Posts Tagged ‘babies’

Boxes for Scottish newborn babies

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

For over 80 years the government of Finland have given a maternity kit containing around 80 items useful for babies, to expectant Finnish mothers. The gift has been designed so the box itself can be used as a cot for newborns, and the maternity kit has been credited with cutting infant mortality rates and raising life chances.

Inspired by these Scandinavian baby boxes, in October 2016 Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, announced that similar boxes would be gifted to Mums in Scotland. The project started on the 1st of January 2017, and the first mums in the pilot areas of Clackmannanshire and Orkney have received their boxes.

The box contains a play mat, a changing mat, a digital thermometer, a fleece jacket, several babygrows, a hooded bath towel, a reusable nappy and liners, a baby book and an organic sponge. As with the Nordic scheme, the boxes are suitable for a baby to sleep in and contain cot sheets, a mattress and a blanket. A Scots dialect poem entitled “Welcome Wee One” by national poet Jackie Kay is also included. You know what I’m going to say… it’s a great idea, but if they had only thought to add in a Baby Feed Wheel, it would be pretty much perfect!

Scottish Baby Box

 

Baby Week Leeds

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Today marks the start of Baby Week Leeds, which runs from the 12th to the 16th of September 2016. Based on the Semana do Bebe (the week of the baby) model in Brazil, this event is an Early Years initiative aiming to raise awareness of the critical growth stages of a baby’s life.

There are many events for professionals, parents, and babies taking place throughout the city during the week. The timetable can be found here and includes interactive activities such as sensory storytelling time and baby massage sessions at locations including Chapeltown Children’s centre and Kirkstall Children’s Centre.

Following the closing ceremony at Leeds Civic Hall on Friday, there will be a pram push around Millennium Square at 3pm. Fingers crossed for some good Yorkshire weather!

For more information, (and to register for events) visit the Baby Week website, and for daily updates search for #BabyWeek on Twitter.

Heel-prick screening expanded

Friday, January 9th, 2015
The heel-prick test that newborn babies throughout England have when they are between five and eight days old now include checks for more debilitating genetic diseases.

Blood is collected by a midwife, generally within the first week of life. The baby’s heel is pricked and drops of blood are collected and analysed in a specialist newborn screening laboratory; the current heel-prick test checks for

  • Phenylketonuria (PKU),
  • Congenital hypothyroidism (CHT),
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD).

Four rarer conditions will now also be tested for:-

  • Maple syrup urine disease
  • Homocystinuria
  • Glutaric acidaemia type 1
  • Isovaleric acidaemia

They are all inherited conditions where babies have problems breaking down amino acids, the “building blocks” of proteins, and Public Health England expects 30 cases will be identified each year, allowing life-saving treatment.

The increased screening follows a year-long pilot programme of expanded screening, run by Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. This found 20 confirmed cases of the four extra conditions, in 700,000 babies. Wales will follow suit on the 12th of January, Scotland and Northern Ireland have not yet made a decision.

Breastfeeding vouchers for new mums

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

4,000 new mothers in the UK will be offered shopping vouchers if they breastfeed their babies, as part of a full-scale trial. In a pilot study involving over 100 Mums in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, two thirds of women who signed up to the scheme were claiming the vouchers at six to eight weeks, a breastfeeding rate higher than the national average.

Ladies taking part in the trial received up to £200 to spend at shops such as John Lewis, Matalan, Argos and big supermarkets if health professionals confirmed they were feeding their babies breast milk. Researchers hope the scheme will boost Britain’s breastfeeding rate, improving children’s health and cutting costs for the NHS. The World Health Organisation recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed until the age of six months, but only 1 per cent of British babies meet this target.

What are the pros and cons of the scheme? It’s reported that some NHS staff are uneasy about “bribing” mothers, saying they should be offered support instead of cash. Cathy Warwick of the Royal College of Midwives said “Incentivising public health behaviour through monetary reward will always be contentious. However, the RCM believes that alternative ways of increasing breastfeeding rates also need attention.”

Some mums stop breastfeeding for circumstances they feel are beyond their control (not producing enough milk to satisfy baby, or because of exhaustion breastfeeding can lead to if unsupported, for example). This in turn can lead to some new Mums feeling guilty that they are no longer breastfeeding- will this be compounded by feeling that they are now missing out on vouchers?

On the other hand, the financial incentive may increase breastfeeding rates, which must be a good thing overall- certainly the case study suggests this willl be the case.

Where will the money comes from? Would the money be better spent on breastfeeding support services? Why are the vouchers not available to spend in independent local shops? Why should only the ‘big’ businesses benefit from the increased purchasing power of these parents? For example, new Mums wouldn’t be able to use their vouchers to buy a Baby Feed Wheel to help keep track for their baby’s feed times from Chiggs or from one of our lovely independent stockists, so they would miss out on this useful piece of breastfeeding assistance!

NHS to filter out pregnant smokers?

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

I read in The Times newspaper this week that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has recommended that midwives give women a carbon monoxide test in early pregnancy, to establish whether they are smoking or not. Apparently not all Mums-to-be  tell the truth about giving up smoking in pregnancy! The test will be a breath test, and women found to have high carbon monoxide readings will be referred to “smoking cessation services”.

Some members of  The Royal College of Midwives, however, are not keen on the idea, and The Times reported that a source said they feel such a test could damage  relations between women and their midwives. Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the RCM, said the test could help show women the potential damage to unborn babies, but said the final decision must lie with the woman.

What do you think? A sensible measure to try to reduce the 21% of women who smoke during pregnancy (risking low birth weight and associated health problems) or Nanny State gorn mad?

Egg-cited to attend a local Easter Market

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

I’ve taken Chiggs Wheels on the road this week- a large local Harrogate business runs occasional ‘markets’ so their staff can browse and buy in their lunch hour. There are all sorts of local businesses in attendance- jewellery, greeting cards, the local Molton Brown shop has a stand and this time a lady was selling Easter bunny jumpers, too!

I’ve attended a couple of times before- we weren’t outside this time thankfully (it was snowing!)- and it’s always an enjoyable event. I like getting out and about, chatting to people and getting feedback about our products. One of the first ladies to visit the market came over to say that she’d bought a Baby Feed Wheel for her nephew at a previous market, and he said that it was the most useful thing they were bought- made my day!

Another lady was interested in the Baby Feed Wheel and made the comment that “surely baby tells you when they are hungry” Ah, well, that’s the point, I explained- they don’t! Babies cry because they are hungry, tired, cold, hot, need a nappy change- or are just that way out! The first thing most Mums and Dads do to narrow down the options is recall when the last feed was. If it was 40 minutes ago, try something else like a nappy change- if it was 3 hours ago, baby is most likely hungry. And that’s what the Baby Feed Wheel is for!

Festive wishes

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Here at Chiggs we hope all our customers, stockists and suppliers have had a very Merry Christmas.  We have had a lovely family Christmas, and have also been celebrating the Christmas Day birthday of the youngest member of Chiggs, our daughter Holly who is now 10 years old- double figures!

The Chiggs online shop is still open for customers wishing to buy a Baby Feed Wheel to send as a ‘new baby’ congratulations card to any families who have welcomed their own Christmas babies over the festive period!

‘Right dose, right time’ – changes to Paracetamol dose guidelines for babies and children

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Children’s medicines are in the news again today, as a report on the Telegraph website says that parents should be cutting down on the doses of Paracetamol, such as Calpol, they give young children.

Until recently guidelines on bottles of childrens medicines suggested the same dose for children aged from 12 months to six years. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now revised these recommendations, saying that with the “very wide age bands …younger children may have received a dose of paracetamol that was higher than necessary”.

The MHRA suggested that dosing be split into tighter age bands, reflecting the differences in weight and bodily development between a one-year-old baby and a six-year-old child, and given new recommended doses for children aged between 2 and 4. Doses have also been altered for babies, and the new guidelines have been incorporated on product packaging.

Chiggs recommends that for real peace of mind, parents also make sure they have a Baby Medicine Wheel or a Get Well Wheel close at hand. When the medicine is given (in the correct new dose of course!) parents can turn the dial to make a note of the time, and that way they can give the right dose of medicine, at the right time!