I’ve written features and news reports relating to baby and child health, including 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.
Family articles for the lifestyle section of LV= include:
Dealing with Empty Nest Syndrome
How to Help a Child with Anxiety or Depression
Copywriting for the Big Little Moments series of videos, including:
Your special grandparent and baby moments
Your baby’s best messy moments
Evidence-based health feature writing and updating and referencing of existing content.
Developmental milestones: taste
Developmental milestones: touch
Developmental milestones: smell
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?
Holiday Activities for the Easter Break – BBC Learning, Parents Blog
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
Giving Birth: Pain Relief Methods
Abdominal and Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy
Iron and Folic Acid in Pregnancy
I’ve contributed several articles to the NCT / National Childbirth Trust magazine, including:
When One Becomes Two – Winter 2007
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.
Learning Support magazine
All issues of the print magazine are now online, so articles can be read by choosing the appropriate issue from the Knowledge Bank section of the site.
Creature Comforts: Looking After Cuddles – Issue 31, Summer Term 2, 2010
Classroom pets can bring great benefits to children, but they have to be cared for properly and that job often falls to the TA.
Build on Your Success With a Foundation Degree – Issue 16, Spring Term 1, 2008
Happy in Your Work? Issue 15, Autumn Term 2 2007
Making a difference gives TAs job satisfaction.
The Heat is On, Issue 13, Summer Term 2 2007
As summers get hotter and hotter, so do classrooms.
What’s Important for Muslim Pupils, Issue 12, Summer Term 1 2007
There are many schools positively embracing the needs of Muslim pupils.
(This piece has also been published by the Open University, as part of support materials for course E101: Learning Through Enquiry in Primary Schools).
Looking for the Perfect Job? Issue 11, Spring Term 2007
Advice for job hunters.
Lost for Words? Supporting Children Who Don’t Speak English, Issue 10, New Year 2007
English is a second language for one in eight primary pupils and some arrive at school with none at all.
A Change of Direction: Teaching Assistants Who Were Teachers, Issue 9, Autumn Term 2 2006
Being a teaching assistant and seeing what goes on in the classroom often inspires TAs to go on to train to become teachers. But for some TAs their career direction has been the opposite – they were trained teachers, but have changed jobs and become TAs instead.
News and articles on pregnancy, parenting and baby issues:
Winter Stomach Bug Survival Strategies
Getting Children Interested in Books
Baby Signing: Communicating With Your Baby
Negotiating the Childcare Maze
Reducing the Risk of Cot Death
Ten Good Things You Might Not Know About Being Pregnant
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?
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.
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?
Child Education magazine
Features for Scholastic’s monthly magazine, aimed at Key Stage 1 teachers:
Oh, Behave! (Discipline), June 2005
Five Steps to a Creative Classroom, March 2005
Body Image, Jan 2005
Dawn-Till-Dusk Schools: Has Your Working Day Just Got Longer? Dec 2004
The Government wants more schools to offer breakfast and after-school clubs. With teachers’ workload already at breaking point, is the possibility of an 11-hour day the final straw?
Articles for the quarterly magazine of the NCPTA:
A Sporting Chance, Autumn 2005
Linking Learning (Networking Schools), Summer 2005
Prize Projects, Spring 2005
AGM On The Agenda, Autumn 2004
Lots of Fun! Holding an Auction, Summer 2004
It’s a Gift! Spring 2004
Not all PTAs are wise to the benefits of Gift Aid, but with Rachel Newcombe’s advice, a lot more of you will discover how just a little effort can reap surprisingly big rewards.
Outdoor Entertainment, Autumn 2003
If you think it could be time to give your school playground a facelift, Rachel Newcombe provides some inspiration and ideas.
Home and School magazine
Features for the NCPTA’S previous quarterly magazine for “parents and teachers working together”:
Off The Couch (Tackling Obesity), Home and School magazine, Autumn 2001
Having an active lifestyle, keeping fit and eating well-balanced nutritious meals are great ways of improving our chances of staying healthy. For children, the early years are crucial and habits developed during this time can last long into the future. However, research is increasingly indicating that children as young as primary age are having less physical activity than recommended and are becoming overweight, and in some cases, obese.
Body Talk (ICT health issues), Summer 2001
The amount of time our children spend on computer related activities, learning in class or just having fun at home, is greater than ever before. Rachel Newcombe reports on a new awareness of the health issues surrounding prolonged computer use.
Seating Arrangements: Posture and School Furniture, Spring 2001
Rachel Newcombe sheds some light on the often overlooked subject of school furniture and offers some advice on ways to invest in your child’s physical well-being in the classroom.
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
Lulu’s Loo: A Delightfully Interactive Potty Training Book
The Adventures of Scratch, Sniff and Mr Smith: The Search for Stinky Pond
Bedtime: A Slip and Slide Book
Oliver Who Travelled Far and Wide
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
Top Tips from the Baby Whisperer: Sleep
Save Our Sleep: Helping Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night
Animal Parade Stacking Boxes: Alison Jay’s Nursery Collection
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
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
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
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
Various articles for the Growing Kids website, including:
Choosing Age Appropriate Films
Various articles for the Safe Kids website, including:
Using Baby Carriers and Slings Safely
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.
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