Do you know what nutrients help you to conceive?

If you’re planning to have a baby then you want to maximise your chances of conception. But did you know that there are certain nutrients that play a vital role in helping the body for reproduction?

For example, L-arginine and N-acetyl cysteine are micronutrients which play specific roles in maintaining healthy female fertility. Nutrients like these are thought to help produce a healthy cervical mucus which benefits sperm survival.

Folic acidis advised by the government for all women from the very beginning of trying to conceive. It not only contributes to the healthy development of the foetal neural tube during the first moments of life, it may also play a role in conception itself.

Vitabiotics Pregnacae Conception
Supports healthy conception

Vitamins B12, inositol and zinc are also important for female reproductive health. And, as an antioxidant, vitamin E is important as a guard against free radical damage on developing cells.

Vitabiotics Pregnacare Conception contains all these special nutrients and more and can be used three months before you start to try to conceive.

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Have a Bubbly Bath, with love from Humphrey

Humphrey’s Corner is the story of a lovable baby elephant who loves to play.

It is a book which has charmed parents and children all over the UK.

humphrey's corner
...with love from Humphey x

Now Faith in Nature, the natural bodycare company, have teamed up with Humphrey to create a baby care range – especially crafted with organic and other natural ingredients for a baby’s delicate skin.

You will find a whole range of Humphrey’s bubble baths, shampoo and lotion on GoodnessDirect’s shelves, all naturally free from parabens, artificial colours and fragrances, and all biodegradable and pH balanced for mildness.

Plus, of course, they are vegan and never tested on animals.

And it comes to you with love, from Humphrey…

Stay clean inside and outside your body with organic ingredients

A latest report on pesticides might give us more reason than ever to go organic.

Fruit & Veg Wash
Fruit & Veg Wash kills 99.9% of bacteria

The scientific investigation found that pesticides used on farm crops can remain in the flesh of fruit and vegetables even though they are washed.

But what about the bacteria and bugs that the pesticides are supposed to kill off? Well, that is where the washing does come in.

Bentley Organic have developed a new Salad, Fruit & Veg Wash which is proven to kill 99.9% of harmful bacteria. It’s approved by the Soil Association too. The Wash stops Listeria, Salmonella and E-coli but has no impact on water because it is made from naturally derived ingredients, so the fish are safe.

As a family firm, Bentley Organic started off making soap, but now produce a far bigger range including body care, hair care and a unique range of environmentally friendly household cleaning products.

Their latest household innovations include:
Organic Window  & Glass Cleaner
Organic Washing Up Liquid
Organic Toilet Cleaner

However, Bentley Organic have won many awards for making natural products that are good for your skin. These now include a new selection of balms for baby and mum. Like their household cleaners, Bentley’s bodycare and babycare range are nearly entirely vegan.

Vapour rub
Mild and gentle for delicate skin

Organic Baby Nappy Balm
Organic Baby Vapour Balm
Organic Strawberry or Mint Lip Balm
Organic Mother & Baby Hand Sanitizer

Also, try Bentley’s new Organic Handwash and Bodywash blended with Cinnamon, Sweet Orange and Clove Buds

Organic baby food gets the gourmet treatment

It seems like everything’s getting the celebrity treatment nowadays. Even baby food!

As a father however, celebrity chef, Aldo Zilli, knows what he’s talking about. And as a successful restaurateur, he’s in a position to bring new taste sensations to bland baby food…

Affordable and tasty organic baby food
Affordable and tasty organic baby food

Every baby deserves the best mealtime possible. What makes organic Baby Zilli even more interesting is that his prices are competitive.

But the proof is in the pudding. Reviews are confirming that babies love the Fruity Punch pouches and Zilli’s Fishy Dishy (try saying that fast) is causing waves.

Baby Zilli caters for the first years of a baby’s development. The food range rules out added salt and sugar, and there are no bulking agents or e-numbers. There’s nothing artificial added at all in fact, just great innovation as Baby Zilli work on developing new additions to their food range.

Every baby is different so ultimately you’ll have to see for yourself if Baby Zilli is really going to be value for money.

Win a useful baby food book

If you’ve noted the rise and rise of Ella’s Kitchen foods then you’ll appreciate how important the quality of baby food has become to parents.

It’s all too easy to fall back on jars of processed baby food. A lack of knowledge can prevent parents from feeding their baby an exciting, nutrient rich meal.

Perfect for busy parents and hungry babies
Perfect for busy parents and hungry babies

Now there’s a new little book which not only delivers a wealth of healthy recipes but also has food charts, nutritional information and tips on preparation and storage – vital stuff for busy parents.

It’s called Top 100 Baby Food Recipes and it’s by nutritionist, writer and chef, Christine Bailey.

Christine’s easy-to-follow recipes will have you making Fennel & Apple Puree for the first stage, or a Polenta Florentine or Sesame Stir-Fried Pork & Sweet Potato Mash for 7-9 months, or a Creamy Pesto Chicken with Roast Vegetables, or Salmon with Mango & Avocado Salsa, or Pear & Coconut Crumble, for 9-12 months.

Delicious recipes your baby will love and you’ll want to eat yourself!

We’re offering a copy of Christine’s new Top 100 Baby Food Recipes as this week’s competition prize.

It’s easy to enter: just send us an email with your name and address and we’ll pick a winner at random in a few days’ time. (UK entrants only, competition closes Thursday 19th May 2011)

(The Top 100 Baby Food Recipes is available from Duncan Baird Publishers at £6.99.)

5 ways to greener baby care

If you’re a mum or dad, you will want to do everything possible to look after your baby’s health. Personal choices that are good for your child and for the planet is an investment in their future.

Look after their world
Look after their world

Self-educate
“No parent can do everything, but every parent can do something” says Christopher Gavigan of Healthy Child Healthy World. The most important thing is to cultuivate an awareness of “the products we use in our home, the foods we buy, the toys our children play with, all can affect the health of our family.”

Green clean
As you furnish your home for your baby think beyond covering electric sockets and safety gates. Switch to non-toxic, environmentally friendly household cleaners. Remember your garden too and use natural pest control.

Shop organic
Start to buy organic foods. It’s easy to do this at baby stage with products like Babynat or Ella’s Kitchen, but getting used to cooking with organic food will put you in practice for the years to come.

You can also limit exposure by thinking about organic toiletries and choosing naturally dyed organic fabrics for clothing and furniture. Toys and books can be made from untreated wood, paper, organic fabric or metal, materials that are non-toxic and safe for a baby to chew on.

More natural less plastic
Many baby bottles, rattles, and bath toys are made from plastic. Whenever possible opt for glass, nonleaded ceramic, wooden or stainless steel alternatives. The most eco- and baby-friendly are bioplastics, which are made from corn and other substances. Check the labelling.

The bottom line
The typical child goes through 8,000 nappies before they are toilet trained. That’s a lot of landfill – where they will remain for the next 200 to 500 years before they decompose. You could choose other nappies: disposable nappies that are chlorine and perfume-free, or dual-layer “hybrid” nappies with a washable, reusable outer layer, and a biodegradable inner.

You can’t do everything, but you can do something” – a few steps toward a greener environment can have a positive impact on your baby’s health and will limit your impact on the planet your children and their children will inherit.

Can you imagine your baby with an illness no one else has? That’s only the beginning if your child has Galactosaemia

Stuart Ford is a co-ordinator for the Galactosaemia Support Group, which brings parents and children affected by this rare illness. All foods that contain lactose must be avoided for life. Here he explains the experience of a child suffering Galactosaemia.

Raising awareness of Galactosaemia
Raising awareness of Galactosaemia

Galactose is a sugar which mainly comes from lactose, the sugar found in milk. Lactose is normally broken down into the two simple sugars, galactose and glucose. The galactose is then broken down further and used in many parts of the body including the brain. In galactosaemia it cannot be broken down completely and used because of an absence of an enzyme. Galactose then builds up and leads to the serious illness that occurs in the first few weeks of life once the baby is fed on milk. It is a lifelong condition. Galactosaemia is rare. In the UK, about 1 child in 45,000 is born with this condition so between 12 and 18 children are born each year with it.

Signs of liver disease including jaundice, lethargy, poor feeding and weight loss are very common in new borns. The severity of the liver disease varies a lot. Babies can also be prone to infection at this stage, although this does not continue to be a problem. Cataracts may also be present. Once the galactose free diet has been started the liver disease will disappear and the baby will start to gain weight normally. Over time the cataracts will also disappear.

Unfortunately some children develop speech and language and/or learning difficulties, especially in maths and science. There is no way of preventing this at present. The speech and language difficulties consist mainly of problems with organising speech (oromotor dyspraxia). There may also be a problem with movements which is called motor dyspraxia. This leads to slowness in completing tasks.

In addition to these neurological problems, galactosaemia can affect the ovaries. Many girls do not go into puberty at the right time. This is because their ovaries do not produce enough of the hormone oestrogen. None of these problems are life threatening and galactosaemic children are otherwise as healthy as any other child provided they continue on their galactose free diet throughout life. In the future we hope that research will lead to better ways of preventing some or all of the long-term problems in galactosaemia.

The Galactosaemia Support Group brings families with galactosaemic children and adult galactosaemics into contact with each other and offers support where most needed. Through the group the families are able to share experiences, help each other with problems and exchange information and ideas. http://www.galactosaemia.org

The GSG are always on the look out for dairy free alternatives. Interestingly, they recently paid for a cheese analysis and found that cheese such as Emmantal, Jarlsberg and a couple of extra mature cheeses, such as Grano Pradano, are acceptable in a Galactosaemic diet, because the lactose is leached out of cheese as it matures. However, there are still other issues with lactose intolerance here. Check http://www.galactosaemia.org/index.php/eng/Food-diet/Cheese as it is quite a complex as to what can or can’t be eaten.

Shoppers looking for lactose-free food on GoodnessDirect can look at the Lactose-Free section or eliminate products with lactose by clicking on My Options. But be careful, products can have very little lactose present, but may still have galactose and glucose in them which makes them unsuitable in galactosaemia. The GSG provide great advice on what can and cannot be consumed.