and committed trustees bring wisdom and clear vision to our cause. We also have the support of many volunteers: without them we wouldn’t have achieved all the work we have done to date.
It’s now about more than just pants...
Today, Smalls for All and our supporters help to collect and distribute underwear (new pants and new or gently worn bras) to the women and children in Africa who need it most. We help women and children who live in orphanages or refugee camps, as well as those suffering from medical conditions like fistula. Smalls for All is also helping fund the education of seven children in Kenya, allowing them to look forward to a better future. We work closely with local charitable organisations in Africa to ensure we provide help in a practical and sustainable way.
If you’d like to donate underwear here’s the brief...
All you have to do is buy a packet of ladies’ pants (size 8-20) or children’s pants (for ages 3-15) and send them to:
Smalls For All
108 Buchanan Crescent,
Eliburn, Livingston, EH54 7EF
You can also donate ‘gently worn’ bras (any size).
We’ll make sure all donations go to the women and children who need them most
We are also happy to receive any worn bras: we recycle these to raise funds.
Here is how to find out more:
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Featured event: Glasgow 2014 – 20th Commonwealth Games and Sharon will be joining in as a Clyde-sider! 23 July to 3 August 2014
This summer, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will bring together thousands of elite athletes, friendly volunteers and excited spectators who will join an incredible festival of sport and culture.
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will sell an estimated 1million tickets to some 250 medal events. The Games will be broadcast to hundreds of millions of viewers with the Commonwealth accounting for about a third of the world's population.
You can join in the excitement during the lead up to the opening ceremony by following the progress of the Queen's Baton Relay: https://www.glasgow2014.com/queens-baton-relay/follow-baton
There’s a lot more to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games than sport. On top of the 11 days of elite sporting competition, there’ll be live entertainment, cultural highlights, fanzones, big screens, street theatre and something happening on every corner! The Commonwealth Games are famed the world over for great crowds, great atmosphere and for being a great show. This is Glasgow’s chance to do this on a record-breaking scale.
I for one am very excited and honoured to be one of the 15000 volunteers (called Clyde-siders) who will be working at the heart of the games helping to make this one of the most successful events that Scotland has ever hosted – come and join us!
Find out more about the 2014 Commonwealth Games:
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:: Featured CD Overcome Birth Trauma by Natal Hypnotherapy
www.overcomebirthtrauma.co.uk - RRP: £11.99 or download the MP3 for £10
Overcome Birth Trauma is available on CD or as an MP3 download. It is for anyone who feels traumatised by an experience connected with pregnancy or birth. Overcome Birth Trauma could be for a mother, a father, birth partner, midwife or doula. It's completely non-judgemental and offers support, and self healing as well as coping strategies to help overcome and heal any trauma.
Listening to Overcome Birth Trauma will take you on a gentle journey to help you:
- Feel calmer in your thoughts
- Learn coping strategies for dealing with daily life
- Let go of feelings that you no longer want
- Take time to rest and be kinder to yourself
- Live more in the present moment
- Begin to feel there is more hope for the future
- Feel more positive and in control
- Cope better with triggers or things that remind you of what happened
This is achieved through the use of gentle breathing, calm and safe visualisation, the use of metaphor and creation of personal coping strategies. The track does not make reference to the type of experience, when it took place or the outcome.
Review by TIPS Parent Tester Caroline:
I have to admit to being nervous before listening to this CD. When addressing something like birth trauma there is an element of fear of unpacking your feelings - but I need not have worried. I only wish I had listened to Overcome Birth Trauma sooner!
Maggie Howell's calming voice took me gently into a soothing relaxation. The whole experience was wonderfully relaxing and it felt a real treat to have such an intimate "one to one" experience in the comfort of my own home.
There were only a couple of things I wasn't so keen on about that CD. The music was somewhat dated but that didn't detract from Maggie’s voice. I was also surprised there was no real reference to actual birth trauma in this relaxation (unless I just missed this as I have been very deeply relaxed when listening.)
My initial anxiety was that the CD would be too focused on birth and trigger difficult feelings. From that point of view, it was good that the CD talked about trauma in a more general way. But the fact that it was such a general hypnosis did make me wonder why it was sold as birth trauma hypnosis as it really could be about any trauma at all. I guess the only bit that stands out as characteristically birth like was a part that talked about other women sharing their stories and how you can relax your way through that experience.
On the whole I would recommend this to anyone who has suffered trauma but I'm not sure I would specifically prescribe to it to women struggling with birth trauma.
Here is how to keep up to date with news from Maggie Howell:
For a chance to win 1 of 10 copies of the Overcome Birth Trauma CD check out mini-competition 3
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:: Featured You Tube video clips Must-watch...
- Refreshing video of a guy putting twins in a Boba wrap - really made me giggle! He shows it as it is!
- Dramatic struggle for life – elephant birth showing us that giving birth to a HUGE baby need not be complicated!
- happybirthmp4 – lovely natural birth where the mother almost laughs hr baby into the world and her partner is able to deliver his baby!
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Featured My Story :: About a Mum's independence and tenacity....
Our latest My Story features the convoluted journey to happiness of a Parent Tester who has experienced her fair share of ups and downs. Her story of independence and tenacity will inspire and make your heart melt. This lovely family truly deserve the happy ending they now enjoy. Read Natalie’s My Story here...
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Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under :: Part 6
In this issue of our Diary of a student midwife down under, we learn about the impact her training has had on her life. As she enters her final year as a student, thoughts are turning to job applications and choices about whether to pursue a career in nursing or midwifery. We hear about the Australian graduate year program and how it can help students to apply and get the job that suits them best. Read all about it here...
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*** latest news ***
The National Parent Guide- third edition just published: www.tnpg.org.uk
You may have read about the publication of The National Parent Guide in our December edition TIPS e-newsletter.
The second edition of The National Parent Guide has received excellent feedback from readers all over the UK. This publication is available online (at www.tnpg.org.uk) and hard copies are distributed to Register Offices around the UK - stocks are running out quickly. Everyone seems to agree The National Parent Guide gives parents the top quality information and advice they deserve. It's suitable for distribution to any maternity unit, or parenting organisation - including those who are Baby-Friendly accredited.
I have contributed three additional articles to edition 3: Family-led nutrition, Tongue-tie explained and all you need to know about Family Mediation.
The National Parent Guide is funded by advertising. I can however assure you that each advert and each 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 or comments about articles or photographs in this edition, please email
. The National Parent Guide welcomes and values your feedback.
Biovaultfamily website :: Sharon Trotter offers one-to-one advice to parents
Remember you can email me any midwifery related questions via the 'Ask a Midwife' service on the Biovaultfamily website at: http://biovaultfamily.com/ask-midwife/
We've got a survey for you! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HVWQVK5
Can you spare a few minutes to tell us what you think about our e-newsletters? We will use your comments, ideas and suggestions to make it better! Here is the link again: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HVWQVK5 Thank you!
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:: TIPS top value :: Freezeez Ice Cream Maker for kids RRP: £12.99 (recipes included) ::
Freezeez Ice Cream Maker for kids RRP: £12.99 (recipes included)
Available from www.worldsapart.com
Kids are in for easy freezy fun this summer with the fantastic new FREEZEEZ ice-cream maker from Worlds Apart. This easy to use ice-cream maker lets children have fun creating a variety of tasty flavours in just 2 minutes!
No overnight prep or pre-planning required! Just grab some simple ingredients from the fridge, pop them into the cone and the base. Then get shaking and let science do the rest.
After only two minutes Freezeez magic will start to turn your chosen ingredients into delicious ice-cream. Once your ice-cream is ready, get creative with adding tasty toppings and grab a spoon to sample the goods.
With Freezeez Ice Cream Maker prepare authentic ice-cream in an instant, using natural ingredients without added ‘nasties’ as you decide what ingredients to use! You can choose to prepare it with cream or yoghurt, depending on how healthy you want your ice-cream to be. Freezeez is sure to be a hit with kids and parents alike! It's available in three designs: Minnie Mouse, Spiderman and Ninja Turtle. Freezeez comes complete with mixing cone, spoon, plastic base, special character lid and recipe ideas.
For a chance to win a Spiderman Freezeez check out mini-competition 5
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:: TIPS top tip 1 :: Pregnancy sun protection ::
Is your sun lotion pregnancy-safe?
Keeping you and your growing bump safe in the sun during pregnancy shouldn’t be a guessing game. Up to 60% of the products we put on our skin can be absorbed, and many mums switch to natural and organic skincare products during pregnancy. Many high street sun lotions contain a cocktail of chemical nasties and skin irritants. Your skin sensitivity is also heightened during pregnancy, increasing your risk of reacting to products - even ones you have previously had no problems with.
Why use organic sun care products
Green People offer a pregnancy-safe sun care range. These products use an expert blend of earth minerals and the mountain flower edelweiss, together with a filter derived from cinnamon, to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays. These organic lotions also guard your skin against the ageing effects of the sun with their natural antioxidants, skin vitamins A, C and E from avocado, green tea and rosemary extract that support your skin’s immune system and protect against cell damage.
- Sun Lotion SPF25 Scent Free £18.95 (200ml); £9.95 (50ml)
- Sun Lotion SPF15 with Tan Accelerator £18.95 (200ml); £12.99 (100ml)
Green People sun lotions are suitable for sensitive skin and prickly heat as they are free from parabens and potential irritants (like silicones, drying alcohol and methylisothiazolinone).
Things to rememember when choosing a sun care product
- People often think that an SPF50 sun lotion offers twice the protection of an SPF25, this is not the case. Properly applied an SPF25 lotion offers 96% protection against UVB rays, while SPF50 offers 98% – a marginal 2% difference. The SPF factor doesn't indicate protection from UVA rays which cause the long term cell damage to the skin. To maintain protection from both UVA and UVB rays you need to re-apply sun care products regularly.
Here is how to find out more about Green People products:
For a chance to win a bottle of Green People SPF25 Scent Free Lotion and a bottle of Green People After Sun check out mini-competition 7
:: TIPS top tip 2 :: Safe sun protection for your babies and children ::
Children are more susceptible to synthetic chemicals because their bodies are still developing, and their skin has greater sensitivity to sunlight. Formulated for young skin, this organic range from Green People keeps kids' delicate skin protected while they have fun in the sun!
- Natural broad-spectrum protection - UVA (skin damage and UVB (burning) protection from a synergistic blend of natural earth mineral sun filters, Edelweiss extract and a UV filter derived from Cinnamon Ester acid
- Calming and soothing - From Myrrh and Chamomile
- Water-repellent - From natural Beeswax to repel water without blocking pores - ‘prickly heat safe’
- Cell protection - Rich in antioxidants and skin vitamins to protect and feed the skin from the outside in with Rosemary extract, Avocado and Myrrh
- Extremely gentle - Suitable for sensitive or eczema/allergy prone skin and sufferers or prickly heat - No pore-blocking mineral oils!
Does SPF50 give twice the protection of SPF25?
No - when choosing a sun care product for children it's always tempting to go for the highest SPF. We often assume that an SPF50 offers twice the protection of an SPF25.
This is not the case. Properly applied, an SPF25 lotion offers 96% protection against UVB rays, while SPF50 offers 98% protection against UVB – a marginal 2% difference. To maintain protection you need to re-apply sun care products regularly
For more information about safe skincare in the sun, see our FAQ: ‘Keeping babies and children safe in the sun and during hot weather’
Here is how to find out more about Green People products:
For a chance to win a bottle of Organic Babies Scent Free Children Sun Lotion and a bottle of Organic Babies After Sun check out mini-competition 8
:: TIPS top tip 3 :: a2™ Milk: cows' milk with a difference ::
About a2™ Milk
There are two different types of cows' milk protein: A1 and A2. Although originally all cows had just the A2 protein, A1 has become the dominant protein in European and UK herds.
a2™ Milk is different. This natural great tasting cows' milk has all the goodness milk brings, but does not contain the A1 protein. a2™ Milk comes from specially selected cows which naturally produce only A2 protein.
People who experience symptoms of intolerance to milk may be reacting specifically to the A1 protein and not the lactose in milk or other milk proteins as is often assumed.
This means a2 Milk may provide relief to many of the one in five Brits who struggle to digest cows' milk.
Could millions of UK children be needlessly missing out on the benefits cows' milk brings?
A study, which surveyed 300 people who consider themselves to be ‘dairy intolerant’, revealed that 82 percent of all respondents had not been medically diagnosed with a problem by their GP, so may unnecessarily be avoiding dairy products through fear of negative side effects.
a2™ Milk is campaigning to promote understanding of how a cows' milk containing only the A1 protein may be suitable for people who believe themselves to be lactose intolerant.
Originally set up in New Zealand, a2™ Milk now has about 10 percent market share of the Australian fresh milk market. Launched in 2012 a2™ Milk now has 20 farms in the UK
Review by Jason (Sharon's son):
I have been drinking milk for all my life and, like most people I'm sure, I feel it is a key part of my diet and daily routine.
Recently however, I decided to stop having milky cereal for breakfast. To my surprise, I found I felt notably better for the rest of the day as a result of this change. This was around the time when I had noticed that I was feeling nauseous and bloated every morning. These problems had been ongoing for a few months, so the realisation that they may be triggered by my milk consumption felt like quite a break through.
After speaking to friends and family about my experience, I started looking into milk alternatives online and stumbled across a2™ Milk.
The prospect of being able to drink ‘normal’ milk again, but without the digestive problems I had experienced, really appealed.
I can happily report that having switched to a2™ Milk, I no longer suffer from nausea and bloating, and I get to enjoy the taste of milk that I have always loved. The only drawback to using this milk is that it's not always readily available in my local supermarkets (even when listed as suppliers on the a2 website) so I will be storing a spare bottle in my freezer for the times when I cannot find any fresh supplies!
I am very satisfied and I would recommend a2™ Milk to anyone. There may be millions of people who, like me, assume they are suffering from lactose intolerance when in fact, this is unlikely to be the case.
Here is how to find out more about a2™ Milk:
:: TIPS top tip 4 :: New Which? guide for parents: 'top 10 child car seat fitting checks' ::
Which? launches a handy guide to help parents make sure their child's car seat is fitted safely. Free to download from www.which.co.uk/carseatchecks
Even the best child car seat won’t be effective if it's not fitted correctly. By following the guide's top 10 car seat tips parents can make sure their child is protected:
- Is the seatbelt secure and untwisted?
- If the seat is rearward facing, is the handlebar in the position shown in the instructions?
- Is the car seat sitting squarely on the seat of the car and is the headrest in the correct position as shown in your instructions?
- Is the seatbelt following the correct red or blue route guides?
- Is the seatbelt buckle in the right place?
- For Isofix seats, do the visual indicators show it is fitted correctly?
- Is your Isofix drop down foot securely on the floor, and/is the top tether firmly attached?
- Have you removed any thick clothes?
- For younger children, are the shoulder pads level with your child’s shoulders and is the harness not too tight or loose?
- For older children, is the seatbelt across their shoulder and hips?
To find out more about car seats you can:
Here is how to find out more about Which?
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:: Top Treat :: www.pippiandjip.co.uk & 10% off all orders placed in June 2014 using our TIPS discount code TIPS100614 ::
On 22 April 2014 Pippi & Jip launched an online shop where you can find products by some of Europe’s most innovative designers – many of which you cannot find elsewhere. Visit www.pippiandjip.co.uk for carefully chosen, high quality collections of furniture, toys and clothing for children aged 0 to 14 years. Pippi & Jip will fill the gap in the UK market for design-led children’s products. Each piece has been carefully selected to stimulate a child’s imagination and pay special attention to form, fun and function – visit: www.pippiandjip.co.uk.
Lenneke Klomp set up Pippi & Jip because she couldn't find individual, high quality products for her friends’ children without a huge price tag in the UK - as she had been able to do in her native Netherlands. She said “The Dutch believe children’s perception of form and function is highly astute and design for children should be no less considered and fit with the style and size of the rest of the home. We have scoured Europe for the best designer makers to build a collection that will constantly evolve, is contemporary and where possible exclusive to us.
“Adaptability in larger furniture is crucial to provide variety in limited space and also grow with the child. The Kube bench and table is an ideal investment, switching from play bench with storage space underneath into a table and desk, ideal for homework. Similarly, the KlipKlap 3-fold mattress is robust and adaptable, becoming a sofa, guest bed and indoor play surface as the child grows.”
Pippi & Jip sources the best local designers and manufacturers across Europe and provides them with a platform where they can display and sell their products directly. This means no retailer mark-up, no language difficulties or high individual shipping costs. Many products can be produced bespoke or to your individual requirements.
Pippi & Jip is passionately invested in craftsmanship and traditional techniques. From charming old-fashioned toys such as the eco-friendly Birchwood Pull Along Horse, to the Origami Mobile handmade using Chyogami Japanese paper. The Frame chair (see picture above) is made from solid oak with a natural oiled finish and visible joint details, and organic cotton canvas.
This attention to detail continues into Pippi & Jip’s clothing range, which combines wear ability with a charm that will appeal to both children and adults. A notable range of special occasion wear, such as the Italian-made Chic Linen boy’s suit, sits alongside the durable day wear like the Apple of my Eye moccasins. Hand-made in Sweden, the comfortable shoes come in a range of sizes, and are machine washable with good grip and elastic support at the ankle; perfect for early walkers and older kids alike. The cupcake leggings costing £10 (see picture abov) are sure to become wardrobe favourites with combed cotton blend and extra-thick comfort waistband, they allow easy movement and come in sizes to suit new born - 6 years.
Here is how to keep up to date with news from Pippi & Jip:
Special offer to TIPS readers – 10% off orders in June:
- For a chance to save 10% off any purchase you make on www.pippiand jip.co.uk during the month of June all you have to do it use the following code when you reach the checkout: TIPS100614
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