Archive for May, 2014

Tour de Bunting knitting update

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

I thought I’d blog an update on our efforts at knitting little jerseys for the Tour de France bunting.

Chiglet and I have completed 3 little yellow jerseys, and well before deadline (at least a day or two!) we took them to one of the drop off points, a shop on Cold Bath Road in Harrogate called Baa Ram Ewe which specialises in, as you can guess, the art of knitting!

The chap in there is absolutely lovely, he gave us some great advice when we originally went in to pick up our pattern and some yellow wool. This time he was very kind about our efforts, and gave us more good advice about ironing our finished jumpers (ie don’t! Just give them a little steam! I had pressed them to within an inch of their lives, which is not the right thing to do!).

He also suggested that although Harrogate Council are no longer collecting bunting, that should not stop us keeping on knitting, and that we should make more little knitted jumpers to make some bunting to adorn Chiggs HQ. What a great idea!

Harrogate County Council originally hoped that keen knitters would knock up 3,000 yellow, white, green and white-with-red-dots jerseys, hoping also that wasn’t too optimistic. And how many jerseys have been knitted? Over 23,000!!! As you can imagine, that is going to take quite some stringing!

Earlier this year we went for a family walk up to RHS Harlow Carr, and passed by the Council nursery at the top of Harlow Hill. We were rather surprised to see a couple of lines of the jerseys hanging out- we thought they must be the experimental bunting to see how the knitting copes with the Yorkshire rain!

In the next week or so the  lines of bunting should be appearing above the streets of Harrogate- and yes, we are going to see if we can spot our jerseys but with over 23,000 we may be there a while 🙂

Support and choice for Mums-to-be

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

New, updated draft proposals by the National Institute for Health And Care Excellence (NICE) suggest that Mums-to-be with low risk, straightforward pregnancies should be encouraged to have their babies in midwife-led birth centres, rather than on a traditional labour ward.

According to the Institute,  independent or hospital based mid-wife led units are as safe  as traditional labour wards for all low risk pregnant women and are more likely to result in a better birth experience with less medical intervention, which of course is beneficial for all concerned!

The report also looked at the safety of home births, saying that they are just as safe as other settings for low risk pregnant women who have already have a baby, but that they don’t recommend home births for first time mums.

The  clinical guideline programme director for NICE. , Christine Carson, concluded ‘every woman should ultimately have the freedom to choose where she wants to give birth and be supported in her choice.’

Pregnancy yoga is a stress buster.

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

A study from the universities of Newcastle and Manchester has found that Yoga can cut the risk of stress in pregnant women.

The study, thought to be the first of its kind,  followed 59 women in their first pregnancy. Divided into two groups,  they were assigned either an eight-week course of yoga or “treatment as usual”.

The 31 women in the yoga group took one session of hatha yoga every week. This is a gentle, basic, slow-paced stretching class with simple breathing exercises and seated meditation. Before the first session, they were asked to measure their general mood on a scale where more than 39 meant “high anxiety”. After the first week, their average score had fallen from 37 to 25. Their levels of the stress hormone cortisol also went down, by 14 per cent.

As  Antenatal stress has been linked to premature birth and developmental problems after the baby is born, it has been suggested that free yoga classes on the NHS for mothers-to-be would help reduce the costs of longer-term healthcare for the women and babies.