Freelance writing on parenting

I’ve written features and news reports relating to pregnancy, parenting, baby and family issues for a wide range of print and online publications. These include Johnson’s, The Times, Babyworld, Baby Centre (UK), Baby Center (US), Discovery Health, BUPA, Baby and Toddler Gear magazine, NewGen (NCT magazine), Huggies Club, Norwich Union magazine, With Kids magazine, Health Today magazine, Baby Hampshire magazine, Families First for Health, Safe Kids, Growing Kids, Baby and Pregnancy, Berkshire’s County Child magazine and Families First for Health.

In addition, I’ve ghostwritten a book on child safety issues.

Johnson’s

Copywriting for the Big Little Moments series of videos, including:

Your special grandparent and baby moments (over 175,000 views, as of December 2014)

Daddy’s quirky ways

Your baby’s best messy moments

‘First time’ baby moments 

Baby Centre

Evidence-based health feature writing and updating and referencing of existing content.

Features include:

Developmental milestones: taste

Developmental milestones: touch

Developmental milestones: smell

Fetal distress

Your IVF Journey

Ectopic pregnancy – top 10 risk factors

Endometrial scratch – will it work for you?

Delayed cord clamping – 10 reasons to do it

Molar pregnancy – what you need to know

Baby aspirin: The secret pregnancy pill?

Prednisolone – the fertility wonder drug?

BBC

Holiday Activities for the Easter Break – BBC Learning, Parents Blog

The Times

Parents in Double Trouble, The Times (Body & Soul), April 2nd 2005

Where’s the aftercare? A new survey highlights the lack of support for mothers of twins.

Being pregnant with one baby is life-changing; expecting twins, triplets or more can be earth-shattering. But there is new evidence that the extra support and reassurance that multiple-birth parents need from health professionals is sorely absent.

PACEY / NCMA

Features for The Childcare Professional, the magazine of the Professional Association of Childcare and Early Years and Who Minds? (when it was formerly known as the National Childminding Association). Although aimed at child care professionals, they have some overlap with parenting issues:

Essential apps for the childcare professional

Supporting Children in Step-families – Dec 2011/Jan 2012

Coping With Toddler Tantrums

Helping Children Overcome Shyness

Building Children’s Self-Esteem – June/July 2011

Dealing With Sibling Rivalry – April/May 2011

Supporting Children With Down’s Syndrome – Feb/March 2011

Supporting Children Through Change – Dec 2010/Jan 2011

Supporting Deaf Children – Aug/Sept 2010

Language Matters – April/May 2010

First Steps (walking) – February/March 2010

Dealing with Difficult Behaviour – Dec 2009/Jan 2010

Supporting a Child with Autism – Oct/Nov 2009

Young and Gifted – Aug/Sept 2009

Teething Troubles – June/July 2009

Encouraging Crawling – April/May 2009

Baby and Pregnancy

I wrote half the content for this website, including:

What are the Antenatal Tests For?

Assisted Birth Delivery Methods

Birth Induction

Giving Birth: Pain Relief Methods

Caesarean Section

Abdominal and Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

Iron and Folic Acid in Pregnancy

All About Nappy Rash

Baby-Proofing Your Home

Making a Birth Plan

Waterbirth Safety

Safe Skincare When Pregnant

NewGen

I’ve contributed several articles to the NCT / National Childbirth Trust magazine, including:

When One Becomes Two – Winter 2007

BUPA

Positive Parenting Guide

A four-part guide covering:

Habit Formation – The Importance of Catching Them Young

Physical Activity – How to Help Your Children Develop Active Habits for Life

Healthy Eating – How to Help Your Children Develop Sensible Eating Habits

Have Fun – Using Holidays and Weekends to Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

Investigative news articles:

Cot Death Warning

Each week in the UK, seven babies die as a result of cot death. Despite much research and better understanding of the condition, it’s still the leading cause of death in babies over one month old, accounting for more deaths than meningitis, leukaemia, cancer, household and traffic accidents combined. One of the factors known to be linked to an increased risk is overheating in babies, yet a recent survey found a worrying lack of knowledge about baby heat issues.

MMR/Autism Link Unlikely

According to new research, cases of the developmental disability autism, which was controversially associated with the triple MMR immunisation, have levelled out since 1992. The new research suggests that the rise in cases since 1979 may not have been “real”, but rather the result of better awareness, diagnosis and record keeping. They also suggest that some parental claims of a link between MMR and autism may have increased after the immunisation debate arose in 1997. But what data did the researchers look at and what do their findings really mean?

Limit Tuna Intake When Pregnant

Women who are pregnant have been advised to avoid eating certain types of fish because of the amount of mercury contained in them. New recommendations have now widened this advice to include tuna. According to UK Government guidelines, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying for a baby are should limit the amount of tuna they eat each week. High levels of mercury in a woman’s diet may have a damaging effect on unborn and breastfed babies.

Parents Recommend

News and articles on pregnancy, parenting and baby issues:

Winter Stomach Bug Survival Strategies

Getting Children Interested in Books

Safety-Proofing Your Home

Baby Signing: Communicating With Your Baby

Negotiating the Childcare Maze

Immunisations

Understanding IVF

Reducing the Risk of Cot Death

Postnatal Care

Postnatal Depression

Eczema and Your Baby

Coping With Infant Colic

Multi-Tasking Mum

Ten Good Things You Might Not Know About Being Pregnant

Discovery Health

In conjunction with HMG Worldwide (and previously Health Media Ltd), I contributed a number of features to the Discovery Health website, on parenting/pregnancy, plus other health issues:

Hypnotic Births: The Way To A Pain-Free Labour?

Would you give up conventional pain relieving methods and trust the power of your mind to overcome the agony of childbirth? Well many women do and thrive on it, thanks to hypnotherapy.

Pregnancy and Work: Know Your Rights

Having a baby means you’re entitled to a range of legal privileges, but sussing out what you’re entitled to can be confusing – do you know your rights?

Must-Haves For New Dads

You’ve offered support during pregnancy and played your part at the birth, so now it’s time for the real hands-on parenting. But what are the essential items for all new dads?

Late Expectations

The saying goes that ‘life begins at 40’, and an increasing number of women are taking that quite literally – by choosing to have babies later in life.

Midwives Matter

Midwifery is one of the most traditional forms of natural therapy, but as modern medicine increasingly intervenes in the process of childbirth, are women set to lose the unique support midwives offer?

Pregnancy Tales: Fact or Fiction?

Pregnancy is a hot topic for old wives’ tales. But can a sudden craving for certain foods, the colour of your maternal grandmother’s hair or a dramatic increase in cleavage really indicate the sex of your unborn child?

Coping With Antenatal Depression

Women who are pregnant are expected to bloom and embrace the experience with confidence and joy. But what happens when, in spite of your hopes, you find that the elation of pregnancy and impending motherhood unexpectedly turns into a nightmare as full-blown depression descends?

Handy Baby Talk

Wouldn’t life be easier if your baby could somehow communicate to you exactly why she’s crying, and when she’s feeling hungry or wants to go to sleep? According to some parents, your baby can – if you teach her signing techniques.

Running Out of Time

More women are choosing to start families later in life. But while it may seem practical to make the most of career opportunities and enjoy our 20s, are some of us letting our fertility slip away and ruining our chances of motherhood?

Keep An Eye On Your Child’s Sight

A child’s eyesight reaches full development by the time they are eight, making the early years a particularly crucial time. Are you paying sufficient attention to your child’s sight?

Baby and Toddler Gear magazine

Regular features and ‘The Big Issue’ articles:

Antenatal Tests, November 2006

Understanding IVF, November 2006

10 Good Reasons to Get Pregnant, September/October 2006

How To Beat the Morning Mayhem, August 2006

We’re not all natural managers, but when you have a house to clean, meals to cook, a baby to feed and a busy workload to juggle, you need a diploma in modern parenting just to stay afloat. Rachel Newcombe has sussed out some key solutions to help you stay on top.

‘Look At Me Now’ (Baby Signing), August 2006

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, August 2006

Natural Birth (Visualisation Techniques and De-stressing), July 2006

You already have the most powerful resources for a positive birth – your mind and body. Rachel Newcombe shows you how to connect the two in preparation for a thoroughly natural birth.

Pain Relief in Labour: Your Choices, May/June 2006

A guide to six of the main forms of pain relief on offer for labour.

The Big Issue: Children and Divorce, March/April 2006

The Big Issue: Eczema, January/February 2006 and November 2006

The Big Issue: Food and Learning, November/December 2005

The Big Issue: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome September/October 2005

The Big Issue: Where Are All the Midwives? July/August 2005

Families First for Health

Features for the Families First for Health online Families magazine (part of the NHS Children First for Health website), in conjunction with Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Is Your Child Obese?

The Death of a Child

Prepare to Vaccinate

Baby Hampshire, Baby Surrey and Baby London magazines

These quarterly regional parenting magazines are aimed at families with children aged 0-4 years old in the Hampshire, Surrey and London areas respectively. I wrote the book review and multimedia pages for each issue, and organising related competitions, from 2005 to 2014. The reviews cover books aimed at babies, toddlers and young children, plus DVDs/CDs/games, and titles of interest to parents.

Various children’s book reviews:

Flossie Crums: The Enchanted Cookie Tree

Arthur and the Meanies

Lulu’s Loo: A Delightfully Interactive Potty Training Book

The Adventures of Scratch, Sniff and Mr Smith: The Search for Stinky Pond

Too Pickly!

Funny Felt Animal Faces

The Little Knight

The Dirty Great Dinosaur

You…

Me…

It’s a Dog’s Life

Bedtime: A Slip and Slide Book

Hello, Animals!

Too Purply!

Oliver Who Travelled Far and Wide

I Like Bugs

I Want a Sister!

Books for Parents:

The True Diary of a Mum-to-Be: A Pregnancy Companion

Staying Sane: 99 Ways to Stop Yourself Going Mad When You Become a Mother

Poisonous Plants: A Guide for Parents and Childcare Providers

The Babymoon Experience

Gluten-free Cookbook for Kids

Top Tips from the Baby Whisperer: Sleep

Save Our Sleep: Helping Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Other reviews:

Animal Parade Stacking Boxes: Alison Jay’s Nursery Collection

Huggies Club

The Huggies Club is a free online club that is designed especially for UK parents. The website provides a range of useful information, resources and advice for new and expecting parents. Some of the articles I contributed are listed below (Note: To gain access to the complete site contents you do need to complete a short registration process first).

Maternity Benefits: Your Money

Maternity Leave

For Fathers: Paternity Rights

I also worked on the creation of an extensive directory covering events, facilities and other areas of interest to families with under 5s.

Norwich Union magazine

Getting Kids Active, Summer 2006

If you are keen to keep your children fit, busy and motivated during the school holidays, try getting them involved in some summer activities

Babyworld

Between April 2001 and July 2003, I wrote the daily news (five times a week) for the Babyworld website, “the UK’s leading website for information on pregnancy and babies” (owned at the time by Freeserve). The topics covered included pregnancy health, parenting, issues for fathers and celebrity births and pregnancies.

New study shows why tobacco increases cot death risk

Massage reduces sleepless nights

Summer babies at greater risk of digestive disease

Birth rate at its lowest

Self-help for pregnant smokers failing

Antidepressants during pregnancy given bad press

Identity tags reunite lost children with parents

Safe workplace for pregnant women a necessity

Iron deficiency in infants

Children at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning

Bed sharing danger highlighted

Discussion forum for parents of children with ME

Swaddling could aid sleep

Allergy magazine

Features for the specialist consumer allergy publication:

Is Your Child Seven, Going on 37? (Children’s Allergies), Nov/Dec 2004

Student Life: Coping with Allergies, Sept/Oct 2004

Growing Kids

Various articles for the Growing Kids website, including:

Sugar ‘v’ Foodsweeteners

Bedwetting

Feeding: 6 to 12 Months

Caffeine and Kids

Avoiding Boredom

Doctors, Dentists and Kids

Choosing Age Appropriate Films

Garden Games

Ideas for Half-Term Fun

Kids Cookery

Safe Kids

Various articles for the Safe Kids website, including:

Trampoline Safety

Safe Sleeping for Babies

Using Baby Carriers and Slings Safely

Cats and Babies / Children

Dogs and Babies / Children

BBQ Safety

Firework Safety

Farm Visits / Animal Safety

Choosing a Safe Party Venue

Berkshire’s County Child

I wrote regular content, plus produced the book review pages, for this bi-monthly regional parenting/lifestyle title which ran from November 2003 – October 2004. Examples of my parenting articles include:

Children’s Parties….and How to Survive Them!

Party bags, food, decorations, entertainment and invitations – there’s a lot to organise when it comes to children’s parties!

Negotiating the Childcare Maze

Confused about childcare? Read on to discover what’s available and how to decide what’s right for you.

Is it Safe to Bring Children Up As Vegetarians?

With National Vegetarian Week taking place in May, Rachel Newcombe explores whether it’s a safe form of diet to bring children up on.

Keeping Your Children Safe in the Car

When travelling with children in the car, it’s crucial to ensure they’re safe at all times. Car seats help protect vulnerable youngsters, but with so many different options available, deciding which type you need can be confusing. If you’re in a muddle as to which is right for your bundle of joy, read on for our essential car seat guide by Rachel Newcombe.

Relaxation Tips for Mums and Dads

Life as a parent can be exhausting, and there are bound to be days when you end up feeling frazzled. If you’re in need of some time out and pampering, read on to discover some relaxation ideas!

Home and Garden Safety

Accidents happen all the time and, in the case of children, many occur at home or in the garden. Rachel Newcombe identifies some common home and garden hazards and offers simple ways of modifying the dangers and creating a safer environment.

Are We There Yet? (Or How to Survive Travelling With Children!)

The words, ‘Are we there yet’ are likely to be familiar with any parent who’s ever travelled long or short distances with children. Despite good intentions and pre-travel advice that it’s going to involve a fair bit of sitting still, children inevitably become restless and eager to reach their destination. So what can you do to make the journey more bearable for both them and you?

Coping With Children’s Allergies

Allergies are on the increase – according to Allergy UK, four in 10 school children have at least one allergic condition, one in five has asthma and 85 per cent of these are allergic to house dust mites. Coping with an allergy can be difficult for adults, but for children it can make life miserable. But what are common allergies, what impact do they have and what can be done to make life more bearable?

Other parenting work

I was review editor for Scholar magazine, a quarterly publication for families of children at independent schools. Covering books aimed at 4-13 year olds, plus games, gadgets and films.

* Need a writer, editor, copywriter, book writer or blogger specialising in parenting? Call now on 07801 944 978 or email rachel@newcombe.co.uk