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August 2011
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October 2011

Accordion Apparel - New Products Now Available (Press Release)

The new Accordion Apparel products are now available.  Accordion Apparel is a little online company that aims to sell inspired and unique clothes, designs and accessories.   They sell what they enjoy, what they would wear and what they want to look at.  In exchange for your hard earned money they will send you a little bit of love in product form.

Accordion Apparel also help to raise money for Leukaemia CARE and have an exclusive poster & card collection by a range of artists and bands.  All the profits taken from these posters are going straight to the charity so they can continue doing the great work that they do.

The Giraffe Bag

A wonderfully fun, ethically screen-printed, 14oz cotton canvas tote bag.  Designed by Sally Linsdell, this bag is great for a kid’s day out, for the city, for work…anything really. It can pretty much fit in all your worldly goods. Capacity: 19 litres. Dimensions: 43 x 38 x 13cm 

RRP £6.99

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Fear of Childbirth Increases Likelihood of C-Section (Press Release)

A new study published in the international journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica (AOGS) reveals that fear of childbirth is a predisposing factor for emergency and elective cesarean sections, even after psychological counseling. This may mean a negative experience that lasts a lifetime among the approximately 3% of women who in this study were estimated to suffer from excessive fear of childbirth.

Led by Professor Gunilla Sydsjo of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Hospital in Linköping, Central Sweden, researchers analyzed the antenatal and delivery records of 353 women who were referred to a unit for psychosocial obstetrics and gynecology because of fear of childbirth, and 579 women without fear of childbirth.

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Sonoline B Professional Pocket Fetal Doppler (Product Review)

Like many mums-to-be, I've always loved that moment when you first hear your baby's little heart beat. Then when I'm at home and it's still too soon to feel any movements, I begin to worry about whether or not the baby is still alive. So, this time around, I decided since I don't have to buy too many baby products, I'd buy a little foetal doppler so I could listen in myself when I was feeling worried.

I did a little research and chose the Sonoline B Professional Pocket Fetal Doppler (which can be used from as early as 10-12 weeks) due to the good reviews it gets and because it has a little LCD display which shows how many beats per minute your baby's heart is beating. It can be listened to via a built-in loud speaker or you can plug earphones into the headphone socket. It also has a volume control and if you want to you can use the headphone socket with a recording cable to record the noises onto your computer or a cd. I haven't yet tried this feature but hope to do so before baby arrives in order to have a permanent reminder of that lovely little beating heart!

It's a great little gadget, although I'm aware such devices need to be used with caution and should never be used instead of routine visits to the doctor or if you're seriously worried about your baby's movements.

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Medications in Pregnancy - Who to Ask... Pharmacist or GP?

I was told by my hospital after my first antenatal blood test that my iron levels were low and that they'd been in touch with my GP to get me started on an iron substitute. It wasn't really a big surprise to me as I don't eat red meat so I'd anticipated my iron might be an issue. What did surprise me though was that from 8 weeks pre-pregnancy up until the 12 week pregnancy blood test I'd been taking a very well known pregnancy vitamin and mineral supplement!

Well, since my so-called supplements contained iron, I knew I'd have to stop taking them as I didn't want to risk overdoing the iron with my prescription medicine.

However, at my last antenatal visit, I was given my maternity notes to take home with me. Reading through them I discovered that pregnant women are advised to take Vitamin D supplements and to increase their calcium intake. So, at 30 weeks pregnant I decided I'd better get started as apparently the baby's bones are strengthening in the third trimester and require more of both of these compounds.

I called into a local pharmacy to speak to a pharmacist to ask her to recommend a suitable supplement as I don't get a huge amount of calcium in my diet (since I don't eat a lot of dairy food) and the weather in Ireland in Autumn is not really conducive to adequate levels of Vitamin D!

I must admit to feeling a little let down when she appeared to ignore the fact I was taking prescription strength iron and headed straight to the pregnancy supplement I'd been taking before my blood results were given to me!

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The rising cost of living and tough economic climate mean many families are having to tighten their belts. NCT Nearly New Sales are a haven for cash-strapped parents, offering a brilliant alternative to trawling the high street for pricey baby products

Becoming a parent is exciting, but it can be an expensive time too. At NCT Nearly New Sales, expectant and new parents can buy top quality baby and children’s toys, clothes and equipment straight from their loving owners, saving around 70% on what they would set you back brand new.

Meanwhile, local families can clear out their clutter and make some cash at the same time by selling the baby goods they no longer need. Clothes and equipment must be in excellent condition, and most sellers make more than £60. Sellers keep up to 70% of the proceeds while the rest is returned to fund NCT’s vital services and support for parents.


Aaachoo! Most of us will have a cold this winter, but do you know how to treat it?

NHS Choices reveals some of the myths around treating a cold and offers advice on how to
get well quickly

According to NHS Choices, on average an adult can expect to catch a cold between two and four times a year, with more people suffering during the winter months. But do you know how best to treat a cold?
Myths about cures for the common cold:
·        Vitamin C – according to NHS Choices, one in three people believe that Vitamin C can help cure a cold. In fact, research has shown that Vitamin C doesn’t prevent or cure a cold.
·        Echinacea – many think that Echinacea can be used to prevent a cold or treat one, but research has shown that there is no proof of this being the case.
·        Over the counter medicines for colds – over the counter medicines do not cure a cold. The usual ingredients are painkillers and decongestants, which only help manage the symptoms.

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Hotpoint’s European Family Portraits competition: family photos can be submitted until 15 October.

Family Portraits, the highly successful online photo competition promoted by Hotpoint in cooperation with renowned photographer Steve McCurry, is continuing until 15 October and is open to families in the UK, Italy, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.“We are very excited about the success of the competition which has highlighted, through the number and quality of entrants, that family is the most important thing we have” says Marco Rota, Brand and Consumer Marketing Director Europe, Indesit Company“The photographs entered to date provide a fascinating insight into the power and beauty of the family and reveal a cross-section of cultural differences that make us so unique”

Text Box: Steve McCurry’s ‘Afghan Girl’Hotpoint’s website ( has received over 3,200 photos from families across Europe, and the accompanying Facebook page has just reached 22,000 fans. Users can get involved in two ways: either by participating in the competition, by submitting their best family snaps, or by browsing entries and voting for their favourite snapshots.


Russell Hobbs Slow Cooker - Delicious, Energy Saving Dinner Whenever You Want It (Product Review)

After a slow start, I've finally embraced the joys of slow cooking. Maybe I'm becoming more organised or perhaps it's just taken me a while to realise it, but slow cooking is fabulous when you have a family all coming home at different times every evening.

For me, it was the realisation after the school summer holidays that 7pm is just too late for the children to be eating in the evenings. Because they're back to school after their 8 week long break, I've been trying to encourage the younger two to go to bed around 8.30pm and if they've had their dinner late, then it means it's sitting in their tummies all night being very slowly digested and leaving them groggy the next morning.

Hubby often doesn't get in from work until 7.30 pm and although I like to plan our meals so we can all sit together for dinner, timing is a huge problem. As a way around it, most evenings I have my dinner with the children and he heats his up if required in the microwave when he comes in. Not ideal, I know, and probably losing most of its nutritional value for him because of the high heat generated by microwaves.

Anyway, with my eldest daughter having recently started secondary school, I made the decision it was time to change tactics. Apart from anything else, eating late in the evening was giving me dreadful heartburn due to my pregnancy.

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Bio Oil - Glowing Skin for the First Time Ever (Product Review)

I might be pregnant for the fourth time but this is the first time I've ever tried out Bio-Oil . Strangely, I wasn't actually pregnant, or even considering pregnancy when I bought a bottle of it in a local pharmacy, but I'd decided to try it on my face after noticing how lovely my sister's skin was and finding out she'd been using Bio Oil as her moisturiser for a few months!

Anyway, I used it a few times and then, as with a lot of things, more or less forgot about it and it languished in my bedside drawer for a maybe a year before I decided to try it for real about 8 weeks ago.

The reason I'd decided to try again was simply because I'd again noticed my sister's skin fabulous skin and chatted with her again about her Bio Oil experience. She hadn't one negative word to say about it, so out of interest I started reading some personal reviews over on Amazon and couldn't quite believe how successful it had been for so many people - even plastic surgeons recommending it to their patients after surgery to reduce the appearance of scars!

Whilst most people, myself included, tend to see Bio Oil as predominantly a pregnancy product, it actually can be used any time and for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, I've never suffered from stretch marks (which happens to be a family thing as neither of my sisters nor my mum did either), but I have suffered throughout my life, from my teenage years onwards from acne, some of which has left some slight scarring. After seeing the dramatic change in my sister's skin tone I made up my mind that this time I'd persevere.

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Elle TENS Machine - Great Pain Relief During Early Labour (Product Review)

I've been starting to put together some bits and pieces for my labour bag and yes, I know it's a bit early since I still officially have ten and a half weeks to go, but considering each of my children came earlier than the last I'm telling myself I might only have 7 weeks before the big day.

Anyway, as I was sorting through what I may and may not need I came across my Elle TENS machine. In case you've not come across TENS machines before, the initials stand for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and what they do is produce an mild electrical current  which stimulates the nerves in the body to react to pain in the form of natural painkillers, known as endorphins. The more endorphins, the less the pain - this explains why people can be seriously injured in accidents and not feel any pain until afterwards when the endorphins are no longer being produced. Thankfully, after a baby is born, the pain is gone so you don't have to worry about suffering any longer!Many women use TENS machines in the early stages of labour to help them cope before using other forms of pain relief during childbirth.

Before buying the one I currently own I actually hired one before the birth of my first child but, typically for me, she made an appearance the day before it arrived. I didn't bother with one the second time around because first time early labour hadn't been too painful. That was a mistake. With my second daughter I was sent home from hospital in absolute agony because I apparently wasn't in established labour!

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