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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 130

Date:- 20 December 2003

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Christmas celebrations at Southport’s Midwifery Led Unit.
Report and photographs by Nicky Williams of Health Start.

EXPECTANT mothers and mums who have recently given birth at Southport’s Midwifery Led Unit recently enjoyed a Christmas party organised by the midwives to celebrate births at the new unit.

Midwives from the Trust’s Southport centre organised the festive party to congratulate those women who have already given birth at the unit and also for the pregnant women who are due to deliver in Southport.

The occasion was also to raise awareness about the excellent midwifery facilities still available in Southport and to encourage more local women to give birth in their hometown.

Catherine Boyle, Consultant Midwife, said:- “We thought it would be a lovely idea to hold a Christmas party to celebrate the deliveries we have had at the unit and to show expectant mothers the facilities at Southport before they give birth at the Midwifery Led Unit. As part of the celebrations we handed out little gifts for the babies and balloons for the toddlers as a special treat for Christmas.”

Other VIP guests who attended the party included local MPs and councillors, GPs, Primary Care Trust representatives and other health professionals.

The midwives also used the event to showcase the expertise and care they can offer expectant mothers who are thinking about giving birth in Southport.

Catherine said:- “Our Midwifery Led Unit offers women the opportunity to experience their childbirth in a calm, friendly and caring environment. The experienced team of midwives are all expert in natural and normal childbirth and ensure that expectant mothers are looked after in relaxing and comforting surroundings.

We hope to encourage more women to choose the Midwifery Led Unit to give birth and look forward to the unit growing and developing over the years to further become a special place where women, babies and their families are nurtured.”

Anyone who is interested in booking for delivery at the Midwifery Led Unit would be welcome to contact the midwives on the telephone via 01704 704617.

The great Christmas bulge:- Liverpudlians unaware of festive snacking and boozing levels
Report with thanks to Becky Hitch, Annabel Dunstan or Angie Moxham At 3 Monkeys Communications.

BY snacking and boozing during the next two weeks each Liverpudlian will consume calories and fat equivalent to a bath of lemonade and five blocks of butter. Only ten per cent realise this and less than three per cent believe they’d have to walk the length of the river Mersey at least four times to burn it off.

The research, conducted by Capespan the company behind the Cape and Outspan brands, asked about people’s eating and drinking habits during the festive season.

It showed that each person in Liverpool is likely to consume 28,000 calories and 1.1 kilos of fat as they nibble and sip their way through Christmas. To work it off they would have to walk 292 miles, taking 116 hours. But with more than one third of adults leading sedentary lives*, the chances of shedding the festive flab are slim.

When the average Christmas Dinner is added, our calorie intake soars to more 30,000 and fat to nearly two kilos *. This means on Christmas Day we consume at least double the recommended calorie and fat intake.

Yet although most people intend to indulge during this festive season, more than one third of respondents said they’ll abstain because they’re worried about gaining weight. Men and women responded almost equally with 36 per cent of women and 29 per cent of men planning to limit their food and booze to prevent a post festive bulge.

Men munch 17 per cent more than women during Christmas and New Year, and drink 43 per cent more. Their greatest offending foods are mixed nuts followed by dates and crisps. Women’s are mixed nuts followed by mince pies and salted peanuts.

Men consumed most calories from alcohol by drinking beer followed by, red wine and bitter, whereas for women it was Irish cream followed by white wine and spirits.

When asked about their usual diet, half of respondents said they felt they ought to eat more healthily and 41 per cent said they should eat more fruit. Only 15 per felt they needed to drink less alcohol and, surprisingly, five per cent said they wanted to drink more.

There are a number of easy ways to indulge at Christmas and New Year but limit the pounds. For example, if grapes are substituted for nuts the festive calorie intake would come down by 3,000. For a women this would be the equivalent of 14.5 hours walking or four hours playing squash, and for a man 11 hours walking or 3.25 hours playing squash.

Grapes also have excellent nutritional qualities and one cup contains 1.1g protein; 28.4g carbohydrate; 1.9g fibre; 17mg vitamin C; 0.4mg iron; 296mg potassium and only 114 calories and 0.9g fat.

To help us indulge without the bulge over Christmas, Cape and Outspan have issued the following top 10 fruity tips:

1. Dip Cape grapes in chocolate as a substitute for a box of chocolates

2. Serve Satsumas in brandy instead of sherry trifle

3. Swap champagne for bucks fizz made with freshly squeezed orange juice

4. Satisfy your craving for sweets with caramelised peach segments

5. Drink mulled wine with fresh Outspan orange segments

6. Swap bowls of crisps with finger fruit eg: grapes, plums and dried apricots

7. Experiment with fruit salsa instead of cheese dips

8. Be unusual - try white wine spritzer with juices – the long life juices have some unusual and fun combinations

9. Try freshly squeezed orange juice with ice and gin

10. Follow tradition and put a Clementine at the bottom of the Christmas stockings

Larraine Brown, spokeswoman for Capespan says:- “Christmas is the only time in the year when we get the chance to let our hair down and truly indulge. But with so many high calorie and fat foods tempting us it’s sometimes hard not to consume the equivalent of a full meal by nibbling.

Substituting just a few of these foods with nutritious and tasty fruit is a good way to keep the calories under control but still indulge. Eating a bowl full of fruit dipped in chocolate or caramel is far better for the waistline than munching though a box of chocolates.”

Dr Hannah Theobald from the British Nutrition Society says:-

“On average, people gain 2kg or 5lbs of weight over the Christmas period. The food at parties can be hard to resist, but there are ways you can eat and enjoy without worrying too much about gaining a few extra pounds.

Have a substantial snack before you leave to help curb hunger and prevent you overdoing the snacks. Choose a couple of snacks to eat and stick to these, or choose fruit based nibbles or low fat dips with breadsticks. Also think about whether you are hungry or not - it is all to easy to eat when you really don't need too.

Most people think of food when it comes to indulging over the festive period, but it doesn't have to be so. Perhaps treat yourself to a beauty treatment, some accessories to go with your outfit or something you need instead.”

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