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e-newsletter 12 - February 2009 Print E-mail
TIPS e-newsletter 12

:::::February 2009::::

:::::    Issue ::::

newsletter_22_r4_c1 In this issue...
newsletter_22_r5_c1 newsletter_22_r5_c2

Welcome to our first e-newsletter of 2009!
...... Happy New Year to you all!

Where does the time go? It seems like yesterday I was writing the Xmas e-newsletter and here we are in February.

As always a theme has emerged and this issue features all things baby-led. Our book and DVD reviews explore the latest baby-led weaning advice. Read on to find out what the term means and what is involved. We have tried to dispel the myths and explain the long term benefits for you and your babies when you really embrace this (sometimes messy!) approach to weaning. I have to admit to missing this ‘magic window’ with my own children but now that I have read about it, I know that baby-led weaning makes perfect sense. Please come back to me with your weaning stories and - even better - your messy pictures and maybe we could feature them in a future TIPS e-newsletter.

Our featured bump and video clip follows the story of a TIPS Tester who experienced a wonderfully mother and baby-led natural water birth on her narrow boat! I know you will enjoy this exclusive glimpse of Josh’s birth and would like to thank Soshanna and her family for inviting us to share this very special time.

Please check out the TIPS website for information and advice on breastfeeding, baby skincarecup feeding, decongestantscord blood banking and of course the pages and pages of reviews for our latest TIPS award winning products. Read on for the reviews on featured productswebsiteseventbook reviewsarticlespodcasts and extra special DVD - not forgetting the new My Story.

See who won the e-competitions (drawn mid-month) and e-newsletter 11 main competition for our exclusive TIPS Hamper and of course our mini-competitions. Read on for details of some wonderful new prizes on offer, including the six mini-competitions! Good luck...

New items in this issue: forum review and TIPS Breastfeeder picture. Please email us your breastfeeding picture. If this is featured in a TIPS e-newsletter, I will send you a signed copy of my book Breastfeeding: the essential guide

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


sharon banner


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

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

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

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


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tipsducktipsduckFeatured products ::Rhinodoron nasal spray..tipsducktipsduck

Retrospective trial October to December 2008


We have just published the results for the trial of Rhinodoron - Weleda’s completely natural decongestant. This product is ideal for young babies and pregnant mums. The feedback was so positive we decided to award Rhinodoron TIPS Editor’s choiceRead the reviews for all the decongestants here.
Rhinodoron Weleda Logo blue 90px

There are five other trials out to Testers at the moment. Keep checking the TIPS website for results.



For a chance to win one of two Rhinodoron nasal spraycheck out mini-competition 1

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured website :: www.lanowool.comtipsducktipsduck

Lanowool (

AW_best-innovative_breast-pad lanowoool lanowoolPads AW_testers-favourite_breast-pad

Lanowool breastfeeding pads are manufactured in New Zealand. They are the brainchild of Lene Alexandersen, Danish mother of two children and her New Zealand husband.

The idea to develop Lanowool breastfeeding pads resulted from Lene’s search for a washable, eco-friendly breastfeeding pad that would not chaff or adhere to sore breasts when she was a new mum. Lene understood the benefits of using soft New Zealand merino wool. She worked with AgResearch to develop a woollen breastfeeding pad processed with biodegradable detergents and treated with an emulsifier of purified medical grade lanolin (wool fat) – this product is used as nipple cream in most countries. The medical grade lanolin is without any risk of allergy to mother and baby.
In the TIPS trial of breast pads and breast treatments Parent Testers universally praised the Lanowool washable pads which were awarded Best Innovative. Lanowool pads were equal first with Lilypadz and also secured a Testers’ favourite award. Lanowool pads were featured in the Royal College of Midwifery Journal back in 2003 and they have continued to go from strength to strength. This simple design is now available in two sizes: regular (12cms) and large (15cms). They cost £10 a pair. These pads are 100% natural, non-stick and breathable. Additionally, they keep the breasts at a constant temperature. This aids circulation and milk flow and is especially useful for women with sensitive nipples, for example when they suffer from Raynaud’s syndrome. 
Testers found these pads to be supremely comfortable, soft, slim line and above all dry. Even the relatively high price did not put them off. One Tester went so far as to say: “Lanowool pads have changed my views forever… I will never use disposables again”. A surprising and fresh concept in reusable breast pads that really works. 

The new product in the Lanowool range: Certified Organic Lanowool pads (also Merino wool) should be available shortly. For more details about this excellent company visit their website.


For a chance to win one of nine pairs of Lanowool washable breast pads (worth £10 each) check out mini-competition 3

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured website

London Mums (


London Mums is the only free and independent peer support group for mums based in London. London Mums currently has over 2000 members who support each other through the joys and challenges of raising their children. Members can share their views and tips online, but London Mums believes strongly in face-to-face interaction and organise weekly activities for mums (and dads) and children - trips to view exhibitions at the National Gallery, movies at the local cinema, nature walks, etc. The service is run by mums for mums and children, and membership is free. For more information on activities, events and mums’ tips, visit their website for more information (over 10,000 page impressions per month). [back to top]

London Mums have joined forces with Baby Sense to give you the opportunity to win copies of the Womb to world CD. 
Baby Sense provides quality calming baby care products and services for parents of babies. These are chosen following the sensory principles outlined in the Baby Sense and Sleep Sense books (reviewed in e-newsletter 3 and e-newsletter 7). For more information visit Baby Sense website here.


For a chance to win a copy of the Womb to World CD check out mini-competition 4

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured book :: Baby-led Weaningtipsducktipsduck

Baby-led Weaning 
by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett

Published by Vermillion (6 Nov 2008)
RRP: £10.99 
ISBN: 0091923808
For more information go to


Like all new mums I know, I only ever want the best for my now nine month old son Finlay. Having read countless books and articles on everything from baby wipes to socialising with your little one, I thought I’d pretty much covered it all!! I have to admit however that baby-led weaning had slipped under the radar and I definitely fell into the trap of spoon feeding my son baby-rice, porridge and pureed everything à la Annabelle Karmel!

Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett’s book ‘Baby-led Weaning’ is different. It offers a common sense and practical approach to starting your baby off on the journey to solid foods without the time-consuming pureeing and spoon feeding!! When I started to read this book, I have to admit I was sceptical about allowing Finn free reign to make a mess with all foods, from roasted veggies to homemade pasta and strawberries (especially with my oatmeal carpets!). The book however not only champions self-feeding as the healthiest way for a child to develop, but also gives practical tips (for example using splash mats!!) and includes real life experiences from mums who have used this approach. 

The authors suggest that babies should be allowed to try a wide variety of foods and decide for themselves when they are full. This makes for a happier baby and reduces parents’ stress levels. Crucially, letting babies explore the many shapes, textures and flavours will help them develop a healthier relationship with food. This should promote a much more positive attitude to food and nutrition throughout childhood and beyond. 

The book also explains in simple terms what happens when we eat, and that babies will simply spit out any food they can’t deal with - using a natural gag reflex! Letting babies feel food and assess how easily it can be chewed and moved around with the tongue before putting it into their mouth provides an additional safety net. The authors also outline that babies cannot pick up food that may cause them to choke (for example raisins) before they are able to hold things between their thumb and index finger. This ability is called ‘pincer grip’ and is usually developed around nine months. 

The main message from this book is that meal times should be fun for parents and babies: “Sharing mealtimes has a positive impact on family relationships, social skills and language development and healthy eating”. We’ve certainly changed our views and behaviour when it comes to feeding Finn. We enjoy sitting down together to share meals now, especially in the evenings. The only thing I would say is Finn will still happily take food from a spoon, which can be quite a bonus especially when eating out!!
Review by Claire (TIPS Parent Tester)

eNews12_weaning_1 eNews12_weaning_2 eNews12_weaning_3

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tipsduck ** nEwtipsducktipsduckNew Featured forum and MidwiferyWorld.nettipsduck ** nEwtipsducktipsduck

StudentMidwife.NET and MidwiferyWorld.NET

MidwifeNetLogo MidwiferyWorldLogo

The brainchild of husband and wife Rob and Josie, this excellent resource for student midwives has a sister website for qualified midwives. Family commitments forced Josie to take a year out from her studies as a student midwife. All too aware of the pressures faced by her colleagues Josie started to develop the site. StudentMidwife.NET was launched a year ago to address these difficulties and provide a supportive network where members can speak freely about any worries they may have. It must be emphasised that this is a well controlled website with a rigorous and fully enforced set of rules in place to protect not only users but the general public (for obvious reasons). 
Divided into five main areas - Forums, Blogs, Social groups, Albums and Shop - StudentMidwife.NET prides itself on its strong education base. It features comprehensive study materials that will doubtless help student midwives throughout their studies. Qualified midwives can become members of the sister website MidwiferyWorld.NET.
If you are a student, applying to become a student or are thinking about a career in midwifery then this is the resource you have been looking for - but don’t take my word for it check it out for yourself. Register for free to access educational resources and participate in discussions and debates. StudentMidwife.NET is officially the world’s busiest community for Student Midwives Online!!

For more information email Rob or Josie


For a chance to win a StudentMidwife.NET bag check out mini-competition 2

tipsducktipsduckFeatured event :: Nursing in Practisetipsducktipsduck

Glasgow SECC, 17 March 2009



Following my exciting win at the inaugural awards ceremony in Birmingham last November I am delighted to be joining the NIP team to present my work on neonatal skincare at this event. The full programme for this event is available here.
NIP events are designed specifically to meet the educational needs of practice nurses and other primary care specialists. Each conference includes an impressive collection of speakers who deliver highly topical and relevant presentations. These events take place in seven cities across the UK, offering freeprofessional development to all primary care nurses.
Key charities, product suppliers, educational institutes, services for primary care and recruitment specialists have exhibition stands at these events. For more information visit the Nursing in Practice website

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tipsduck ** nEwtipsducktipsduck New Featured video :: Soshanna's Water Birthtipsduck ** nEwtipsducktipsduck


eNews12_delivery1 eNews12_delivery2

These pictures were taken within minutes of the delivery!

You can watch Soshanna’s peaceful natural water birth here - you might need to concentrate or you could miss it, as it is so quick and beautifully controlled.

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tipsducktipsduck New My Story :: Debbietipsducktipsduck


When we launched My Story in December we did not realise it would prove so popular. We already have stories for the next three issues of the TIPS newsletter and we are delighted to introduce you to this issue’s featured story by Debbie. Read Debbie's My Story here.

If you have a story that you would like to share, find out how to do this here. The best story will be published in the TIPS e-newsletter and the author will receive a small prize as a thank you for sharing it. So get writing - we look forward to reading your entries.

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured article :: Expressing and storing breatmilktipsducktipsduck



I am often asked for advice about expressing, collecting and storing breast milk and I am delighted to recommend an excellent leaflet: ‘Expressing and storing breastmilk’. This resource was developed by my friends at theBreastfeeding Network, a Scottish charity which aims to be an independent source of support. This leaflet, and many other resources, can be downloaded from their website at
The Breastfeeding Network works with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers to run the National Breastfeeding Helpline.

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured DVD :: Starting Solidstipsducktipsduck

Starting Solids (includes booklet Starting solid food) 
Distributed by La Leche League Great Britain
Available from
RRP: £18.99

eNews12_DVDbooklet eNews12_DVD
A must for any parent with a child who is approaching the weaning stage, this DVD is straight forward and easy to watch. 

It starts off with a history of weaning. This is very interesting given that in 1907 the recommendation was to wean babies at nine months old, having allowed them to breastfeed every two to four hours up until that point! This is so different from what usually happens nowadays when most mums I know start weaning between 16 and 20 weeks. It just goes to show that if babies survived fine until nine months all those years ago then there really is no need to wean before six months (as advised by current guidelines). 

The DVD then explains how you will be able to tell when your baby is ready to start the transition from breastmilk to solids. It includes a short section on choking. I found this information really reassuring as I was anxious about choking with my first child - this is probably part of the reason why I continued to puree his food until he was nearly 12 months old! I am still worried about choking with my second child, but the DVD shows babies gagging on solid food just like my daughter does. This has helped alleviate my concern and made me realise this is perfectly normal and just part of the learning process. 

The DVD gives a few suggestions on what foods to begin with, but the leaflet that comes with it covers this in much more detail. It also gives ideas on how to serve the food which I found extremely useful. When I first started giving my daughter solid food, I could only think of a handful of 'finger foods'. However, having watched the DVD and read the leaflet I've realised the list is endless. Our meal times are now a lot less stressful (no more trying to coax her to open her mouth!). We tend to give her food from our plates and she joins in mealtimes with us which are a lot more enjoyable for everyone! Nicola's daughter shows off her new technique here... 

By Nicola (TIPS Parent Tester)

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured podcast :: My baby radiotipsducktipsduck


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

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


Is your Daddy a model in the making?

Our friends at Halos n Horns have a special request for TIPS Testers' Little Ones. They are looking for the cutest pictures of you with your Daddy. This could be a photo taken in the bath or shower - please remember to protect your modesty! Tell your Daddy that these photos may be featured on the Halos n Horns website (with his permission). We have six Halos n Horns 250ml Baby Baths to give away for the best pictures. 
Please ask your Daddy to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Check out mini-competition 6

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tipsduck :: TIPS::Competition winnerstipsduck


15 November – 14 December 2008
Q :What is the name of the nursing poncho that has just been added to the results just in page?
A: Mamaflage
WinnerTracy S from England

15 Decmber2008 – 14 January 2009
Q: How many ducks can you see on the cover of Sharon's book Breastfeeding: the essential guide?
A: We accepted 26 or 27
Winner:Paula G from England

e-newsletter 11 main competition

The lucky winner of the TIPS Best of the best Hamper is Katrina B from England

e-newsletter 11 mini competitions:

  • The two lucky winners of a Shampoo Rinse Cup from Trendykid are:Jennifer G from England and Pauline H from England
  • The two lucky winners of a Mamaflage nursing poncho are: Carroll M from England and Debbie M from Scotland
  • The lucky winner of the box of Jackson Reece Baby Wipes is: Elaine M from Scotand
  • The lucky winner of the Weleda award winning baby products is: Lesley Pfrom England
  • The five lucky winners of the book Ross’s Story are: Andrea U from England,Julie M from Scotland, Kat P from England, Rosaria M from Scotland, Emma P from England
  • Ten copies of Best beginnings DVD go to: Gillian M from Scotland, Fahrana Afrom England, Jacqueline B from Scotland, Jane B from Scotland, Louise M from Scoltand, Marica H from England, Emma P from England, Sarah Y from England,Sarah B from England and Lesley P from England

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sharon banner

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

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

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Read TIPS reviews...

- article

- book


- events

- forum

- my story

- products

- podcast

- video

- websites

- Late News

regular features....

- advice line

- TIPS Testers' pix!

new competitions

- Babycare - back to basics

- TIPS top tips

TIPS baby


Here is a bright and cheerful Michael to brighten your day. A perfect antidote to blow away any winter time blues.
TIPS toddler


Modelling our exclusive TIPS Tester towel Janek is obviously a natural in front of the camera!
TIPS family


Fabulous by name and fabulous by nature – a wonderful shot of Fabulous (yes this really is Dad’s name!) and his lovely family!
TIPS bump


As promised we are delighted to feature Soshanna showing soon-to-be big sister Mia cuddling into her mummy’s bump just before the birth (see featured video clip below) of baby brother Josh. The second picture shows the new siblings enjoying their first cuddle – aaahhh!


TIPS breastfeeder


We have featured Soshanna’s lovely bump and the podcast of her natural water birth so it seemed perfect to complete the set with our very first breastfeeding picture which shows how easy it is to breastfeed discreetly when out and about. Here is Soshanna breastfeeding baby Josh on a London Clipper boat with a great view of the Thames!
If you would like your baby or todder to feature in the next issue of the TIPS e-newsletter, just email me their picture.


The TIPS Forum continues to grow so do come and join in the chat - register here.

Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet (version 7) – out now!


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

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

TIPS top tips!

For excellent advice about pelvic floor exercises from the world’s expert on core muscle fitness join the Corewellness community at (we will be reviewing their free DVD the next e-newsletter)

TIPS competitions
Natracare -competition


Natracare have donated a wonderful prize for the first 2009 TIPS e-newsletter: abumper selection of Natracare products worth £50!
For 20 years Natracare has gained ecological and ethical awards for their efforts to lessen the environmental impact of sanitary products by producing plastic-free and chlorine-free feminine hygiene and maternity products. The tampons, pads, liners and wipes are made from natural, renewable materials, such as certified organic cotton and FSC cellulose pulp. Natracare products are recommended by gynaecologists as they have been shown to alleviate the symptoms of intimate irritation often caused, or exacerbated, by chemicals and synthetics present in many conventional products. The range also includes products for new mums (breast pads and maternity pads) and the TIPS award winning organic cotton baby wipes. 
For a chance to win this exciting selection of Natracare products answer the following question: Are Natracare products: plastic-free, totally chlorine free, made of organic cotton? (list all that apply!)
To enter, email your answers to Brigitte here. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 13.


Weleda mini-competition 1

For a chance to win one of two Rhinodoron decongestant nasal sprays email the word 'Weleda' to Brigitte here
We will announce the winner in the TIPS e-newsletter 13.

Rhinodoron Weleda Logo blue 90px mini-competition 2

For a chance to win one of two Rhinodoron decongestant nasal sprays email the word 'Weleda' to Brigitte here
We will announce the winner in the TIPS e-newsletter 13.


Lanowool mini-competition 3

For a chance to win one of nine pairs of Lanowool washable breast pads (worth £10) email the word 'Lanowool' to Brigitte here. We will announce the winners in the TIPS e-newsletter 13.

lanowoool lanowoolPads

Womb to World mini-competition 4

For a chance to win a copy of the Baby sense Womb to World CD email the word 'CD' to Brigitte here. We will announce the winners in the TIPS e-newsletter 13.



Baby-led Weaning mini-competition 5

For a chance to win a copy of Baby-led Weaning email the word 'book' to Brigitte here. We will announce the winners in the TIPS e-newsletter 13.


Halos n Horns mini-competition 6

For a chance to win one of six Halos n Horns 250ml Baby Baths, Daddies should email Brigitte a photo -maybe taken in the bath or shower - and a short description here. This photo may be featured on the Halos n Horns website. We will announce the winners in the TIPS e-newsletter 13.


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