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Springtime at TIPS HQ...
It's official, we have just experienced the wettest winter since records began! Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by the recent extremes of wind and rain. Here’s hoping we can provide you with some light relief and give you with some clever hints and tips on how you can look forward to a brighter and dryer spring 2014.
Since our last newsletter in December we are delighted to announce we've reviewed the yummy Organic Children Berry Smoothie Shampoo and given it a Best Organic TIPS Award! As we speak, another 7 trials (skincare products and belly balms) are out to Parent Testers, so watch this space for announcements of new TIPS Awards in the coming weeks.
Our featured website is www.which.co.uk/birth-choice. BirthChoiceUK and consumer organisation Which? have teamed up to develop a website with information about your local maternity services. This great resource will provide parents with all the information they need to make an informed choice over where to birth their baby (labour ward, birth centres or at home).
We have reviewed 2 books: an innovative cookbook: The Contented Calf – Nourishing recipes for breastfeeding mums; and a brand new eco-thriller, written by ex-banker, turned author Jake Rider. His first novel, The Silvanus Supremacy: Reluctant HERO Book 1 is a real page-turner that is likely to become the next ‘must-have’ teenage action hero. Brigitte, our guest reviewer, is certainly looking forward to reading book 2!
As much of my time is dedicated to giving one-to-one advice to new parents, I am thrilled to announce there are now two new ways you can access my advice: Live Guru webchats and Ask a Midwife service in association with Biovaultfamily. Both are free to use so if you have a question for me then I am just a click away!
We are featuring 2 very different DVDs: Face of Birth (An Australian documentary about pregnancy, childbirth and the power of choice); and Sarah & Duck (CBeebies animation). We also feature a groundbreaking documentary MicroBirth, which can only be produced with your support ...find out how you can get involved here.
In our Top Tips features, we share hygiene tips from our friends at Milton, review the latest all natural Mulberry Silk Duvets and bring you news of a new pilot parenting programme from the US. Parents as Partners has been shown to help separated parents become better at parenting together; increase fathers' direct involvement with their children, and help children to feel happier and do better at school. Additionally, the relationship between parents has been shown to improve. While on the subject of dads we review the fascinating documentary The Biology of Dads. This documentary goes a long way to explaining what many of us already believe. It's not just that children like to have their dad around but all areas of their development are positively enhanced by the unique, although often subtle, behaviours that only a dad can provide.
Check out our delightful Testers' photos including adorable pictures of our featured baby, bump, family, baby wearer and baby-led-weaning shots and a trip to Twycross Zoo (a TIPS competition winner: http://bit.ly/1mr4c68 ). 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 recommended blog (Mama Twinkle – also the author of our latest My Story), event (Sport Relief 2014), Top Value (our TIPS 100% natural latex duckie!) and Top Treat (Weleda Nursing Oil) - not forgetting a luxurious new Yummy Mummy Cream from Glow Skincare, which you can win! Last but not least we bring you part five of our regular feature Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under.
We have a wonderful selection of goodies in our newsletter competitions (worth £250) so get your entries in to Brigitte and you too could be a winner.
Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!
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:: NeW :: NeW :: NeW ::NeW :: Advice for parents from Live Guru and Biovaultfamily www.live-guru.com
Live chat is presently available online at selected websites on weekdays during office hours.
Looking for expert advice about parenting? Then why not try this new free online service
LiveGuru is a web chat service that lets you connect with experts. It's now regularly available in the pregnancy and parenting sections of the following websites:
In April 2013 I agreed to take part in a pilot project run by LiveGuru. Like experts who joined the LiveGuru network, I would provide information and advice to parents about pregnancy and parenting, including my specialist subjects: breastfeeding and baby skincare. I would log on at pre-arranged times and reply to questions submitted by web users via the LiveGuru web chat service.
Before LiveGuru people could contact me for advice via the Greatvine website, but they had to pay for the service. I had shared my misgivings about this, as in my view people will rarely pay for online advice, even if they can afford to. Experts have to be adequately remunerated for the services they provide but the costs should be met by sponsors who want to make sure their customers receive quality assured information. This is how LiveGuru is set up and I was delighted to have the opportunity to be involved in the first trials of this exciting new service. The pilot was really well received and this exciting new service is now regularly available on weekdays, with new sponsors due to join in the future.
So next time you have a question about parenting and you want to speak to an expert just visit www.netdoctor.co.uk, www.patient.co.uk or www.sofeminine.co.uk, click on the live chat panel when it pops up, and ask away!
Sharon Trotter offers one-to-one advice to parents
As a passionate supporter of all things natural, including delayed cord clamping and physiological third stage of labour, you may wonder why I feature news items on cord blood banking and why I provide midwifery advice on a cord blood banking website. I have studied cord blood banking in great detail and my paper on this complex subject was published in 2008. You can read it here: http://www.sharontrotter.org.uk/midirs2008.htm. My aim was to demystify this topic, not just for myself, but for new parents looking to harvest their baby’s stem cells and healthcare professionals who want to know more.
New developments regarding the potential uses of stem cells in medical research are announced regularly. There is no doubt that this unique biological resource will continue to surprise us with exciting ways to treat a wide variety of diseases using new technologies.
Examples of recent news stories include:
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Featured products ::
Green Peoples’ Organic Children Berry Smoothie Shampoos and Weleda Nursing Oil
Green Peoples’ Organic Children Berry Smoothie Shampoo
Now available from Ocado (www.ocado.com)
Many congratulations to our latest TIPS Award winner on their well deserved win... We are delighted to announce our latest TIPS Award for Green Peoples’ Organic Children Berry Smoothie Shampoo. We wouldn't normally give two products in the same category a Best Organic TIPS award, but the Organic Children Berry Smoothie shampoo scored so well that we have decided to do just that. You can read the full review here...
For a chanceto win 1 of 2 bottles of Organic Children Berry Smoothie Shampoo mini-competition 5
Weleda Nursing Oil
RRP: £7.95 for 50mls
Weleda Nursing Oil was awarded a TIPS Must-have when our Testers reviewed it as a breast treatment in April 2012. You can read our full review in the TIPS Award section of our website
More recently this versatile and luxurious oil was featured in RED Magazine’s top 20 list of The Best Pregnancy & Baby Products featured on their website. Go to: www.redonline.co.uk/beauty/product-reviews/pregnancy-baby-product-reviews
We are delighted to be able to offer 10 lucky readers the chance to win a bottle of this gentle formula of organic almond oil, essential oils of fennel, caraway and marjoram. The oil can be used from the 38th week of pregnancy. Our Parent Testers agreed that using this oil for regular breast massages while breastfeeding had a positive effect on milk supply and helped to reduce the chances of engorgement and blocked ducts.
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For a chance to win1 of 10 bottles of TIPS Award winning Weleda Nursing Oil check out mini-competition 6
:: Featured website
BirthChoiceUK and consumer organisation Which? have teamed up to develop a website with information about your local maternity services.
Why did Which? and BirthChoiceUK develop this website jointly?
Which? brings a trusted independent voice, digital expertise and a detailed knowledge of consumers. BirthChoiceUK (Miranda Dodwell and Rod Gibson) bring acknowledged expertise in maternity data; twelve years’ experience running a website helping women choose where to have a baby; and their work as national maternity service user representatives and researchers on a number of maternity projects and committees. A perfect combination!
The website includes the following sections:
- Understand your choices - information about giving birth in the different types of birth environment (labour ward, birth centres and at home)
- Find and compare - an interactive tool to help women find the best place for them to give birth, based on their location, preferences and circumstances. This incorporates evidence from the Birthplace in England study.
As well as:
- Details of every maternity unit in the UK and the opportunity to compare facilities and policies at different units.
- Maternity statistics for the units. For hospitals in England, these are personalised according to parity, and whether women have factors which might put them at increased risk of complications. They also include VBAC rates.
Professionals can visit the BirthChoiceUK website for more detailed information on maternity and birth statistics, and information on national trends, please go to www.birthchoiceuk.com/Professionals.
or follow them on Facebook or on Twitter @BirthChoiceUK
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:: book review 1 :: :: The Contented Calf – Nourishing recipes for breastfeeding mums
by Elena Cimelli and Jassy Davis
Published by Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd - ISBN: 9781908105523 - RRP: £14.99
Introduction by Sharon:As a passionate supporter of all things breastfeeding, I was intrigued to find out more about this innovative cookbook. Aimed at breastfeeding mothers this book is not only a fantastic idea but it is beautifully presented, and the recipes are ideal for everyone - whether or not they are breastfeeding!
More about The Contented Calf...
It’s now easier than ever to cook-up an array of deliciously nutritious dishes for breastfeeding mothers! The multi-award-winning Contented Calf Cookbook has just been launched as an ebook or you could get the brand new Sneak Peek Recipe Booklet with seven tasty recipes to try out. First published in 2011, The Contented Calf Cookbook by Elena Cimelli & Jassy Davis provides a range of nourishing and convenient recipes developed for breastfeeding mothers. Each recipe uses ingredients known to help promote milk production (these ingredients are sometimes called lactogenic). Many of the meals can also be easily prepared in advance and stored in the freezer – ideal for time-poor parents!
Breastfeeding can be demanding on energy levels: on average a mother will burn between 300 and 500 calories a day to produce milk. Eating sufficient calories and getting an abundant supply of nutrients is really important. With their lactogenic ingredients The Contented Calf Cookbook recipes will help promote lactation while providing nutritional balance for both mother and baby.
From February 2014 Earth Mama Angel Baby® Milkmaid Tea will be sold on the Contented Calf website. This tea is blended with 100% organic traditional herbs known to increase lactation (sometimes called galactagogues) and minerals traditionally used to help support healthy breast milk production.
Lactogenic foods and galactagoguesherbs stimulate lactation by helping to increase the levels of prolactin in the bloodstream. Lactogenic foods contain agents that interact with and support the chemistry of lactation. Lactogenic agents include tryptophan, natural plant sedatives, polysaccharides, fatty acids, saponins and plant sterols, among others.
Visit The Contented Calf website (www.contentedcalf.com) for more information or to buy:
- Sneak Peek Recipe Booklet - £2.99 RRP
- The Contented Calf Cookbook (paperback) - £14.99 RRP
- The Contented Calf Cookbook ebook - £7.99 RRP
- Earth Mama Angel Baby®* Milkmaid Tea (x16 teabags) - £ 4.95 RRP per box
You can also find The Contented Calf on Facebook www.facebook.com/contentedcalf and on Twitter @contentedcalf
For a chance to win a copy of 'The Contented Calf' check out mini-competition 1
:: book review 2 :: :: The Silvanus Supremacy: Reluctant HERO 1
by Jake Rider
ISBN: 978-1493730919 - RRP: £14.99 RRP: £7.99 (paperback), £0.77 (Kindle) - Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Review by Brigitte:
The story opens at breathtaking pace with the main character saving a toddler from certain death as she wanders across a busy road. And the first twist follows within a few lines when we find out that our super hero (Ryan) is only 14 years old.
The Silvanus Supremacy is an action-packed book, and an absolute page turner. Ryan stands up to all manner of bullies, protecting the weak. But who looks after Ryan? Our hero is a lonely angry boy, desperate to be loved.
The story takes Ryan from Devon all the way to the Borneo rainforest where he and his new friends are pursued by extremely nasty corporate bullies. Death seems to follow Ryan wherever he goes.
But this book is not just about adrenaline-fuelled adventures and exciting twists (although they are plentiful!). The plot also revolves around conservation. As well as delighting readers with stunning descriptions of exotic plants, the author lovingly depicts animals' sometimes tragic stories. There is humour too, as in Ryan's hilarious description of flying geese. He notices that only the leading goose is silent, and says 'I imagined what the other back-seat-drivers were saying: We should go left, honk. No right, honk. Slow down, honk. I'm bored with flying, honk.'
As fast and action-packed as a comic strip, with a super hero on a quest to find himself, this book comes with a cliff-hanger ending. We haven't heard the last of Ryan... and many a reader will be desperate to find out when his next adventures take him!
For a chance to win a copy of 'The Silvanus Supremacy' check out mini-competition 2
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Featured charity & event :: 2014 Sport Relief 21-23 March
Every other year, Sport Relief is the weekend when people across the UK can get active, have fun and raise cash to help people living incredibly tough lives in the UK and around the world.
Sport Relief brings family, friends and communities together to have fun and raise life-changing cash. This year, they’re holding the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, and with over 1,000 running, swimming and cycling events, across the UK, it couldn’t be easier to join in.
It all culminates in a weekend of fun and a fantastic night of TV on the BBC.
For more about Sport Relief 2014:
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:: NeW :: NeW :: NeW ::NeW :: Featured documentary: The Biology of Dads
Pioneer Productions for BBC FOUR (2010)
Running time: 58 minutes
Presenter Laverne Antrobus reveals how the role of the dad in bringing up their kids is far more important than previously thought...
Review by Sharon Trotter:
I first watched this documentary during the BBC Fatherhood Season in the summer of 2011. More recently, it was recommended to me by a member of the excellent Families Need Fathers website (www.fnf.org.uk) so I decided to watch it again.
In recent years there has been a welcome increase in the number of websites and organisations covering all aspects of fatherhood. Although this is a positive development, it is disappointing (and a sad reflection of our culture) that when it comes to parenting topics dads are still under-represented.
This documentary goes a long way to explaining what many of us already believe. It's not just that children like to have their dad around but all areas of their development are positively enhanced by the unique, although often subtle, behaviours that only a dad can provide.
From before a baby is born to the teenage years, when puberty hormones kick in, the importance of a dad's influence (not necessarily the biological dad) cannot be underestimated.
In this documentary child psychologist Laverne Antrobus takes us on a captivating journey, uncovering fascinating new research which is shedding light onto the science of fatherhood.
Laverne meets a new dad who is experiencing Couvade Syndrome, a condition sometimes known as 'sympathetic pregnancy'. She is keen to explore if the symptoms - which are similar to those felt by pregnant women, such as nausea and sickness - might be physiological as well as psychological. The dad takes a blood test shortly after the birth of his third child and Antrobus discovers that hormones could be the cause of his symptoms: possibly nature's way of 'priming' him to become a more nurturing dad.
Laverne then meets one of the UK's leading experts in the father's role within the family. While observing father and toddler play in his lab, she finds out how the rough-and-tumble play they witness is classic 'dad behaviour'. It is believed that this type of fatherly play is essential in teaching toddlers the boundaries of aggression and discipline.
In the final investigation, Antrobus looks into recent research which claims that men who have a good relationship with their daughters can influence the kind of husband the daughters choose. The study also found that girls whose dads were absent during their formative years tend to reach puberty sooner and age quicker.
This excellent documentary is not available on iPlayer but you can watch it online and I would highly recommend every dad (including dads-to-be) watches this with his partner. It will help them both understand how important it is to share every possible moment of the wonderful journey that is parenthood.
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:: Featured DVD 1 The Face of Birth
An Australian documentary about pregnancy, childbirth and the power of choice
Co-directors and Producers: Gavin Banks & Kate Gorman; DVD $29.95AUD (approx £15) Running time: 87 minutes
International launch held on International Women's Day, 8 March 2013
Official teaser clip on YouTube
Review by Sharon Trotter:
I have watched countless films on birth, with a few being worthy of a special mention: Freedom for Birth, Doula! The Ultimate Birth Companion, and Orgasmic Birth – the best kept secret.
The Face of Birth is a compelling and thought provoking documentary. It focuses on the importance of education in birthing and the right of a woman to choose the best birth method for her and her baby. The film highlights the importance of how, where and with whom women give birth to children. It tells the stories of women who choose to birth at home, in hospital VBAC and in birthing centres. It gives experts in the art of natural birth, including midwives, doctors and health professionals a chance to voice their concerns regarding and a medical system that frequently work against them and the mothers they seek to care for. Filmed over three years and around the world, the documentary includes interviews with leading birth experts Sheila Kitzinger and Michel Odent, plus supporters of homebirth like Australian actress Noni Hazelhurst.
I especially enjoyed the personal stories shared so eloquently. They bring to life shocking statistics that caesarean section rates are between 25 and 93% in some parts of the world. This shows how far from natural birth the developed world finds itself. My instincts tell me this is wrong and this documentary reaffirms my own beliefs that ‘less is always more’, not just for labour and birth but also for the postnatal period. Sadly women are losing their ability to be in-tune with their bodies and as a result the process of birth is upset and with it the potential for far-reaching repercussions. Countless new parents (Dads are affected too) are affected by traumatic births and even suffer from post traumatic stress disorder - this is really worrying.
Watching the Face of Birth will inspire and empower everyone. I hope it will also galvanise support for real changes and mark the start of a wider campaign for the freedom to choose where, when and with whom we birth our babies. The status of independent midwives is under threat all over the world and this documentary highlights how important their role is in providing birth choices. Although there may be times when medicalised birth is safer for mother and baby, this film shows that in most cases nature knows best. With so much evidence overwhelmingly in favour of natural birth the time has come for women to take control again.
Successful natural deliveries empower not only the mother and baby but her close family, those attending her birth and ultimately the wider community.
I promise you this must-see documentary will change the way you think about birth.
The Face of Birth has received a lot of praise:
- "This film is full of good information for any woman wanting to explore her birth place options… It is without a doubt the best film I have seen on the subject." - Virginia Maddock Editor – Birthings magazine (Australia)
- "If we didn’t watch this film 2 weeks before our baby girl was born, we would never have felt so empowered." - Crystal Cummings Mother (Australia)
- "For all the talking and reading and watching we’d done, that was the first time that deep down we really saw giving birth as a beautiful and empowering right of passage, and not a medical procedure we had to be fearful of." - Sibylla & Tom
- "Face of Birth is a very needed and powerful resource which allows women to finally see the genuine beauty and empowerment that can come their way if truly given choice about having a baby. Well done to all involved!" © Good Eye Deer & Baby Banksia, 2013
To find out more go to:
For a chance to win a copy of the DVD Face of Birth check out mini-competition 3
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:: Featured DVD 2 Sarah & Duck: Lots of Shallots
Released by Entertainment One in March 2013
DVD Release date: 17 February 2014
RRP: £10.20 - Running time: 25 minutes
Review by Tracey and Scarlett (TIPS Testers):
Sarah and Duck is a lovely little DVD for wee ones. My 3 year old daughter was enthralled by it from start to finish. The animations are very sweet and the stories are of simple things but told in a very engaging way for little ones to learn, with a bit of humour thrown in by the way of Duck.
Sarah experiences many things from learning how to grow shallots and cheering up donkey to teaching her bouncy ball to bounce. The voiceover is done very well and Duck's 'quacks' throughout deliver lots of laughs.
We particularly liked how the objects come to life to help explain what is happening. For example, the cake mix comes to life to give Sarah baking instructions! My daughter said "That was a really fun one! I like cake mixture alive because I can speak to it when I'm making cake."
When I asked Scarlett what she liked about the DVD, she said "It was brilliant. I loved it because it looked amazing and because Duck is funny!"
I'd highly recommend the DVD to anyone with young kids.
- Twitter: @BBCWPress; Hashtags: #SarahandDuck #CBeebies
Sarah & Duck CBeebies Special magazine, packed with Sarah & Duck stories, colouring, puzzles and plenty of sticker fun, plus cute Sarah & Duck figurines will be on sale 21 May – 17 June 2014 (published by Immediate Media Co Ltd.)
For a chance to win a copy of the DVD Sarah & Duck check out mini-competition 4
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:: Featured campaign MicroBirth – campaign to make feature length documentary by One World Birth team...
One World Birth is the brainchild of filmmaking couple Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford who want to ‘save birth and change the world!’
TIPS readers may remember we featured One World Birth groundbreaking film: Freedom For Birth in 2012 (see our feature here). We held one of over a 1000 screenings which aimed to highlight Human Rights violations that stop women having a real choice as to how and where they give birth.
One World Birth is a self-funded (and also part crowd-funded through IndieGoGo) independent film project. With no affiliations and no official partners, Toni and Alex are free to make the films they want to make. This includes the wonderful film Doula!, a 50 minute documentary about birth doulas (featured this in our e-newsletter 22.
One World Birth are now working on their biggest project to date: a ground-breaking feature length documentary called MicroBirth. This will explore the latest scientific developments in childbirth and consider whether medical interventions in childbirth might affect the long-term health of our children, with consequences for the future of mankind. However this film cannot become a reality without your help! Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford need to raise $100,000 to cover the direct costs of completing filming, editing, getting the film released, and screened around the world for maximum impact.
To find out more about the MicroBirth campaign you can:
TIPS® has already signed up to host a MicroBirth premiere – we will keep you updated. Meanwhile please support this amazing campaign to help change the way we birth our babies - this has the potential to make our world a healthier place!
For more about One World Birth you can:
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Featured blog :: Mama Twinkle - a healthy lifestyle, tips for babies and adults with links and pictures
Mama Twinkle has shared her My Story with us so if you want to find out more about Mama Twinkle, you can follow her blog here...
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Featured My Story :: Parenting from a French perspective....
Our latest My Story features our 700th TIPS Parent Tester. Françoise, who hails from France, shares her journey to parenthood which includes two home births and a natural approach to parenting. We also feature her new blog: Mama Twinkle so you can continue to follow her life after you have read about how she and her lovely hubby got to this point. To read Françoise’s My Story here...
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Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under :: Part 5
In this issue of our Diary of a student midwife down under, we learn a little about the world of male midwifery. Guest author Matt tells us how being a male midwifery student has actually had a positive impact on the lives of the families he helps look after. We'd like to thank Matt for sharing his thoughts with us, and we wish him the very best for the remainder of his course. Read all about it here...
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*** latest news ***
Rebecca's Roarsome Ramble - 27 April 2014
Please support one of our TIPS Testers as she and her hubby organise a sponsored walk to say thank you for the amazing care they were given when their baby daughter was treated at Yorkhill Hospital
Ingrid and David will be fundraising for Yorkhill Children’s Charity (SC007856). This wonderful registered charity provides and supports excellence in paediatric, obstetric and neonatal healthcare. It enhances the treatment, care and wellbeing of children and their families through The Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill and other hospital and community based services both nationally and internationally.
- You can read all about Ingrid and David’s painful but inspiring journey to parenthood on their Just Giving page
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Open Letter published by Association of Radical Midwives (ARM)
Hands Off Midirs facebook page remains online to update those interested about the events leading up to the recent takeover of the Midirs publications by the NCT.
An Open Letter, signed by 21 eminent midwifery professionals and academics has just been published in the Association of Radical Midwives journal, Midwifery Matters.
To read the Open Letter go to: http://www.midwifery.org.uk/
Please support this campaign on the following social media channels:
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Help save Independent Midwives by buying goodies from the IMUK shop...
You may remember our feature about the great work carried by Independent Midwives UK in the December 2013 e-newsletter. You can read about their campaign and the amazing support they already have from past and current clients, the public, other organisations, public servants and celebrities on their website: www.independentmidwives.org.uk
- You too can support their goal to pursue commercial insurance in order that Independent Midwives can continue to practise outside the NHS: check out the adorable baby gifts and campaign bracelets in their online shop.
For a chance to winto win an IMUK gift set check out mini-competition 10
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:: TIPS top value :: TIPS 100% natural latex duck... ::
What’s up duck?
If you know about TIPS then you know how keen we are to promote eco-friendly, low carbon companies who take their green credentials seriously. With this in mind, we replaced our old artificial PVC duckie with a new 100% natural latex rubber TIPS duckie in 2012. For quality latex ducks (and toys and gifts!) in a multitude of colours, shapes and sizes, check out Lanco Toys at: www.lanco-toys.es
Get your own TIPS duck for £5
Our famous TIPS duckie was hard to track down! In the end we had to order this very special duckie all the way from Spain. We still have a few of these adorable 100%natural latex ducks - who squeak when squeezed - for sale. To order you very own TIPS duckie (£5 including P&P in the UK), just email us at
For a chance to win 1 of 5 TIPS® duckies check out mini-competition 8
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:: TIPS top tip 1 :: Milton top tips for a germ-free home...::
Top tips for a germ-free home
- Always wash your hands after using the toilet and after changing baby’s nappy.
- Always wash your hands before preparing baby's bottles, before preparing food and before eating.
- Teach your little ones good hand-washing as soon as they are old enough, and especially after they use the potty.
- Always wash and sterilise baby's bottles, breast feeding equipment, soothers and teethers before using them.
- Make up infant formula as baby needs it. Don’t store made-up bottles of formula in the fridge.
- Always throw away any unused formula or breast milk after the feed.
- Regularly wipe down kitchen and play room surfaces, baby’s bath, changing mat and plastic toys with hot soapy water or antibacterial sprays or wipes.
- Always wash out and disinfect your toddler’s potty as soon as it’s been used.
- If you use an antibacterial spray or disinfectant leave it on the surface for 5 - 10 minutes to let it work its magic and then wipe clean.
You can find lots of detailed hygiene advice on the Milton website: go to www.milton-tm.com
You can also like Milton on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MiltonBaby) or follow them on Twitter @milton_baby
For a chance to win 1 of 5 of bottles of antibacterial hand gel check out mini-competition 9
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:: TIPS top tip 2 :: Mulberry Silk duvets ::
www.arkaysales.com - RRP: £119 - £175 (sizes: single – super king)
Introduction by Sharon:
I first saw the Mulberry Silk Duvet at last year’s Ayr Flower Show and was keen to find out how such a thin duvet could be suitable to use all year round. I spoke to the company representative and he assured me that as well as being suitable for all weathers, this duvet was also ideal for home washing and drying. As a fan of all things natural I have always used feather or down duvets, buying different weights for summer and winter. These duvets are not cheap to buy, and of course the cost of dry cleaning, makes them even more expensive. Although I was offered a £25 discount on the Mulberry Silk Duvet at the Ayr Flower Show I was still not prepared to pay such a lot of money for a duvet. A few months later (when my winter quilt needed to be dry cleaned) I looked up the Mulberry Silk Duvet supplier online and decided to take the plunge: I bought a king size one.
As a woman of a certain age, I have to admit to regular episodes of overheating and night sweats with my old feather and down duvet! When I unwrapped the Mulberry Silk Duvet it seemed too thin. However, I have been pleasantly surprised at how this natural duvet keeps me warm without overheating! At first my husband was not so sure. Having used it during some of the coldest weeks of the year, we have become familiar with the duvet's light weight and the even temperature distribution. I especially like the fact that you don't have to shake the duvet to rearrange the feathers and that there are no lumpy areas or flat-spots. Although we haven't used this duvet in the summer months yet, I am sure it will continue to work as well as it does in winter. I am delighted that this duvet has put an end to my night sweats! I am also pleased at the potential savings I hope to make by being able to simply wash and dry this duvet at home. These duvets would also be ideal during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
About Mulberry Silk Duvets:
Mulberry Silk Duvets are filled with 100% long fibre mulberry silk. The silk is hand stitched to the size of the duvet then stitched throughout to ensure no movement of silk and no cold spots. The duvet is light, drapes to the contour of your body and is 100% naturally non allergenic. The top cover is Egyptian cotton, 230 thread count and the duvet is machine washable (on the cold setting) and can be tumble dried (on the low setting).
These all weather duvets are designed to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
For more information:
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:: TIPS top tip 3 :: A US programme helps UK absent fathers regain parental involvement after family break-up ::
Fathers may be disappearing from their children’s lives not because they are indifferent or lazy, but because they feel undervalued - say Professors Carolyn and Philip Cowan founders of American parenting programme Parents as Partners.
The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships and national charity Family Action are implementing Parents as Partners in the UK. These organisations believe a lack of recognition for the important role men play in their children’s development is what drives some of them away.
With their Parents as Partners programme, Carolyn and Philip Cowan want fathers of young children to be more involved with the care of their offspring by helping mums and dads to parent together better.
Parents as Partners in the UK
In the US Parents as Partners has been shown to help separated parents become better at parenting together, increase fathers' direct involvement with their children, and help children to feel happier and do better at school. Additionally, the relationship between parents has been shown to improve.
In the UK, a number of Parents as Partners groups were initially launched across several London boroughs. More groups are due to be set up in Manchester and the London boroughs of Hackney and Haringey later this year. Funded by the Department for Education, the groups aim to improve family life by encouraging parents to open up and talk about their relationship in a series of 16 two-hour sessions. Groups are small, with a maximum of eight couples. Unlike other parenting programmes, Parents as Partners looks at the whole family, and the quality of the couple’s relationship - not just at interactions between a parent and their children.
About Family Action
Family Action transforms lives by providing practical, emotional and financial support to those who are experiencing poverty, disadvantage and social isolation across England. The charity has been building stronger families since 1869, and today works with over 45,000 families and children through 120 community-based services. Thousands more are supported with financial assistance through education and welfare grants programmes. Family Action’s innovative services include early years care, help for children and families and adult mental health support. Reaching out to those in need, we strengthen families and communities, build skills and resilience and improve the life chances of children and adults.
For more information you can:
- visit their website: go to www.family-action.org.uk
- contact Andy Tate: phone 020 7241 7632 or 07867 504051, or email
About Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR)
Established in 1948, TCCR is recognised in its field as a centre of advanced practice and study, both nationally and internationally. TCCR runs a variety of practitioner trainings, ranging from introductory courses to doctoral programmes in couple counselling and psychotherapy. TCCR also supports the work of frontline practitioners, and aims to foster an approach to family support and mental health service provision which takes the impact of couple relationships on child and family functioning into account. TCCR also provides services to couple and parents throughout London. They operate a range of affordable counselling and psychotherapy services supporting clients experiencing challenges in their relationships, their sexual lives and their parenting.
For more information you can:
- visit their website: go to www.tccr.org.uk
- contact Breanna Gietzel: phone 0207 380 1952 or email
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