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Members of the public are encouraged to save the dates 2 -10 June 2012 for Britain’s biggest rail celebration at the National Railway Museum – Railfest 2012.

The nine day celebration of Britain’s railways will see an enormous space the size of 11 football pitches bustling with an awe-inspiring line up of more than 50 locomotives including record-breaking historic and modern locomotives from the museum’s collection and visiting locomotives from across the UK. A wide variety of railway-related activities, attractions, sights, sounds and smells will add to the exciting atmosphere with the opportunity to get up close to the exhibits.

The festival will bring together over 30 record-breaking locomotives that have made their mark on rail history for being the fastest, strongest, first, last and oldest. Among the confirmed record-breaking attendees is holder of the record for the word’s fastest steam locomotive at 126mph, Mallard, the newest mainline steam locomotive in operation, Tornado, and the most powerful industrial tank engine built for use in the UK, Mardy Monster. The first steam locomotive to reach 100mph, Flying Scotsman, is also set to attend the event. The locomotive is currently undergoing major restoration work and will be on display to the public during Railfest with further work being carried out on Flying Scotsman after the event. Railfest 2012 will welcome the largest gathering of railway record breakers ever brought together in one place.



FINAL Elsie artwork 280312[1]More than a fifth of smokers admit to lighting up in front of their children in the home or car, is the finding from a new Department of Health survey. And almost 15 per cent believed that their children’s antics in the back of car makes them reach for a cigarette.

The findings come following a raft of tough measures unveiled by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley this spring designed to cut the biggest cause of premature death in England. This includes a new hard-hitting national campaign on secondhand smoke.

The adverts show how children are exposed to smoke in the home even when their parent moves away from them - for example by smoking by an open door or smoking in the car with the window open.

The new findings also suggest that parents think they are protecting their children from the harmful poisons of secondhand smoke by opening a door or car window - without realising that is not enough. Figures show one in four open the car window when children are in the car; and one in five said that they smoke out of a window or door when children are at home.

But up to five million children across the UK are still regularly exposed to secondhand smoke in the home. People don’t realise that they could be breathing in deadly smoke because more than 80 per cent of cigarette smoke is invisible. Opening a car window or smoking out of the house door just isn’t enough to protect children.

Even the school run isn’t a smokefree zone as almost one in ten smokers admit to smoking in the car which exposes children to the harmful cancer causing toxins and poisons of secondhand smoke whilst making the daily journey to school.

Three hundred thousand children visit the GP each year, in the UK, due to secondhand smoke with 9,500 visiting hospital. This costs the NHS a staggering £23.3 million every year.

Children cannot protect themselves from secondhand smoke and are particularly vulnerable to it due their higher breathing rate, less well-developed airways, lungs and immune system.

Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more at risk of respiratory illnesses, asthma, meningitis and even cot death.

They are also 90 per cent more likely to become smokers themselves. In the UK, 23,000 young people each year start smoking by the age of 15 as a result of exposure to smoking in the home

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said:

“It is important that we help parents protect their children from possible harms to their health. We want parents to know that by making their cars and homes smokefree they can protect their children's health.

“Figures show that 9500 children have to go to hospital each year because of the second hand smoke and toxins they breath in. It's hard to quit but worth doing for your children. Get more information by getting a free Smokefree Kit at, or for help quitting get in touch with your local stop smoking service, GP or pharmacist.”

Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation Dame Helena Shovelton said:

“The harm caused by second-hand smoke to children is irreparable. Once the damage has been done, their lungs will never fully recover.


Starch Intake May Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer (Guest Post)

The results of an intensive seven-year-long research study that involved over 2,600 women—the Women's Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Dietary Intervention Trial—were presented at last year's CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium with some surprising findings. The WHEL study participants had all suffered from breast cancer prior to participation and had apparently successfully completed breast cancer treatment. This specific study was designed to assess for any correlations between a healthy lifestyle and a recurrence of breast cancer. Results indicated that a higher consumption of starchy foods such as pasta or potatoes is associated with an increased risk of tumor recurrence. This association was identified specifically for dietary starch intake and not with other carbohydrates.

Positive and Negative Dietary Associations

Breast cancer researchers have long associated certain diets and foods with an increased risk of breast cancer, such as diets high in red meats, refined carbohydrates and alcohol. Conversely, diets high in fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and unrefined foods are generally associated with breast health. As you've probably heard through one media source or another, aim for a naturally colorful diet of blues, reds, dark greens and orange colors. Further, these dietary changes don't necessarily mean that your entire food habits have to change—surprisingly, even a couple of cups of coffee a day can lower your risk of developing the disease.

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Unusual, Useful and Beautiful Organic Products for Babies and Children from

organic baby comfortersIsn't it strange how one day you notice something and all of a sudden it just makes sense? My new baby, Sophia, is of course a breastfed baby and much to my delight she has thrived on exclusive breastfeeding for the last 6 months. In fact, it was only last Sunday, the day that marked her 6 month birthday, that she tasted solid food for the very first time!

Much as I love breastfeeding however, there is one slight downside in that Sophia, just as my other babies did, uses me as something of a comforter between feeds which, lovely as it is most of the time, can be tiring and means I have difficulties if I need to be away from her for a few hours. (Sophia has never taken a dummy and this is not because I don't approve of dummies, she just doesn't like them. I've tried all shapes and sizes but to no avail!)

Anyway, I've noticed recently that Sophia self-soothes on particular items of clothing and consequently I began looking for suitable fabrics she might enjoy as I'm not entirely happy about her ingesting the chemical contents of recently washed blankets and other clothing.  To my delight, I discovered a local company (run by one of my neighbours) sells organic soft toys and comforters. What a great concept - an organic product that baby can chew or suck. It's pretty much the perfect accompaniment to breastfeeding!

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3 Mistakes Parents Often Make in Their Child’s Early Childhood (Guest Post)

Being a parent is undoubtedly one of the nicest and hardest things. Part of what makes it so difficult is constant worrying whether you’re doing the right thing. My mom told me a funny story about when I was little. There was a period when I absolutely refused to eat and she was having a really hard time figuring out what to do with me.

One day when she was trying to push a spoonful of food into my mouth, and I kept shaking my head wildly, she cried out in desperation: “Ana, you will die if you don’t eat!” In that moment I froze, then started bawling my eyes out. She said she couldn’t calm me for a whole hour, and she started thinking: “What have I done?” She was worried she did some irreparable damage, where I’d start stuffing myself with food in order not to die. Luckily, that didn’t happen, but this just illustrates the dilemmas parents have when upbringing their kids. What can they say, and what shouldn’t they say? How to stop children from misbehaving, how to encourage them to reach their intellectual and artistic potential?

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Discover How To Boost Your Fertility, And Increase The Chances Of Safely Carrying Your Baby To Term (Guest Post)

I want to become a mum, but… 

Infertility is perhaps the biggest struggle experienced by women who suffer from PCOS. Ninety to 95% of women who attend infertility clinics because of an ovulation suffer from PCOS1.The challenges that PCOS causes in a woman’s reproductive life do not end with just infertility. Those women who are fortunate to conceive despite having PCOS face a legion of complications that can jeopardise their own health and the health of their precious baby. Thirty to 50% of women with PCOS suffer miscarriages in the first trimester (first three months) of their pregnancy2.They may also have a greater risk for complications such as:

* Pregnancy induced hypertension – i.e. abnormally high blood pressure during pregnancy3

* Gestational Diabetes - i.e. diabetes induced by pregnancy3

* Preterm delivery – i.e. delivery before the completion of 37 weeks of pregnancy3

* Birth of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) babies3

2 important reasons women with PCOS have a higher risk of miscarriage

Hormones to blame

PCOS stems from hormonal imbalances4,14. It is no different when it comes to pregnancy complications. Insulin resistance, high levels of the hormone LH, excessive testosterone and other hormonal imbalances can cause pregnancy loss and other pregnancy complications of PCOS5,6.
In fact, abnormal LH levels, and low progesterone levels are two reasons why you have a higher risk of miscarriage.

How you can make simple changes to dramatically increase your chance of giving birth to a happy, bouncing baby.

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Miscarriage Poems: To Our Baby Aiden by Nicholas Hise

We received this very moving miscarriage poem from Nicholas who told us:

My wife miscarried with our son Aiden 2 months ago. I help out as much as I can. When she cries at night I wipe her tears and hold her tight. I tell her that we are in this together and we will make it through this. 

My body is alive but I feel empty inside. 

The son I was supposed to have.

Aiden is his name, my son I can not have.

He is with God now, engraved in my mind.

It was amazing to finally see your face,

but saddened deeply that you weren’t alive.

I prayed to God several times before I knew you had died.

To keep you safe I cried with hopeful eyes.


After you were born, looking so peaceful.

I cried, I didn’t want to say goodbye.

I prayed to God and asked to keep you safe with Him.

As I paced back and forth all night to make sure you were still there

I finally said goodbye in despair. 


Our baby Aiden, we wanted you to survive.

Two years we had tried, we were so excited when you had arrived.

We picked out so many things for you; you would have had a happy life.

We are sad to know that we won’t watch you grow up to be a man,

but we are happy to know you are safe with God alive within. 


We Will Never Forget You Aiden and We Will Always Love You!

With Tons and Tons of Love, 

Your Daddy, Nicholas Hise      


Read more Miscarriage Poems

If you would like to recommend a miscarriage poem or story, or contribute one of your own, please contact us and we'll add it to the site. Thanks.

If you would like to contribute a pregnancy or breastfeeding poem, story or photos, again just email us.

Breastfeeding Photos - Naomi

We've just received this gorgeous breastfeeding photo featuring Pearl breastfeeding her newborn daughter, Naomi! I think you'll agree it's stunning and a great advert for breastfeeding :)


If you would like to see your breastfeeding photos featured here and in our breastfeeding gallery, simply email them to Breastfeeding Mums. Include your URL if you would like a link back to your website or blog.

See more breastfeeding photos

Miscarriage Poems: Softly by Jackie Morgan

We received this wonderful little miscarriage poem from Jackie who said, "My sister-in-law has just lost her second baby and it inspired me to write this simple poem. I lost a baby at 12 weeks, after my first baby was born. But I went on to have five other healthy babes. There is hope for everyone."

by Jackie Morgan

Softly, softly
I knew you were there
Softly, softly
You grew – I swear

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