Your health:

Baby Ben's bottle battle

Kate Richards
Now, at 13 weeks, Ben's sleeping pretty well at night - for about two stretches of four hours each. We're even managing to have a proper evening because he seems happy to go down at 7pm, what a relief!

He's also starting to look like a little boy, and is much

Happy Winter Solstice

Stacey Collins
The full lunar eclipse yesterday on the 21st December was definitely worth celebrating as it also coincided with the Winter Solstice for the first time in 372 years, and that means an extra few minutes of daylight each evening… Here’s to a dramatically improved social life.

And so comes the end...

Stacey Collins
Attention… Apprentice spoiler alert. With the final going out this past Sunday, you may or may not be glad that The Apprentice has come to a close for another year and we’re now contemplating a Mystic Meg-esque job as our favourite to win was bestowed with the ultimate title of ‘The Apprentice’.

Pregnant? Get a jab - urgently!

Laura Johnson
If you're pregnant you should get the flu vaccine.

That was the powerful message yesterday after it emerged that swine flu is rampaging through Britain again.

So far as many as four pregnant women have needed intensive care after contracting flu this autumn, experts said.

Who will face Lord Sugar's firing squad?

Stacey Collins
Well that was a bit of a shock. One of our favourites to win, Liz, has been banished from the boardroom by Lord Sugar. With the tough interview episode ahead, we are left wondering how our remaining favourite, Stella, will fare.

Become a star

Stacey Collins
Ralph Lauren’s casual denim wear diffusion company The Polo Jeans Co. held an exhibition in London on the 6th December to showcase exciting young artists Art Stars. The stars were auctioned and the money raised was given to Teenage Cancer Trust to help them build specialist units in NHS hospitals.

The contemporary artists were asked to create a piece of art in the form of a three dimensional star with the iconic theme of Stars and Stripes as their subject to work with.

Are Liz and Stella still winner material?

Stacey Collins
Last week’s explosive episode of The Apprentice which was reminiscent of the first episode of boy v girl kept us on the edge of our seats when it came to the boardroom. Our favourite two contestants were at risk of being on the receiving end of the all-powerful firing finger of Lord Sugar. Thank goodness it was Laura no-Moore that was sent home.

Pregnant women want better care

Jayne Howarth and Stacey Collins
Care of women giving birth and the months before birth still needs improvement in England - although care after a baby is born may be getting better.

Those are the findings of a major - and official - survey of new mums published only yesterday.

Celebrities die a digital death

Stacey Collins
If you have been surfing the web recently, you may have been shocked by pictures of Kim Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest and Jay Sean lying in coffins holding phones. Well, do not fear readers, it’s not some celebrity plague.

Laura's cheap - as chips - attack on Stella

Stacey Collins
Another week, another satisfied, smug smile from ‘fluent’ German speaker Stuart. Whilst we wish Stuart Baggs ‘The Brand’ would become Stuart Baggs ‘The Banned’, we feel that the remaining women contestants are still strong competition for Lord Sugar’s future apprentice. Wunderbar!

There was an exciting few moments in last week’s episode of The Apprentice ‘Crisps’ when it looked like the bitchiness between the girls was to

Snip solves Kate's breast-feeding

Kate Richards
The latest news on ten week old Ben is that he's started to wake only once in the night. This is a fantastic development, but I'm aware it might not last - I've

Sexual assault aid pledge

Jayne Howarth and Laura Johnson
The UK government yesterday signalled a commitment to improve services for thousands of women who endure the misery of rape.

Across the country, a woman suffers a serious sexual assault on average once every ten minutes, according to Department of Health figures.

Will it be a Liz v Stella face-off?

Stacey Collins
After last week’s episode, we at Women’s News have adopted the stance that we don’t mind who wins The Apprentice, as long as it isn’t 21 year old Stuart Baggs ‘The Brand’. Give us back Paloma Vivanco any day.

Antenatal delays and patchy childbirth care

Jayne Howarth and Stacey Collins
Massive differences in the quality of maternity services in different English hospitals were revealed yesterday.

The figures showed some hospitals struggling to give women an antenatal appointment within the first three months of pregnancy.

But the extent of the differences

So who's right about baby pressures?

Laura Johnson and Stacey Collins
A row erupted today as midwife leaders accused the UK government of breaking promises to improve the care of women having babies.

Royal College of Midwives chief executive Cathy Warwick hit out at the college's annual conference in Manchester - calling for midwife numbers to be increased by 3,500.

She said: "The silence on this issue from the Government is deafening. When they were outside government they were promising much, now they are committing

Hasta La Vista

Stacey Collins
Last week's episode of The Apprentice, ‘Advertising’, led us to say au revoir to Apollo leader, Alex Epstein. Not much of a loss there although I was hoping that it would be serious Sandeesh that would be scrubbed out after week six’s cleaning advert task.

Too many mums?

Laura Johnson
More and more babies are being born in Britain - and now the country's most senior midwives say they are struggling to cope.

Top tips from a new mum

Kate Richards
I've been asked to do a presentation to an antenatal group about life with a new baby. I wasn't expecting it, so I accidently agreed!

Having asked around my mum friends, my list of "top tips" starts with the most important piece of advice - try to stay relaxed, calm, and remember there's no one right way to do it. Then there's the second crucial tip - sleep when they sleep.

Writer's frenzy!

Stacey Collins
It may sound like the cold has got us talking gibberish but NaNoWriMo is the name of the novel-writing challenge that asks its participants to write a 50,000 word novel, starting from scratch…in just one month.

National Novel Writing Month began on

Paloma palaver

Stacey Collins
Week five of The Apprentice, ‘Fashion’, seemed eerily absent of bitchiness and narcissism…that is until Paloma Vivanco took it solely upon herself to rectify this unusual peaceful phase.

Mums reject home-birth

Laura Johnson
The number of women in England and Wales giving birth at home is falling - in spite of efforts to encourage "choice", according to new figures released yesterday.

The latest figures dismayed midwife leaders, who have campaigned for more support for home births. But they may reflect controversy about the risks of home birth - including some

A new life begins!

Kate Richards
My brand new baby is already seven weeks old, and I'm just starting to find the time to take stock. It hasn't fully sunk in that I'm a parent.

Harry's invisibility cloak materialises

Stacey Collins
The flying Lexus slams into the tree with a deafening crash, resting just inches away from Alison who was thrown out of the way by her obliging robot, Rob. Yes, we’ve all watched these futuristic films and magical movies where complicated technology reigns supreme but we’ve also acknowledged that it is purely fiction. The future it may be, just not part of our future.

Well, the future is here.

'Selling Out'

Stacey Collins
So it’s Wednesday again and tonight’s episode of The Apprentice, ‘Fashion’, is only a few hour-glass figures away. With the women contestants outnumbering the male contestants even after Melissa’s dramatic departure last week, we are left wondering who will prevail tonight.

Last week’s episode, ‘Selling to Trade’, perhaps more aptly named ‘Selling Out’, showcased an assortment of female faculty and female failings.

Today is Maternity Day

Jayne Howarth
The first ever National Maternity Day is being held today to recognise the work being done by midwives and the need for good services for new mothers.

It has been launched by the National Maternity Support Foundation, which campaigns to ensure that every NHS Trust with a maternity unit offers specialist bereavement care.

Tubes useful, say women

Laura Johnson
Is this a sign that women are taking control of their own lives and fertility? According to new figures, the number of women opting to get their tubes tied has slumped - even collapsed - in the last ten years.

There's no indication what lies behind it so we can only guess. Perhaps women are choosing not to have an irreversible procedure - keeping their options open. Or it

La Paloma Blanca?

Stacey Collins
Oh, look. It’s that time of the week again; The Apprentice time. Tonight’s episode, ‘Selling to Trade’ will see the remaining contestants select two, new innovative products to trade to the country’s largest retailers. However, task aside, most of the country will be watching to see what degree of bitchiness this week’s episode will entail.
Every week of The Apprentice seems to reveal

Hush, All You Adults

Stacey Collins
Trouble sleeping at night? Have you ever tried listening to music to help induce a bountiful night of sleep? If you are, then you’re part of the 84 per cent of adults that also listen to music before bedtime.

We’ve all heard of the different methods

Women bear the brunt?

Stacey Collins
So after much anticipation, the government’s Spending Review was finally presented to Parliament earlier this week. Whilst we’ve all heard the keywords private and public sector, budgets and economy milled around this week, the review this year

Jade effect fades

Laura Johnson
The “Jade Goody” effect on cervical cancer testing has faded in England, with fewer women having tests last year compared with the previous 12 months, according to new figures revealed yesterday.

The fall in numbers alarmed campaigners - as it is thought to be too early for the HPV vaccination programme to be having an impact on older women.

The Apprentice

Stacey Collins
The fight to resist Orange 241 films on a Wednesday has just become easier as The Apprentice has made its sweet return for the sixth series with Lord Sugar.

As we wait in anticipation for tonight’s episode, when we shall see who ‘dough’ and who ‘doughsn’t’ get through on the bakery challenge, last weeks ‘bitchfest’ episode is still fresh on people’s minds.

Attack on pregnancy 'scares'

Laura Johnson
Women are being scared out of normal birth because of reports highlighting the risks surrounding pregnancy, a midwives' leader says.

Recent guidance on obesity in pregnancy has alarmed many women, according to Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives.

Most women who are obese or overweight can still experience a normal birth - but need high quality care, Professor Warwick said.

Don't Give Up Africa

Stacey Collins
The word Africa conjures up images of drought, disease and death to the majority of us. These negative connotations are frequently encouraged by the media who bombard us with pictures of skeletal bodies and stories of war crimes.

However, the latest campaign by Bono has attempted not to dwell on the saddening and sombre aspects of African poverty to guilt people into giving money.


Stacey Collins
As women, what are the worst challenges we face daily? Perhaps getting up in time for work every morning? Maybe it’s trying to find an outfit that actually matches or attempting to fit in that quality ‘me-time’ which demands a mug of hot chocolate, a Hobnob and an episode of Corrie? How about the struggle to stay alive everyday because your conscience prevailed over cowardliness?


Staff Writer
Varying standards of care, not lifestyle choice, lie behind soaring Caesarean birth rates in England, researchers say today.

A new study rejects the idea that women are choosing the operation - typified by claims that celebrities have become "too posh to push".

Some 25 per cent of births now take place through the surgeon's knife - compared with just nine per cent in 1980.


Staff Writer
Care for mothers with new babies in Britain is inadequate, it was claimed yesterday.

Many women feel "confused, abandoned and let down", according to the National Childbirth Trust.


Staff Writer
All pregnant women are to be offered flu vaccination this winter in a bid to spread immunity against swine flu, it was announced today.

Government advisers say they remained concerned that a re-emergence of swine flu could put expectant women at risk.


Stacey Collins
Mulberry, a quintessential, iconic British brand well known for its ‘lifestyle’ look, the gorgeous bags (including the widely renowned Alexa Satchel), and its elegant but unpretentious approach to the representation of their clothing.

The exclusive Soho House in New York became the setting for a Secret Garden themed Mulberry Fashion show on September 14th as many stars flocked to get a glimpse at the stars of the Spring/Summer 2011 collection.


Staff Writer
Expectant mothers who face difficult social circumstances are endangering their own and their babies’ health because they are not accessing antenatal care, campaigners warn today.

NHS guidelines published today by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), are calling on antenatal services to become flexible and supportive to women’s needs.


Kate Richards
 I'm 39 weeks today, and finally everything is ready. The birth pool arrived and has been tested. It's so relaxing I didn't want to get out! The midwife will bring gas and air, and I've got an electric TENS machine to use in the early stages (obviously not in the water). Apart from that, I'll be relying on the breathing and relaxation techniques from my "hypnobirthing" dvds, which I eventually started listening to.


Staff Writer
Pamela Anderson, ageing rocker Keith Richards and a member of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Not to mention the late Anita Roddick, founder of the BodyShop. What could they possibly have had in common?


Tara Wilkins
Everyone’s heard of the old saying “There’s no I in Team” and scientists have set out to prove just that. The British Science Festival will be in Birmingham, UK, from the 14th -19th of September and this year the festival features some interesting studies about the science of business - mostly revolving around the relationship between a boss and their team of staff.

In a successful team there has to be good communication, mutual respect, support and hopefully you’ll all be aiming for the same goal. Without these factors it’s hardly worth calling it a team.


Kate Richards
Oh dear, time's beginning to run out. I'm nearly 37 weeks now, which is often considered full term. But there are still several things I haven't organised, not least the birth pool!

Of course, little Humphrey (as my family has christened him) might not arrive until 42 weeks, which gives me more time. Whether I'll be capable of practicalities by that point is another matter. I'll probably still be capable of writing lists though, and giving orders.


Kate Richards
I've discovered that one nice side-effect of being pregnant is the chance to make new friends. The antenatal classes I've attended so far have been strangely bonding experiences. We've shared our worries, questions, and general sense of anxious naivety, and when a photocopied list of our email addresses was handed out last week, I don't think anyone had any objections.


Tara Wilkins
Summer. We think sun, sea and sangria, we do not think sunstroke, dehydration and heat exhaustion but if we’re not careful and take the proper precautions then our summer may not be as good as expected.

Usually for those who holiday in good old England have no worries about sunstroke because we never get much sun! But with the lovely weather we’ve been experiencing in recent weeks we need to get clued up on the dangers we are at risk from,.


Kate Richards
After having a dream pregnancy until now, I'm starting to have a noticeable night-time niggle - sleep is no longer my friend. Some nights are ok, only waking once or twice for bathroom visits, but it's definitely going downhill.


Kate Richards
I've been feeling strangely calm during this pregnancy, not too worried about things going wrong or having an awful labour. There are a few concerns at the back of my mind but mainly I've been pretty serene. This could be caused by the pregnancy hormones or the lack of PMT, who knows?

But many women can feel almost overwhelmed during pregnancy by a combination of unpleasant symptoms, money and relationship fears, job stress, dealing with small children, elderly parents, or a pre-existing mental or physical illness.


Tara Wilkins
Father’s Day certainly conjures up images of tacky ties, slogan mugs and overpriced cards. It has to be said, though, our daddies do deserve a day dedicated to them, they work hard, make sure we have a roof over our head and food in our bellies, until we can fend for ourselves that is – but we always know we’ll be daddy’s little girl.


Jayne Howarth
There are many women across the UK who will joke about the fact that they are "football widows" for the next month, thanks to the ball-by-ball World Cup coverage.
Many will roll their eyes in mock disgust.
Sadly, there will be many more women who will dread the next few weeks.  They will have studied the fixtures for very different reasons from their partners.


Kate Richards
One of the things that's surprised me as I prepare to enter the world of parenting is just how expensive or cheap having a baby can be. Newspaper articles would have you believe that the cost of raising a child has topped £200,000. Others ridicule this as nonsense, and claim the first year can cost almost nothing.

How? Well I've looked into this carefully and my top tips are:


Stacey Collins
You are pregnant and have just been to the doctors'. They have bombarded you with advice; cut down on the caffeine, only eat hard-boiled or scrambled eggs, and avoid stressful situations.

 In fact, the overload of information has left you feeling more stressed than ever.

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