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Granny news from TIPS®!
After all the excitement of our TIPS® 10th birthday celebrations in June, you would think that things might have calmed down... Well they haven't and excitement levels have remained high at TIPS® HQ as I enjoyed the experience of a lifetime: working as a Clydesider at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and if that wasn't enough there have been not just one but two new additions to our family! In July Brigitte’s daughter gave birth to her second son Noah, a new brother for Freddie. Then, having kept us waiting for 10 long days after her due date, my daughter gave birth to our very first grandchild Mia! You can see photos of our adorable new arrivals in our Testers' pix section, where you can also find a fascinating pictorial journey through pregnancy (in our featured bump) plus many more wonderful photos sent by our lovely Testers. 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.
We feature products tested since our June e-newsletter was published: 2 baby oils and a nappy balm from new brands Nom Nom and Mumma Love Organics (all of which were allocated TIPS Awards). We also bring you a new review for the TIPS Award winning Elle TENS by Bodyclock. My daugther wrote this after her very successful experience of using this machine during her breech birth. Still on the topic of breech birth, one of our featured blogs is about one mum’s fight to get the birth she wanted: The breech VBAC birth of Remi. The other is inspiring blogspot: Winning Hands Down by author Faith Bleasdale, who just happens to be a single mum of a son with Down’s Syndrome.
We feature 2 websites: www.hillswashinglines.co.uk for the creative Hills Hoists (Australia’s rotary line of choice) and www.amyskitchen.co.uk for Amy’s Kitchen (Vegetarian Society approved meals from California). Our featured charity is Yorkhill Children’s Charity. We feature the inspiring story of how Clydesiders (volunteers at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games - including me) joined together to buy a Clyde statue for the children of Yorkhill to enjoy and raised over £6000 for this worthwhile cause!
We have reviewed 4 books: Happy Hair (The definitive guide to giving up shampoo); Lives with Autism (a collection of accounts from people who have a diagnosis of autism); Ringleaders and Sidekicks by Rosalind Wiseman (an insight into what the author calls "boy-world", the unwritten set of rules which govern the social lives of (primarily) teenage boys) and Parenting from the inside out: how deeper self-understanding can help you raise children who thrive - special tenth-anniversary edition.
Check our Top Tips features for Ashton & Parson teething powders; Wise up with Water campaign, in association with the Children’s Food Trust and the Natural Hydration Council (top tips to encourage children to have fun with water and make it their first choice for hydration) and an update for parents; Vitamin D – what you need to know.
As well as our regular mix of features we bring you news of our latest My Story, video clip (adorable giggles with baby Meg and a touching airport reunion), apps (Squeezy – Pelvic Floor exercises and Henri Le Worm – cooking games and recipes by Raymond Blanc), Top Treats (Shea Butter Soap by Glow Skincare) and Carddies (UK colouring-in game) and Top Value feature (Little Green Sheep Organic Muslins).
Last but not least we bring you the final parts of our Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under including an update from our guest male student midwife Matt, who has also just completed his training to become a midwife down under. We have news of the latest edition of The National Parent Guide (www.thenpg.org.uk) which I helped to update. As usual we have some amazing competitions for you to enter, including our main newsletter prize: a Hills Rotary 7 Hoist Washing Line (worth £189.99) and 8 mini-competitions. Altogether, prizes are worth over £400 so get your entries in to Brigitte and you too could be a winner.
Ashley's Review of Elle TENS voted Best of the Best by TIPS Parent Testers
Brand new review + your chance to win an Elle TENS worth over £70!
One of the first products tested through the TIPS® Award Scheme were TENS machines. Pregnant Testers reviewed 4 different machines and provided their feedback. Elle TENS won the coveted TIPS Best of the Best Award. You may be surprised how super efficient this TENS machine is at helping you cope with labour pains! So what is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)? Water (preferably by complete immersion in a deep bath or birthing pool) and the TENS machine are the most natural and non-invasive forms of pain relief currently available for childbirth. Machines stimulate the body’s own natural defences against pain. In the final weeks of pregnancy, a woman’s pain threshold is much higher than normal. This is nature’s way of preparing her to cope with the pain of childbirth. A TENS machine transmits gentle electrical impulses through the skin via four self-adhesive electrode pads positioned on the back. These impulses act on pain by flooding the ‘nerve pathways’ with natural endorphins, which in turn stop the pain messages (or close the gates) from getting to the brain. To read more about the Gate Control theory read the full trial results for TENS machines on the TIPS website.
Used properly, a TENS machine can take a woman from the first contraction through to the birth of her baby without the need for any other methods of pain relief.
Introduction by Sharon: My daughter recently gave birth to her first baby (and my first granddaughter!). She chose to use the Elle TENS machine for pain relief during early labour. We could never have imagined just how wonderful this little machine would prove to be. Don’t just take my word for it: here is my daughter’s review in her own words:
Review by Ashley - TIPS Tester
I used the Elle TENS machine as pain relief during the labour for my first daughter, born on October 5th 2014. I wanted to do everything I could to avoid having an epidural after reading about all the negative side effects associated with one. I was a bit sceptical that the TENS machine could actually help but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I managed to have a completely drug-free natural breech birth with the help of the TENS machine. The TENS machine helped provide relief from the contractions in my lower back – in the beginning I wasn’t sure the machine was working for me so I turned it off for a contraction and I couldn’t believe the difference…needless to say I had it turned on for every contraction after that! It’s easy to use and wear and when my contractions were stronger I got my partner to control it so I could concentrate on myself. I would recommend this machine (and have done already) to all expectant mothers! I wouldn’t give birth without it!
Looking for the perfect gift for a pregnant mum? How about the TENS machine Hire Pack
We are delighted to announce a very special Winter Newsletter prize that comes all the way from Oz...
Hills’ Rotary washing lines are renowned for being well designed and highly engineered. So much so that Hills have just won the prestigious Most Trusted Brand Icon Award by Readers’ Digest* for the second year running. A household name Down Under Hills, and its iconic and much-loved ‘Hills Hoist’ rotary washing line, is fast becoming a favourite brand in the UK too. Hills left Caerphilly (South Wales) in 2006, having operated from this base for over forty years, but this famous Australian brand is now back in the UK. Judging by its success in Australia, Hills shouldn’t have too much trouble winning back its loyal customer base here. The Readers Digest award certainly mirrors Hills’ customers feedback that a Hills washing line is a reliable, well-engineered product that's built to last. Nick Brodie, UK Director of Hills Washing Lines said: “The last year has shown significant growth in international clothesline sales for Hills, proving that a new generation of homeowners all over the world are embracing these products. More people are choosing to line dry their clothes due to rising energy prices as well as wanting to be more environmentally responsible. The recent consumer award retention demonstrates just how much customers value what our brand stands for – truly well-engineered, robust and high quality washing lines.” These days it is not just all about the traditional and famed rotary hoist either. Responding to ever-changing consumer needs, particularly with more people having smaller gardens or living in apartments, Hills has innovated to create a range of space-saving wall-mounted washing lines which fold (Supa Fold) or retract (Extenda). The new innovative Slim Retracting Clothesline has just been awarded a Gold Good Design Award at this year’s Good Design Festival. This product is designed for the needs and tastes of modern households, from apartment dwellers to the traditional family home. With 26m of washing line, the Slim 4-line model can be used to dry a medium size family wash, including bed sheets. Users of Hills Washing Lines consider them to be the best-in-class, and there is a clear passion for the brand. This is evident from the myriad positive customer reviews. From humble beginnings in a South Australian backyard back in 1945, the Hills brand has been growing ever stronger and helping make their customers' lives just that little bit easier. For information about Hills Washing Lines in the UK you can:
* The Trusted Brands Survey has been operating for 14 years as an independent poll of the Australian public and is run by the Reader’s Digest. More than 2,400 people took part.
e-newsletter competition :: win a Hills Rotary 7 Hoist Washing Line (worth £189.99)
For a chance to win a Hills Rotary 7 Hoist Washing Line (worth £189.99) email the words ‘Hills Hoist’ to
by 24 February 2015. We will announce the winners in e-newsletter 36.
A family-run business, Amy’s Kitchen was started by husband and wife team Andy and Rachel Berliner in 1987 after the birth of their child Amy. They wanted to create great tasting vegetarian food with all the care and attention that goes into a home cooked meal – food they would happily give their daughter and not have to cook from scratch. Amy’s Kitchen began as a small family business in a converted barn on a Sonoma country ranch in California. Today it is still very much a family business, with Rachel and Andy continuing to manage day-to-day operations as well as the taste testing process.
Here are a few facts about Amy’s Kitchen product range:
all products are taste tested by the Amy’s Kitchen family from start to finish ensuring each one has a true home-cooked taste
all products are made using only the finest natural ingredients
all products are Vegetarian Society approved.
Amy’s Kitchen frozen range
The Amy’s Kitchen frozen range includes Vegetable Lasagne, Rice Mac and Cheese, Country Vegetables and Pasta, Mexican Tortilla Bake, Mushroom Risotto, Gluten Free Cheddar, Rice and Bean Burrito, Thai Red Curry, Broccoli & Cheddar Bake, Gluten Free Rice Crust Pizza, Gluten Free Manhattan Burger and Gluten Free Dairy Free Vegetable Lasagne.
Amy’s Kitchen offers a range of calorie controlled Light and Lean products in two delicious flavours: Spaghetti Italiano and Black Bean and Cheese Enchilada
Amy's Kitchen Chilli is:
suitable for vegetarians and comes in two varieties: medium and spicy
suitable for vegans and free from gluten, dairy and lactose
Amy’s Kitchen Classic Soup Range
Amy’s Kitchen classic soups come in 6 different flavours and are suitable for vegetarians. Many of the Amy’s Kitchen soups are suitable for vegans, and free from gluten, soy and lactose
Amy’s Kitchen soups provide between 2 and 3 of your 5-a-day
Amy’s Kitchen Hearty Soup Range
Amy’s Kitchen Hearty soups come in 3 different flavours and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. They are free from gluten, dairy, soy and lactose
All Amy’s Kitchen Hearty soups provide at least 1 of your 5-a-day
By Dr Steve Mee, Senior Lecturer, University of Cumbria, UK Published by M&K Publishing - RRP: £25 eBook available from Apple, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Google, eBooks com & Hive Hard copies can be bought online direct from M&K and from all major online book sellers
What is autism really like? Academic literature often defines autism in a clinical, pathology-orientated way. But personal testimony can tell health and social care professionals how it feels. This book includes personal accounts from people whose lives have been touched by the day-to-day realities of autism: people with autism, their families, and professionals who support them. The stories are mostly told ‘straight’, with brief comments at the beginning and a few reflections at the end of each chapter. As Autism Programme Leader at the University of Cumbria for the past 13 years, Steve Mee is uniquely placed to compile such a book. He has met, and befriended, many people with autism and their families. Through listening to their stories, he has had moments of profound challenge and insight. In this book, he shares these personal narratives and what he has learnt from them. Reading these accounts will enable professionals to develop a real understanding of what it is like to live with autism, in all its nuanced detail. This in turn can provide vital insights into the impact (both positive and negative) of professional interventions. Introduction by Sharon Trotter When I read the press release about Lives with Autism I immediately decided to send it to one of our Parent Testers. This Mum, who I know well, has just received a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) after many years trying to understand her condition. I am pleased to say she found this book very helpful, as it gave her a new insight into to this complex condition and answered many of her questions. You can read her short review below. Review by TIPS Parent Tester who has recently been diagnosed ASD: I am reviewing Lives with Autism by Steve Mee. It is a collection of accounts from people who have a diagnosis of autism. I think it is aimed more at professionals, but it is a good book and could also be useful for partners and families of people with autism. It was pretty hard-reading to be honest, partly I guess seeing these 'issues' in black and white was really tough. I could connect to these real accounts quite a lot. The stories from the ladies with ASD were of most help to me, especially the one who was diagnosed later in life as that is similar to me. So much in the book I could relate to but although this was hard at times, it was also good to realise I am not the only one and it sort of gave me hope. I would recommend this book to others, especially those who know people with ASD as it gives a better understanding of just what it's like to live with autism and covers a variety of topics from education, to work, to relationships.
:: book review 2 :: ::Happy Hair – The definitive guide to giving up shampoo
By Lucy Aitken Read Published by e-junkie.com (2014) - £2.20 Available on Amazon.co.uk – Kindle version £2.75 Website: www.lulastic.co.uk
Introduction by Sharon Trotter: A passionate devotee of a ‘less is more’ approach to skincare, I have advocated the avoidance of baby skincare products with Little Ones (including shampoo) for many years. My evidence-based articles about this have been published in peer-reviewed midwifery journals and textbooks. This research has led to a change in policy on neonatal (the first 28 days of life) skincare in the UK and beyond. My youngest boys (now 17 and 14) were 12 and 9 years old before they used any products. When the teenage years came they started to use teeny tiny amounts of ‘goo’ (not my idea but hey!) in their hair and on their body. For in-depth advice about all things related to baby skincare (some of which applies to adults too) check out my leaflet Babycare – back to basics available in the for parents section on the TIPS website. Having come across Lucy’s inspiring blog (where she talks about all things breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, organic eating and family) I knew I would love her book Happy Hair The definitive guide to giving up shampoo. I downloaded the book from e-junkie (easy peasy) and so did one of my Parent Testers, who is now trying out a shampoo-free life. Well done Lucy for writing about this in a way that is accessible to all - not just the usual hippy fraternity. It REALLY does work, although I have to admit I am yet to achieve my ultimate goal to stop using shampoo myself – haven't yet found time to go through the no poo method, but watch this space and I may surprise you (and myself)! Review by Wendy, TIPS Parent Tester: I was excited when Sharon asked me to review Happy Hair as I have always admired anyone who has found an effective alternative to shampoo. Many years ago I tried doing without, and found the process really unpleasant as there was no guidance. This little book would have been perfect for me. So, encouraged by Lucy, I am once again trying, and am managing to go for 7-10 days at a time without the conventional shampoo (which is a natural non supermarket variety anyway). I think I have been over zealous on the quantity of bicarb used, so still figuring out what works, but already sections of hair have new life and bounce. Happy Hair is filled with handy tips and lists natural ingredients to use, including herbs, flowers, honey, vinegar and eggs! Examples of great tips are the reminder to really brush and to swap your pillowcase daily. I already use Morrocan soap clay at home so used this with great success. It would be great to have a totally palm-free beauty routine - shampoo is the last hurdle to overcome. I would have liked drawings, photos or a link to a video showing the 'scrubbing' technique Lucy refers to (she says this is essential to get the sebum down the hair shaft), as well as some actual before and after photos to show what we can achieve, given enough patience! It's a great book - easy to read, well laid out and with plenty of useful ideas. A definite purchase if you have ever wondered about going shampoo free. It's given me the tools and motivation to give the method a decent tryout. Thanks Lucy, and Sharon!
:: book review 3 :: ::Parenting from the Inside Out: how deeper self-understanding can help you raise children who thrive
- Special tenth-anniversary edition By Daniel J Siegel & Mary Hartzell Published by Scribe Publications RRP: £12.99
Gwyneth Paltrow said of this book: ‘It's a must-have for any parent. Mary Hartzell has helped me immeasurably in my quest to be the best possible parent I can be.’ How many parents have found themselves thinking: ‘I can’t believe I just said to my child the very thing my parents used to say to me! Am I just destined to repeat the mistakes of my parents?’ In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, MD, and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, MEd, talk about how our childhood experiences influence the way we act as parents. The authors use stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, to explain how interpersonal relationships affect the development of the brain. They also offer parents a step-by-step approach to getting a deeper understanding of their own life stories - this will help them raise compassionate and resilient children. The10th anniversary edition of this book includes a new preface by Daniel Siegel and the latest brain science research findings. About the authors: Daniel J. Siegel, MD, received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA, where he is currently a clinical professor. He is the executive director of the Mindsight Institute, and the author of numerous books, including the acclaimed bestsellers Mindsight: change your brain and your life and The Whole-Brain Child (co-authored with Tina Payne Bryson). He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and occasionally with his launched adolescents. Mary Hartzell, MEd, received her master’s degree in early-childhood education and psychology from UCLA, and is a child-development specialist and parent educator. She has taught children, parents, and teachers for more than 30 years, and has been the director of a highly respected Reggio-inspired preschool in Santa Monica, California. Her parent-education classes and CD series on parent–child relationships have improved the lives of children and their families for decades. Review by Amanda, TIPS Parent Tester: The tag line reads: How a deeper self- understanding can help you raise children who thrive. It’s essentially about how your own childhood experiences shape the way you treat your own children. I enjoyed reading parts of it. The book is split into 9 sections, and within each section are several examples. The general narrative is extremely hard going but the examples bring it alive. There are also several exercises to do, but I didn’t complete any of them as they seemed more like university homework than an enjoyable evening’s reading. The scenarios in each section, for example how you treat your child when you are tired or busy can shape the way he/she perceives him/herself and changes the way they behave. The book gives solid examples of scenarios such as this. Each one made me think back to a time I said or did something in a certain situation and how I could do it better next time. My favourite quote from the book is: There is always hope and possibility for change. The scenarios made you really think. In most cases, you check yourself thinking: do I act like that, say those things, does my child feel that way? It did give me a much greater understanding about how my 2 year old could be feeling, for instance, when I’m working and ask him to wait 5 minutes. However, the book is very “wordy” in fact in most paragraphs things that could be said in 6 words are said in 26. This means you tend to skip over sections instead of reading it all thoroughly as there is just so much padding. It seems like it’s directed at psychology students and the like not at everyday mothers, which is a shame as there is some useful stuff in there, you just have to spend a while finding it. I think that this is a book to read while pregnant as most busy mums wouldn’t have time to read it!
ot sure I this book would suit everybody. I would say one or two of my friends would be interested and the others would probably say it's long-winded nonsense. My husband, for instance, didn’t get past the first two pages before giving up. I enjoyed reading sections of it and will certainly be picking it up if I have a specific problem but wouldn’t rush out and buy it.
To be perfectly honest I wouldn't want to read another book from the same authors. I’m intrigued by the subject matter but would like it portrayed in a more light-hearted way as my time is precious - especially when I could be spending it with my son.
For a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of Parenting from the inside out check out mini-competition 3
:: book review 4 :: ::Ringleaders and Sidekicks...
By Rosalind Wiseman Published by Piatkus Books Website: http://www.piatkusbooks.net/ringleaders-sidekicks-when-your-son-tells-you-he%E2%80%99s-having-a-problem/ Review by Morag, TIPS Parent Tester "Ringleaders and Sidekicks" by Rosalind Wiseman is a book for parents of boys. It aims to provide an insight into what the author calls "boy-world", the unwritten set of rules which govern the social lives of (primarily) teenage boys. Known for her parenting expertise and as the author of the very successful "Queen Bees & Wannabes", Rosalind Wiseman has turned her attention and considerable insight from girls' social hierarchies and interactions to those of boys. As the Mum of a teenage boy myself, I found the book fascinating. My son attempted to read excerpts from the book on a number of occasions and also seemed impressed by the advice and explanations given. This alone verified Rosalind Wiseman's credibility as an author for me! Issues faced by kids since the beginning of eternity are covered in an easy-to-read fashion alongside more contemporary themes, giving the overall impression that this lady knows her stuff. Although written for American readers and in an obviously American style, there is enough well communicated information in this book for me to highly recommend it. I admit to finding some chapters less interesting than others. Perhaps this is a reflection of my personal experience with a son, but way the book is broken up into helpful stand-alone chapter’s means that you could either read it from cover-to-cover, or head straight for the chapters covering a topic of interest to you. A helpful index makes this relatively simple. I would say that Rosalind Wiseman has a very good insight into the workings of the minds of teenage boys. Additionally she has researched the book thoroughly by interviewing numerous boys on the topics covered as she was writing. One annoying feature is a continual reference to acronyms such as ALMB (the "act-like-a-man-box") or SEAL (Stop & Set-up, Explain, Affirm & Acknowledge and Lock in or out). Overall, if you can live with the Americanisms, this is an excellent book which not only gives insight into this strange world our boys have to live in, but also offers some pretty sound and helpful advice.
How a group of Glasgow 2014 Clydesiders raised over £6000 and delivered a surprise for the children of Yorkhill hospital!
Many sick children attend Yorkhill hospital for days, months or even years. Some have minor ailments, others are fighting for their lives. Yorkhill Children’s Charity works tirelessly to make these difficult times easier for the children and their families, helping to give them the best chance of making a full recovery. To do this, Yorkhill Children’s Charity relies on donors, fundraisers and volunteers who help us support the hospital and throughout the year. The fundraising income for Yorkhill Children’s Charity has grown steadily since its inception, from raising £319,000 in 2001 (for just 7 months) up to £4.3 million in 2013-14. With the new Yorkhill Research Support Scheme, Yorkhill Children’s Charity now support high quality research dedicated to improving child health. On a gloriously sunny day (this in itself is quite unusual!) in a Glasgow car park, a group of dedicated Clydesiders met up in full Commonwealth Games uniform. Their very special mission was to deliver a Glasgow 2014 Clyde Mascot to the children of Yorkhill hospital. Miles and Mitchell two young members of the 1st Troon Boys Brigade Pipe Band, were volunteered by me (a Clydesider from Troon) to play pipes and drums. They led the parade of Clydesiders on the short walk to Yorkhill Children’s Hospital. The atmosphere was electric and emotions were hard to keep in check. This was the culmination of weeks fundraising, with the ultimate goal of winning the Clyde Mascot in an official Glasgow 2014 Games Auction. But not just any Clyde would do, it had to be the Clyde Mascot who had been resident in the Uniform and Accreditation Centre (UAC) at Kelvin Hall. The initial plan was to raise enough money to win the UAC Clyde for the children of Yorkhill Hospital. However when Glasgow 2014 heard the story, they gifted UAC Clyde so every penny of the £6060 raised could be donated to the Yorkhill Children’s Charity. The handover was a joyous occasion with a specially baked Clyde cake, singing by Ciara Ennis and to top it all a stirring rendition of the Medal Ceremony theme on the pipes. A perfect day for all concerned and Clyde now has a new home where he will be making children smile for many years to come. To find out more about Yorkhill Children’s Charity you can:
:: Featured video clips British Airways & Tourism Australia release emotional reunion video
Tourism Australia teamed with British Airways launch 'Australia has everything... except you.' campaign. This is to encourage Brits with friends and family Down Under to visit in 2015. The tear-jerking campaign features a couple from Surrey whose son moved from the UK to Sydney with their grandchildren. British Airways invited the couple, Alec and Catherine Beattie, to a film screening in London in April 2014. They were unaware that the film would feature their granddaughter Esme. This was extremely emotional for the grandparents, as Esme loves her life in Australia but misses them terribly. British Airways presented the couple with complimentary flights to visit Esme. Released this month, the final film in the trilogy shows their reunion in Sydney airport.
Developer's description Squeezy has been designed by chartered physiotherapists specialising in Women’s Health working in the NHS. It is suitable for all women who want to do pelvic floor muscle exercises. The app is particularly aimed at women who are seeing a specialist physiotherapist for problems connected to their bladder, bowels or pelvic floor muscles. It can be tailored to a specific exercise programme and set to remind you when to do your exercises. It is simple to use, discreet, informative and has helpful visual and audio prompts to support your exercise programme. The app also keeps a record of the number of exercises you have completed. App features:
Customisable exercise plan
“Professional mode” to help physiotherapists set detailed exercise plans for patients
Visual, and audio guides for exercises
Information and tips written by professional Women’s Health physiotherapists
Track and monitor your progress
Write a short note after a completed exercise
Simple and clear interface
Featured :: app 2Henri Le Worm - Learn and Play with his Amazing Cooking Adventures(for children 3 to 8 yearsl old)
Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch - optimised for iPhone 5.
The history behind this app:
“Time spent as a family is important and dining out should be an experience for all, young or old, which is why our little guests get their own specially created menu packed with fresh and flavoursome ingredients.” Raymond Blanc Keeping children entertained during a meal out can be tricky. However help is at hand as Brasserie Blanc launches its new Henri Le Worm kids’ menu. Based on the popular app created by Raymond Blanc’s son Olivier, these menus will be available at all 20 restaurants. The main character of the app, Henri Le Worm, is a French cooking worm extraordinaire who shares Raymond Blanc’s passion for healthy and seasonal produce. Henri lives in the magical Forest of Plenty alongside a host of animated friends. The app includes games, facts and music to encourage kids to find out about food, about ingredients and about nature too.
For more about Henri Le Worm games, recipes (adapted from Raymond Blanc), clips and learning, go to: www.henrileworm.com
An inspiring story of how a mum achieved her birth of choice with her fourth baby. Before that she'd had 2 induced vaginal deliveries, and a caesarean section delivery for a breech presentation (a frustrating experience). In 2012 she achieved a vaginal birth (vbac) of a breech baby - this was after an emergency appendectomy at 24 weeks. Below is Tess’s own introduction to her blog: “I’ll start off by saying, if you haven’t yet read Mila’s birth story, have a read of it first. In a way Mila’s birth sets this one up, her birth was what made me more determined to set out for the birth that I wanted with Remi. I’ll also preface by mentioning I do have birth photos & a birth video in this post, and they are a bit graphic (yet beautiful). My first 2 babies were quick & easy induced vaginal births. My 3rd baby was delivered by caesarean section (in Jan 2011), as she was breech. A c/s was something I never wanted, yet the Drs insisted (via scaremongering crap) I have one due to her breech position. I was happy to go ahead with a vaginal breech birth (VBB), but the Drs were not confident and since they no longer practice breech deliveries I ended up with a scheduled c/s. She was delivered at 39wk 4d, happy, healthy and oh so perfect. Everything went really well thankfully. I still regret not trying harder to get a vaginal birth, as I knew I could have done it. I decided I would most definitely be having a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) for baby #4.”
Featured blog 2 :: Winning Hands Down By Faith Bleasdale
Book: Happily Ever After (Faith’s Story) RRP: £7.38
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (10 April 2013)
A refreshing and down-to-earth account of life as a single mum best introduced by the author herself: “Welcome to my website. This site is about my relationship with my son, Xavier, who happens to have Down’s Syndrome. When we were given the diagnosis my life changed forever. At first I thought it had changed for the worse, but of course that isn’t the case. When Xavier was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome, I searched the web and was left very frustrated by the negativity that I found. When I started to come to terms with everything, I concentrated on trusting my son to teach me what it actually meant and when he was a year old I decided to write a book. Now Xavier is 5 years old and I am also writing a blog – which you’ll find here – in order to put across our reality, of being a single parent and of being a parent of a child with Down’s Syndrome. Please don’t think that it’ll just be about Down’s Syndrome. First and foremost I am a parent, facing the many challenges that all parents face. I am also, as I’ve said, a single parent, which presents a different perspective again. But I hope that there might be something here for many of you. You’ll find details about my book, my life with Xavier, including videos, interviews and photos charting our life together. There will also be information about others who have helped me and the many myths I hope to dispel. Basically this is a site about me and a lovely little boy called Xavier and I don’t know what will happen but then no parent does. If there is anything you would like to say, or ask, then please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to hear from you.” To find out more
Featured My Story :: Lip-tie – a long and stressful road from diagnosis to treatment... Our latest My Story features a mum’s long and often painful journey to get the correct treatment for her baby’s lip-tie (almost forcing her to give up breastfeeding). It also highlights the distressing experience of handing over your precious infant to theatre staff. Health professionals could help to make this experience much less stressful, if they were to take the time to consider the implications of their (sometimes) insensitive actions!. You can read Clare's My Story here...
Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under :: Parts 7 & 8
In the concluding parts of a ‘Diary of a student midwife down under’, we find out how Melanie and male student midwife Matt (guest author in March 2014) are doing as they complete the final months of their courses. We hear about their plans for the future, as they look forward to taking up their first job as qualified midwives. We would like to send our CONGRATULATIONS to Melanie and Matt on successfully completing their courses and wish them all the very best for their futures! Follow the links below to read the diaries:
This publication is available online (www.thenpg.org.uk) and hard copies are distributed to Register Offices around the UK. Everyone seems to agree The National Parent Guide gives parents the top quality information and advice they deserve. The National Parent Guide is suitable for distribution to any maternity unit, or parenting organisation - including those who are Baby-Friendly accredited. As editorial consultant it is my job to make sure that the parenting advice is accurate and up-to-date so parents can feel reassured they are getting the support they deserve at this important time in their lives. 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.
Soft organic cotton muslin for delicate skin Even softer after washing – can also be tumble dried Natural, unbleached colour RRP: £8.95 for 3 or £15.95 for 6 An essential purchase for every parent, beautifully modelled by my new granddaughter Mia! These multipurpose organic cotton muslin squares are brilliant. They can be used when baby is feeding, or burping and when you need to catch milky dribbles - perfect when out and about. They are also wonderful at change time - use them to dry delicate bottoms and to dry baby after their bath. They can also be used as a nappy liner or a nappy for newborn babies. They really are a Must Have for new mums!
A couple of years ago parents desperate to get a hold of Ashton & Parsons Infants’ Teething Powders could purchase them on commercial websites for vastly inflated prices (well beyond its RRP £5.35). Having bought this popular brand, Alliance Pharmaceuticals has invested in new machinery and increased production to satisfy demand from parents across the country. From now on, an additional 591 local independent pharmacies will stock Ashton & Parsons Infants’ Teething Powders (which will also be available from large retail groups and online stockists). This will make it much easier for parents to find this teething remedy in their hour of need. Ashton & Parsons Infants' Powders are a gentle, natural remedy. It can be used for teething pain and associated symptoms, including sore and tender gums, flushed cheeks and dribbling - it is suitable for babies over three months old. Generations of mums and dads have relied on this product made from tincture of Matricia (extracted from German chamomile flowers) when cuddles just aren't enough. Life has changed a lot since Ashton & Parsons Infants’ Teething Powders were developed nearly 150 years ago, but families across the UK still rely on this gentle, natural remedy to help their babies feel better, day and night. For more information go to:
:: TIPS top tip 2 :: Wise up with Water Challenge! ::
Star of CBBC’s Gastronauts and Incredible Edibles Stefan Gates supports Natural Hydration Council (NHC) and Children’s Food Trust campaign to get more children choosing water
Children’s Food Trust Head of Nutrition Dr Patricia Mucavele said: “Sugary drinks can contribute to tooth decay and weight gain and provide little nutritional value. Tooth decay and obesity are ever growing threats to our children’s health and helping them to develop good habits from a young age is essential to their future wellbeing. So we’re working with the Natural Hydration Council to highlight the benefits of drinking water. “We’d like to see water much more available in schools and in public places ensuring children and adults alike having an easily accessible, healthy alternative to buying sugary drinks.” Kinvara Carey, Natural Hydration Council said: “Encouraging healthy hydration habits and general awareness of basic nutrition from a young age is important. We hope through engaging with children in this way, they will be encouraged to consider their food and drink choices, and drink water, whether at school, at home or when they are on the move and continue to do so as teenagers and adults”. Star of CBBC’s Gastronauts and Incredible Edibles Stefan Gates is sharing his top tips to encourage children to have fun with water and make it their first choice for hydration. An NHC survey of 500 children aged 7 to 9 revealed that many of them didn't know why it was so important to drink water. One in 10 of the children surveyed believed that the body can survive without water. Staying well hydrated is even more important for children than for adults. They are at greater risk of dehydration because of their higher surface-to-body weight ratio and smaller reserves of body fluids. Although Water is available in all schools, only half of the children surveyed said they drank water at school. Four in ten have to be reminded to drink water by their parents. More than a third (35.1%) don't drink water when thirsty and more than four in ten (42.4%) don’t drink water when doing sports or exercising. For the Wise up with Water campaign, Stefan Gates has come up with fun ways parents and teachers can teach children about healthy hydration and encourage them to choose water as their drink of choice. Here are Stefan’s top tips: 1. Help your children to decorate their own personalised water bottle. Make them as cheeky as possible so they feel ownership over their own drinking habits. 2. Ask your child to count how many bottles or cups of water your family drink each day. They’ll be surprised at how the numbers rack up and it can turn something mundane into a fun game. 3 Fun ice cubes can make a drink of water into an adventure. Fill an ice tray with slices of strawberries, grapes, blueberries or raspberry before putting it in the freezer. Add to beakers of water when desired. Experiment! 4. Try this experiment: cut up an apple and weigh the slices, then leave them out on a plate uncovered for a week. Each day, weigh the apple slices and record the weight. Ask your children to think about why it loses weight as it dries up and they’ll soon start thinking about the importance of water. 5. Demonstrate how a wilting plant, such as a basil plant, will perk up fairly rapidly once it has water to rehydrate its cells. Help with habit forming 6. We know that children copy their parents’ behaviour, so make sure you get into the habit of drinking water in front of your children. 7. Repeated tastings of water may help kids to develop a taste for it. To make it more fun you could add ice, a slice of lemon or a curly straw. Stefan said, “Water is essential for life, but it’s clear from this research that most kids don't know or care about the right amount they need to be healthy and happy. And let's be honest: telling kids 'you'll be healthier if you drink more water' is doomed to failure, just like all adult finger-wagging. “My job is to take boring, complicated but vital ideas like hydration and make them fascinating and inspiring for everyone age seven to 70. That’s why I’m dead excited about this campaign, and about teaching the nation’s kids some amazing things about the wacky world of water.” Want to take part in the Wise up with Water challenge? This competition is open to schools and to families at home to encourage children to enjoy drinking more water.
:: TIPS top tip 3 :: Vitamin D – what you need to know... ::
Recent research from the Department of Health suggests that in the UK up to 1 in 4 people don't get enough vitamin D in their diet. This can increase the risk of bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain and tenderness in adults. People in at-risk groups should take vitamin D supplements. These groups include ethnic minorities, pensioners, low income families (see here: http://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/for- http://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/for-health-professionals/vitamins/ and https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/ uploads/attachment_data/file/213703/dh_132508.pdf), pregnant and breastfeeding women and children up to the age of five. A study carried out by the NHS in England has shown that Northerners are more than twice as likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency than people living in the south. Innovative natural health company BetterYou teamed up with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust to test people for vitamin D deficiency. More than 150 people were diagnosed with inadequate levels. Of these, more than 100 live north of Birmingham. These findings were published during the third annual National Vitamin D Awareness Week (20 – 26 October 2014) Led by BetterYou, this campaign aimed to ‘banish the buts’ when it comes to protecting Brits from the health impact of vitamin D deficiency. Here are the key messages from National Vitamin D Awareness Week But I give my kids plenty of calcium…
Banish the buts…Vitamin D is essential for absorbing calcium to build strong teeth and bones. It also helps prevent bone diseases like rickets, which are on the rise.
But my kids are too young for supplements… Banish the buts…the Department of Health recommends vitamin D supplementation from 6 months old, due to the lack of essential vitamin D in our diet. But I have a healthy diet… You’d still need to drink 80 glasses of milk a day to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D. Banish the buts…only 10% of our essential vitamin D comes from our diet. But I’m often outdoors… The UK is one of the cloudiest countries in the industrialised world. Banish the buts…cloud cover and low sun dramatically reduce our ability to produce vitamin D. But I wasn’t told I needed vitamin D… 90% of mums have not been advised about the importance of vitamin D.* Banish the buts…the Department of Health identify those pregnant and breastfeeding as ‘at risk’ groups requiring supplementation. For more go to:
:: Top Treat1:: Glow Skincare - Mum & Child Shea Butter Soap Set ::
RRP: £8 - available online www.glow-skincare.com Make bath time fun with this shea butter soap set: a bar for Mum and butterfly for your little angel. Handmade in Devon with shea butter, olive oil, coconut and clay, these environmentally aware, palm-free soaps are part of the Glow Skincare range that includes fresh to order face creams (with or without essential oils). Visit www.glow-skincare.com
:: Top Treat2:: Carddies Special Offer for Christmas stocking fillers…::
We featured UK brand Carddies in our TIPS e-newsletters 25 and 27. We are absolutely delighted to tell you about wonderful Christmas offers for these innovative and much loved colouring-in games!
British-made Carddies are the ideal Christmas gift and stocking filler, guaranteed to bring many hours of colouring fun and imaginative play.... also ideal for distracting little ones during that post-Christmas lunch nap! (see www.carddies.com ) Order your Carddies on Amazonbefore 31 December 2014 to take advantage of their fantastic offer:
save 10% when you buy 1 Carddies set
save 15% when you buy 2 or 3 Carddies sets
save 20% when you buy 4 or more Carddies sets.
At the checkout, remember to enter the XMASOFFR in the “Gift Card and Promotional Codes” box. Remember if you spend a minimum of £10 on Amazon, you qualify for Free Super Saver delivery.
We are delighted to bring you our latest selection of wonderful photos, mostly sent in by our own Parent Testers. Please remember to keep sending us your photos (baby, toddler, scan, bump, dad, grandparent, family, breastfeeder, baby wearer or baby-led-weaning) and if you are lucky to be featured in a forthcoming e-newsletter we will send you a signed copy of Sharon’s book: Breastfeeding the essential guide.
TIPS baby 1 - Mia...
I am thrilled and delighted to introduce you to my first grandchild Mia who arrived on 5 October 2014 weighing in at 7lbs 6.5 ounces. Here are a few pictures of our wee treasure, with more family shots in other categories of our Testers pix...
Mia age 8 days old
Mia age 2 weeks old wearing a cheeky vest!
Mia age 3 weeks – artistic shot by daddy!
TIPS baby 2 - Noah...
Here are Granny Brigitte’s gorgeous grandsons; Baby Noah and big brother Freddie
TIPS baby 3 - Freddie ...
Here is baby Freddie age 3 months old looking adorable
TIPS baby 4 - Dot ...
Baby Dot (love this name!) doing sitting up practice on the beach in the Isle of Wight last summer.
TIPS baby 5 - Luke...
Luke enjoying a nibble of his squishy bath toy!
TIPS toddler 1 - Ewan...
Here is big brother Ewan entertaining his new baby brother Luke at bathtime.
TIPS toddler 2 - Nina...
Nina (sister to baby Dot) on her holidays in the Isle of Wight – buying a boat for Grandpa Skip
TIPS toddler 3 - Meggie...
Meggie enjoying YoSushi a few weeks apart!
Here are a few more pictures of our Mia with mum, dad, friendKelly (and her baby Mia) and the new grandparents. Our teenage sons also enjoy their first cuddle with their new niece..aaawww!
TIPS breastfeeder 1
I love this picture of my daughter enjoying her lunch on a recent shopping trip with me while Mia is busy enjoying her lunch too!
TIPS breastfeeder 2
Here is an adorable picture of baby Oscar breastfeeding with the aid of a nipple shield.
Mummy managed to wean Oscar from the shields at 14 weeks and here is Oscar age 8 months still breastfeeding!
Here is my lovely son-in-law and me wearing baby Mia a few weeks apart!
Here is a delightful video clip of Meggie getting the giggles as she enjoys eating her dinner!
Here is mum-to-be Alex at 36 weeks pregnant enjoying a lovely walk along the canal.
TIPS bump 2 - Laura
Here is Laura’s twin bump at 28 weeks pregnant – note the baby cribs in the background! See pictures below of her lovely identical twin boys Thomas and Ross, born at 36+3 weeks, weighing in at a very respectable 6 lb 8 oz and 6 lb 13 oz. The final picture shows Thomas and Ross age 3 years old.
TIPS bump 3 - Detti
Here is a lovely collection of photos following the progress of Detti’s pregnancy, including the first picture of her new baby Jack and proud daddy Jim...
Sharon Trotter offers one-to-one advice to parents
Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet (version 9) hot off the press!
This leaflet won the first Nursing in Practice Dermatology Award in 2008 and was also shortlisted for two General Practice Awards in 2011. Version 9 is hot off the press and will be distributed around the UK at various professional and parenting events. Health professionals and maternity units can buy hard copies – email
for more information. As well as all the hints and tips you need about baby skincare, skin-to-skin contact and feeding but, this leaflet now includes the latest and safest advice on reducing the risk of cot death. Version 9 includes a handy QR code to use it with your smart phones. Email
if you would like a free copy.
New desktop radio player available! Launched on DAB digital radio in April 2010 - Broadcasting across Cheshire, Staffordshire and North East Wales. Sharon's interviews about breast feeding, tongue-tie, baby skincare, cup feeding, baby baths, cuddle towels, decongestants and much more are broadcast regularly. You can also download them here....
If you would like to listen to My Baby Radio directly from your desktop, and without visiting the website, you can download the new desktop radio player (you will need to have the latest version of Windows Media Player installed on your PC or laptop). Go to the My Baby Radio website to get the player.
Like us on Facebook
If you are on Facebook and want to take the opportunity to enter all 8 TIPS competitions in 1 go all you have to do is:
'Like' us on Facebook
and say you wish to enter the e-newsletter competitions - remember to include your name and address in the message so we know where to send your prize(s)
Check out the list of winners in our next e-newsletter – it could be you!
mini- competition 1
For a chance to a copy of 'Lives with Autism' email the words ‘Lives with Autism’ to
by 24 February 2015. We will announce the winners in e-newsletter 36
mini- competition 2
For a chance to win a free download of Happy Hair email the words ‘Happy Hair’ to
by 24 February 2015. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 36
mini- competition 3
For a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of Parenting from the Inside Out email the words ‘Parenting from the inside out’ to
by 24 February 2015. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 36
mini- competition 4
For a chance to win an Elle TENS machine (worth £71.50) email the words ‘Elle TENS’ to
by 24 February 2015. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 36
mini- competition 5
For a chance to win a Mum & Child Shea Butter Soap Set worth £8, email the words ‘Glow Skincare’ to
by 24 February 2015. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 36
mini- competition 6
For a chance to win 1 of 3 Carddies family sets (Carddies Family One, Carddies Family Two and Carddies Cavemen) email the word ‘Carddies’ to
by 24 February 2015 (remembering to say which Carddies you would prefer). We will announce the winners in e-newsletter 36
mini- competition 7
For a chance to win 5 Amy’s Kitchen coupons (one free product per coupon) a mug and 2 tins of soup, email the words ‘Amy’s Kitchen’ to
by 24 February 2015. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 36
For a chance to win a very special Cath Kidston baby bundle including a newborn hat, bib, teddy and mini suitcase (worth £30) email the words ‘Ashton & Parsons’ to
by 24 February 2015. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 36.
The 2 lucky winners of The Baby’s Comingare Cheryl from East Sussex and Alison from Lanarkshire
The lucky winner of Goodnight Pirate is Catherine from Lancashire
The lucky winners of the CD Overcome Birth Trauma areSarah from South Yorkshire, Eileen from Staffordshire, Faye from Devon, Pauline from the West Midlands, Mairi from Staffordshire, Kayleigh from Suffolk, Karen from Berkshire, Kate from Denbigh and Maggie from Stornoway
The 4 lucky winners of the Diary Dolls pants are Sarah from West Sussex, Natalija from Lancashire, Tara from Co Durham and Marianne from Lancashire
The lucky winner of the Spiderman Freezeez is Jennifer from Cumbria
The lucky winner of the Sew Jems doll knitted sleepsuit is Munira from London
The lucky winner of the Pregnancy Suncare by Green People is Anne-Marie from Stornoway
The lucky winners of Organic Children's Suncare by Green People isKelda from Ayrshire
The lucky winner of theFabulous TIPS® 10th Birthday Hamper is Diane from Ayrshire
The lucky winner of theSterilising Kit is Donna from Berkshire