Posts Tagged ‘mums’

Celebrity Mum of the Year

Friday, March 13th, 2015

TV celebrity Billie Faiers has been announced as the icelolly.com Celebrity Mum of the Year 2015, voted for by the British public.

Billie, star of reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE), is Mum to Nelly,  born last July. You may remember that Billie was lucky enough to receive an amazing Nappy Cake featuring a Baby Feed Wheel from Pure Nappy Cakes at her baby shower last year.

Billie Faiers nappy cake

Speaking of her win, Billie said: “I feel really honoured to have been voted icelolly.com Celebrity Mum of the Year 2015 and I’d like to thank all my fans and fellow mums out there for supporting me.

“It’s been a really busy past couple of years, with TOWIE, my other projects, and of course the birth of my beautiful daughter Nelly last summer. It’s very much been a juggling act, with me trying to find the right balance between my career and family life, something I know all the real mums out there face and deserve huge credit for too – but I wouldn’t change anything for the world!”

 

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!

Mothers with poorly children more likely to look for advice online than see a GP.

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

An Article in The Times newspaper yesterday said that Mothers with ill children are more likely to seek advice online than see a GP.

20% of mothers questioned would go to the Doctor first, whereas 29% would ask their mother, and 26% would look online. It’s suggested that the waiting time to see a GP is a big factor.

I suspect most Mums would do everything- try to get a GP’s appointment, and in the meantime ask around for advice and experience? This certainly seems to be the case on Facebook- parents waiting to take their child to the Doctor will often ask for advice on their timeline or in local groups in the meantime.

I think people have always done this -asked family, friends and neighbours, it’s just that now with Social Media it’s possible to ask a lot more people for their opinions, a lot quicker!

Government advice is to make more use of pharmacies to help with diagnosis, but when a child is too poorly to take into town or covered head to toe in a rash this isn’t always practical, and at least by asking around you feel that you’re doing something!

To keep track of baby medicine times, use a Baby Medicine Wheel to set the time when baby is given medicine.

Real Nappy Week 2013

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Today marks the start of Real Nappy Week in the UK, which this year runs from the 15th to the 21st of April. Real Nappy Week is an annual event aiming to promote the use of real (ie not disposable) nappies. There are lots of promotional events, nappuccinos*, demonstrations and competitions run by real nappy manufacturers and retailers.

Benefits of real nappies are both financial and environmental- over the course of babyhood, it’s cheaper to use reusable nappies than disposable. Goreal.org (the real nappy information service) calculates that a starter kit with all the nappies a baby will need can cost as little as £80, and adding £1 per week for washing costs means there’s still a saving of £500 compared to branded disposable nappies. 

Environmentally, there are apparently c 3million disposable nappies thrown away every year in the UK, and 90% of those will go to landfill. A baby will use around 4,000 disposable nappies between birth and potty training, so parents can make a big reduction in the amount of nappy waste going into landfill by using cloth nappies.

* (in case you were wondering, a Nappuccino is an event where Mums and Mums-to-be can pop along for a coffee and a chat about real nappies- find out all about them, ask questions, and there’s often a cloth nappy demonstration!).

There is even a real nappy week ‘clothopoly’ game with lots of prizes- you can collect letters from various websites, unjumble the anagram to find a phrase for the main prize (worth £500), and there are lots of other prizes to enter for along the way (the total prize fund is £9,000!)

Cloth nappies can even be included in nappy cakes, one of Chiggs stockists, Hello Baby Gifts was recently asked to make a ‘nappy-less’ real nappy cake which was really well received by the parents- Nikki who runs Hello Baby Gifts says she loves coming up with new ideas when these challenges come her way!

Baby milk powder ‘rationing’ hits UK supermarkets

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

I heard a report on BBC Radio 2 lunchtime programme yesterday about the shortages of baby milk formula hitting British supermarkets.  Due to an increase in demand in China for foreign made powdered baby milk, some UK shops (Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons) have said the purchase of certain brands would be limited to two units per customer per day.

Danone, who make Aptamil and Cow & Gate baby milk powder, apparently asked for the restrictions, and said most supermarkets were introducing a restriction of two cans per customer in order to prevent some individuals from bulk-buying baby milk for “unofficial exports”. Retailers have put the same limits on sales of SMA milk, despite the makers Nestle saying there were no stock shortages.

So what is going on? Foreign-made baby formula is popular in China- worried about potentially dangerous levels of hormones and chemicals sometimes found in Chinese baby formula, go to great lengths (and are willing to pay a premium price) to buy foreign brands. Their fears are not without foundation- in 2008 a locally-manufactured formula containing the industrial chemical melamine killed six infants and caused illness in another c.300,000.

Due to the higher prices Chinese parents are willing to pay, there are big profits to be made selling foreign formula, and it seems people have been buying in bulk to (unofficially) export to China, or send over to relatives. Since the introduction of restrictions in UK supermarkets, there has also been an increase in sales as Mums have been stocking up on their favourite brand- which in turn has led to shortages on the shelves.  On a local Harrogate Mums Facebook page, ladies are reporting near empty shelves in the local Morrisons and Asda.

It seems some entrepreneurs are hoping to make a quick buck without the hassle of international shipping, and cans of baby milk are selling on eBay for twice the shop price. 

Time for a “Keep Calm and Don’t Panic Buy” government poster?!

News leak- the bottom line for Huggies nappies

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

In October it was reported in the business pages that Huggies nappies manufacturer Kimberly-Clark were planning to stop making and selling nappies in Europe. The company has sent out emails today to Mums who are members of the Huggies Club to say that  from spring 2013, Huggies nappies will no longer be available to buy in the UK. So if Huggies are your favourite nappies for your little one’s bottoms, you’ll either have to stockpile in the next couple of months, or try some different makes to find a new favourite!

If you’re after a bit of help, Mumsnet has a review section where mums have rated their favourite (or least favourite!) nappies. While you’re on the website, have a look at the great reviews for the Baby Feeding Wheel in the ‘presents for new parents’ section!

Can CANparent scheme kick out bad parenting?

Friday, May 18th, 2012

The Prime Minister David Cameron is in the news today announcing details of a pilot scheme known as CANparent (Classes and Advice Network) for new parents that will run initially in Middlesbrough, High Peak in Derbyshire and Camden in London. Parents with children aged up to 5 years will get a £100 voucher to use towards parenting classes.

The Vouchers will entitle Mums, Dads, Grandparents and other carers up to ten 2 hour sessions available from independent organisations such as the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), which will cover issues such as ‘communicating and staying calm’ ‘parents working together’ and ‘different stages of your child’s development’.

The official Government website for the scheme www.canparent.org suggests that courses will also be available online in interactive sessions, and they are suggesting that parents utilise parenting forums such as Netmums and Mumsnet- some courses I looked at seem to have follow up sessions actually on the forum boards. A quick glance through the different courses available in the trial areas shows that many face-to-face sessions don’t have creche facilities, however, and there is also some controversy about the decision to distribute the vouchers through Boots, the High Street chemist. Time will tell how successful the trial will be- let’s hope the classes recommend essential bits of sanity saving kit for new parents such as the Baby Feed Wheel!