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Healthy Breastfeeding (Guest Post)

Being a new mum is a wonderful time, but it can also be a stressful time. There is so much to remember, and so much health advice to take on board. This is even more so the case if you are a breastfeeding mum, as you of course want to make sure you give your baby the best nutrients and best start in life possible.

If you are breastfeeding then it is important to eat right to ensure your baby gets all the nutrients it needs to grow up into a healthy and happy child and adult. Don’t panic however. As long as you follow the basic rules of a healthy diet, you don’t need to worry.

Although there is lots of conflicting advice out there for breastfeeding mums, most foods are fine in moderation, and general healthy eating advice is worth following. So, make sure you are getting your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, varied if possible and fresh wherever you can.

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Breastfeeding a 4 Year Old (Guest Post)

I have been a nursing mother for 4 and a half years now.  My son is a wonderful chunky outgoing little boy who loves his “boob drink”.  It has been fun asking him what he prefers “daddy or boob drink”?  Of course no matter what I put up against the milky stuff, the milky stuff always triumphs.  He loves it and is definitely telling me that he has no intention of giving it up anytime soon.

My son’s natural weaning process has been quite slow.  When my son was a year or so old, I often read about babies already sleeping through the night/not nursing by the time they were 11/2 – 2.  I was curious as to when I could expect my wriggly little monster to give me a full nights sleep without requesting the “boob drink”.  Of course though, despite reading about others experiences, mine was certainly different and my son didn’t give up the night feeding by the time he was 2.  It took a lot longer.  In fact I think it has only been in the last year (so potentially when he was 31/2) that he no longer feeds during the night.  He still likes to have a morning feed in bed though (we chose to cosleep rather than use a cot bed.

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Five Reasons to Run Post-Baby (Guest Post)

Many new mothers want to establish a routine running habit to lose excess baby weight, gain more energy and take some time alone for themselves. Postpartum fitness is the perfect way to get the body back into shape after pregnancy. Lack of sleep, a fussy baby and a hectic routine can leave mom feeling exhausted. Running can give postpartum women both short- and long-term benefits, including an efficient workout that will help the day go more smoothly, better sleep habits, a boost in confidence and weight loss. Here are five reasons to strap on some running shoes and get fit.

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Guys and Dolls - Sales of new Oobicoo soft toy Ollie outstrip Orla 2:1

Boys’ dolls are selling twice as fast as girls’ dolls according to Totseat founder Rachel Jones, who believes the media have been integral in helping to break down gender stereotypes.

The UK toy industry is worth £2.96bn and since launching the soft toy tots Ollie and Orla last year, multi award winning entrepreneur Rachel Jones has sold twice as many of the boy ‘doll’ Ollie. Sales of boys’ toys take 55% share of the UK toy market and Rachel believes sales of Oobicoo Ollie reflect society’s changing perceptions of traditional gender stereotypes.

Rachel says, “We live in a culture where many people look to the media as a guide to behavior and as a result many people conform to majority norms. Traditionally girls have been expected to play with dolls and wear pink and many parents have discouraged their sons from playing with dolls per se, however there appears to be a shift in this gender stereotyping which can only be a good thing.”

Oobicoo was originally developed and sold as a mannequin to display the multi-award winning Totseat; a safe, portable, fabric highchair for families travelling with babies. Rachel soon realised their appeal when they became the unlikely classmates of her daughter Freya and her friends, who loved the fact that they were so big and cuddly!

The adorable, soft toy tot Oobicoo is made from gorgeous soft plush fabric and, at 60cm tall, is the same size as a six month old baby - the perfect size to be an instant baby brother, sister or best friend. They come in their own wee fabric 'pod' and are designed to be dressed in hand-me-down-baby clothes. This simple idea not only saves money, it encourages the reuse of outgrown baby clothes, teaches children dexterity and provides Oobicoo with an instant wardrobe.

With sound eco credentials, Oobicoo is filled with recycled polymer, manufactured from recycleable fabric and is raising money for the Children's Immunology Fund - £1 from every sale goes to the charity. Oobicoo even has its very own dance tune, penned by Emily Philips and Josh Wilkinson who co-write for pop superstars One Direction and Alexandra Burke!

Rachel added, “Oobicoo not only helps your child’s development, they are perfect for imaginative play, great for teaching dexterity in terms of dressing and undressing and because of their realistic size, they give children someone to cuddle!

“We are delighted to announce the launch of Olwyn, our fourth soft toy tot, who has a different skin tone to the other Oobicoo tots. We are keen to encourage diversity and since launching Oobicoo Ed last year, who is entirely bald, we have had great reactions to the entire Oobicoo family.”


Get ready for a new career with NCT and University of Worcester

If you’re looking for a rewarding job you can fit around your family, or are thinking about returning to study or work after having a baby, a change of career to become an NCT practitioner could be just what you need.

NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents, and the University of Worcester have joined forces to provide university-accredited training for those wanting to support parents on their journey from pregnancy to parenthood by becoming an NCT practitioner.

NCT College admissions are open for courses beginning in September 2012. There’s no better training if you want to build up a rewarding and enjoyable career working with parents at a unique and important time in their lives.

NCT is well-known for the information and support its practitioners provide through antenatal courses, breastfeeding counselling and facilitated postnatal groups, enabling parents to feel more confident and prepared for their new role.

The courses allow students to learn through a mixture of tutorials, one-to-one time with tutors and online learning. With tutorials run across the UK and study days hosted regionally, students can complete the majority of their studies without the need to travel to Worcester. This flexibility is ideal if you’re looking for a career you can juggle around a young family, and the varied syllabus offers plenty of choice depending on your interests and aspirations.

One NCT antenatal teacher, Fiona, said: “For me, my NCT work fits around the needs of my teenage boys. The training is very comprehensive, diverse and interesting and of a very high standard. I also love getting together with other practitioners and sharing ideas. I have a job I can do around my family and earn a decent hourly wage.”

The new Certificate of Higher Education – Birth and Beyond Practitioner, completed over one or two years, is the only university-accredited qualification for parenting education. Qualifying students can then begin a year of probationary practice, delivering innovative Preparation for Birth and Beyond (PBB) courses based on the Department of Health’s new framework. So, you can start earning an income from your new knowledge and skills right away.

Students can then choose from a range of modules from the Foundation Degree course. Will you train as an antenatal teacher, breastfeeding counsellor, postnatal leader or NCT Doula? Or perhaps you’d be more interested in running NCT Yoga for Pregnancy classes.

In the climate of an ever-increasing birth rate and overstretched maternity services, there could not be a better time to build a fulfilling career as an NCT practitioner working alongside midwives and other health professionals to support new and expectant parents. As one of the UK’s largest network of practitioners working with new and expectant parents, students are supported to find work quickly and easily through the charity’s national operation.

Clea Harmer, Education Manager at NCT, said: “We’re delighted to offer a range of exciting opportunities through NCT College. The varied training programme allows students to specialise in a wide range of areas, while the flexibility means they can fit their learning around families and potentially be earning an income after one year. So if you’re interested in a new career making a real difference to new parents, come and join us at NCT College.”

Professor Geoffrey Elliott Director of Regional Engagement at the University of Worcester at the University of Worcester, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to work with NCT to help parents in their transition to parenthood and will do all we can to help the country’s parents and children get off to the best possible start.”

If you are interested in finding out more about our training or a career working with new parents, visit http://www.nct.org.uk/nct-college for more information about the full range of courses on offer.

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Case studies are available: to speak to a current NCT practitioner about their work please contact the NCT press office.
For more information about NCT or NCT College please contact the press office on 020 8752 2412 or email press@nct.org.uk.

NCT has an ISDN line. Please call the press office in advance to book.

For more information about the University of Worcester please call 01905 857517 or email s.jones@worc.ac.uk