Scan down this page, or click on one of the following areas of interest, to jump straight to that area of this news page.
Sheila's speaking engagements include the following.
Sheila writes several articles a year for parenting
and other magazines mainly in the UK & USA.
March 3rd 2008
February 23rd 2008
September 26th 2007
OLD The Media
1st November 2004
20th August 2004
18th October 2001
An international petition is being organised called "Giving Birth in Freedom, Being Born to Freedom." To learn more about this email Nick.Thorpe@bbc.co.uk
29th September 2001
3rd May, 2001
29th April 29, 2001
29th April, 2001
7th May 2000
6th April 2000
25 March 2006 Bristol/smaller>
31 October 2005 March 2005 Oxford
20 January 2004
A rally in Prague on January 20th proclaimed support for independent midwives. A bill is before parliament designed to prevent midwives practising except under the direction of obstetricians. This denies midwives professional status and destroys any possibility of women being able to have home births within the law. The Czech Republic is about to enter the European Union and E.U rules protect midwifery as a profession. Hence the banners `With independent midwives to E.U.!' and `We want the possibility of choice!'
Recent UK Books by Sheila
2000 A new edition of
There is a spate of books on market about how to
control children's behavior - about avoiding sibling rivalry, solving sleep problems,
about how to get children to co-operate, toilet training, overcoming shyness, about coping
with tantrums and hyperactivity, stealing, lying and bullying, about maintaining
meaningful relationships in dealing with children's fears. There are books with aggressive
titles like Toddler Taming, Dare to Discipline, Spanking: Why, When, How;
achievement-oriented books like Raising Children for Success, How to Have a Smarter Baby,
and How to Raise a Brighter Child; sad books like How to Really Love your Child and When
Your Child Drives You Crazy; hopeful books with titles like 401 Ways to Get Your Kids to
Work at Home and No-Fault Parenting. After this you might feel the need to read a book
called Battle Fatigue. But there is very little about what you believe and the kind of
person you hope your child will become.
Other books of interest
Sheila's new books in other languages
Understanding your crying baby
El nuevo Gran Libro del Embarazo y del Parto
Il Bambino l'attesa e la nascita (The New
Pregnancy and Childbirth)
The new edition of Freedom and Choice in Childbirth
Diventare Nonna (Becoming a Grandmother)
Poród po 35 roku zycuia (Birth
April 14th 2005
Do read the mass of rapid responses to both the editorial and the article itself.
Josh, my four year old grandson, came home from school with a worksheet on which he had to place the correct word by a picture. One of the words was feeding and the picture showed a baby feeding from a bottle. Underneath the picture were the words, One week. It was part of a Channel 4 education series.
I raised this miseducation of 4 year olds into thinking that bottle feeding was normal for a newborn baby with Channel 4, and have a response from the Education Officer saying that , We wanted to use the image of a bottle...
Breastfeeding saves lives, artificial feeding kills especially in situations of poverty, malnutrition and poor hygiene.
A paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol 285, No 4, January 2001, describes a huge research project, a multicentre randomised controlled trial, to assess the effects of breastfeeding information in Belarus (a former Soviet republic). It involved 17046 mother-baby pairs. Women were randomly assigned to receive help and advice about breastfeeding or to continue with their usual infant feeding practices.
The intervention worked. At 3 and 6 months babies were significantly more likely to be exclusively breastfed, and at 12 months the mothers who were helped were often still breastfeeding. There was a reduction in gastro-intestinal infections by 40% and in excema by 46%.
An interesting note.
All Western studies have shown that exclusive breastfeeding reduces the incidence of coughs, colds and snuffles and other more serious respiratory infection. But this did not happen in Belarus. Babies there rarely catch colds. The researchers suggest that this is because mothers have three years obligatory maternity leave in Belarus, so that instead of going to day care centres babies stay at home, and are thus not exposed to a high rate of infection from other children. They noted that there is a high rate of breastfeeding for more than 3 months using the control groups.
The real and clear message is that breastfeeding, especially prolonged breastfeeding, affects child health, particularly in the area of gastro-intestinal infections and atopic excema in the first year of life.
They will be following up these children in future years, monitoring their growth and development, and documenting the development of chronic illnesses. The immediate benefits of breastfeeding have been confirmed once more. Ideally, the long-term benefits will also be demonstrated by this research group.
[Michael S Kramer et al, `Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT), A Randomized Trial in the Republic of Belarus', Journal of the American Medical Association pp413-464, Vol 285, No 4 , January 24/31 2001]
Sheila wrote an article on Breastfeeding and Modesty for the September issue of MIDIRS Digest.
The Milk of Human Kindness
By the International Women Count Network and World Alliance for
Writing in the Independent, Tuesday September 12th, Deborah Orr said:
Sheila has nowhere said what this journalist claimed. In The New Pregnancy & Childbirth section on breastfeeding she stresses the importance of getting the baby well latched on the breast. And she discusses her '24 hour peak production plan' when a mother thinks she does not have enough milk going to bed with the baby for 24 hours and offering her the breast whenever she seems to want to feed.
Patricia Wise, Co-Chair of the Breastfeeding Counsellors' Panel of the National Childbirth Trust, responded with a letter:
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