Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Shop now Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Profile for Sharon Trotter > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Sharon Trotter
Top Reviewer Ranking: 416,443
Helpful Votes: 22

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Sharon Trotter "TIPS Founder" (Scotland)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
The Microbiome Effect: How Your Baby's Birth Influences Their Future Health
The Microbiome Effect: How Your Baby's Birth Influences Their Future Health
by Toni Harman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.38

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This groundbreaking new title wins a 'Must-have' TIPS Book Award..., 13 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As featured in the TIPS e-newsletter 39 - Summer 2016:
Very few pieces of research have the undeniable potential to change the future of health everywhere in the world, but Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford' s work definitely has. In my opinion The Microbiome Effect is a seminal publication in the new field of microbiome and epigenetics. Most of you will never have heard these terms or heard about their potential for changing the way we birth, but you soon will. In this extended review I want to explain what microbiome and epigenetics mean, how they are linked with disease and why Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford' s work is so closely intertwined with my own passion for promoting breastfeeding and safe baby skincare.
I am a great fan of the authors, Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, founders of Alto Films and One World Birth. I reviewed their films Doula! (2010), Freedom for Birth (2012) and Microbirth (2014) in previous TIPS e-newsletters. In 2015 I featured their proposed new film A Probiotic Life and sponsored a private screening via the Indigogo crowd funding platform. This film will be released in the Autumn of 2016 with a new title (soon to be announced). Such was the impact of the groundbreaking research associated with this project, that Toni and Alex, quite rightly, have taken a detour down the publication route. The Microbiome Effect is the culmination of three years intensive research, as they travelled the world interviewing 12 eminent experts. The book aims to expand on the information expressed in Microbirth so that people can understand the bigger picture. While the subject matter may seem complicated this book has been written with parents in mind and it is very easy to navigate. I especially enjoyed the summary at the end of each chapter and the innovative QR codes which link to a short video clip.
Put simply the microbiome is a cocktail of bacteria, viruses, archaea (single cell organisms) and fungi that live on and in our human cells. There are many times more microbes than human cells and the way these interact affects all areas of our heath and well being. Epigenetics is basically the study of why our genes turn themselves 'on' or 'off' and what environmental triggers can affect these switches. These triggers include diet, lifestyle, antibiotics, anti-bacterial products and specifically for babies, the rising rate of caesarean section (CS). Birth is the main trigger event for our offspring and if their microbiome does not develop properly at this pivotal moment, then genetic changes to the immune system can occur. This may leave the body less able to protect itself from disease. These epigenetic changes could also be passed onto the next generation.
As you can see, there are many variables and many ways we can step in to help restore the microbiome but the long term repercussions for us all are so HUGE that ignoring this research is not an option. Professionals, parents, and especially parents-to-be, should add this publication to their 'Must-have' book list so they can better prepare for the birth of their baby. Small changes made around the time of birth really do have the potential to change the long term health of their baby, their baby's baby and onwards to future generations. Yes it really is that important!
Caesarean section rates have soared over the past 20 years ranging from 5% in Sweden to a shocking 84% at one private hospital in Brazil. These changes to the way women give birth have the potential to adversely affect the way the microbiome is primed. Ideally microbes from the vagina are transferred at the moment of birth to 'seed' the baby's gut. Sugars in breast milk (indigestible to the baby) then help to 'feed' the gut bacteria allowing it to quickly populate with friendly microbes, thus starting the training of the immune system.
We know the world's ecosystems are being damaged by global warming, so the same could be true of our microbial ecosystems. Over the past fifty years normal physiological birth has become ever more medicalised with seemingly untold consequences.
As a student midwife I was taught that the pain of birth was actually a vital part of the birthing process. However, increased use of epidurals and instrumental birth mean that many women experience no pain and little or no labour. Studies have shown that women are more likely to suffer from post natal depression if they are denied the experience of being 'in labour' so pain may also be a biological necessity. Just as it is important for the mother to experience labour, then the same is true for a baby. Hannah Dahlan says in the book: Birth is a neuro-hormonal, mechanical, immunological, microbial, social, psychological, emotional, cultural and spiritual event. So when I read about the importance of 'seeding and feeding' the baby's microbiome, it suddenly made perfect sense to me. If a baby is to be mechanically delivered from the abdomen, as in c-sections, instead of being birthed through the vagina, then surely this will have consequences? However the true extent of these consequences is far more worrying than we could ever have imagined and this is another reason why this book is groundbreaking. Microbiome will become the next buzzword in the field of birth, so it is important for us to spread the news about why it's simple messages can have a HUGE effect on the health of our children, grandchildren and future generations before it is too late.
In the same way that birth is pivotal to the establishment of the microbiome, so too is the protection and maintenance of this delicate ecosystem. My work on safe baby skincare has been ongoing for 20 years. Having read his book The Secret Life of Germs, I wrote to Dr. Philip Tierno, asking for his thoughts on my water-only approach to baby care during the first month of life. I wanted to know if encouraging parents to practise uninterrupted colonisation of the newborn by skin-to-skin contact with the mother (and reducing the number of carers) would reduce the risk of cross infection when the baby’s immune system is still immature.
Philip kindly wrote back, giving me the reassurance I had hoped for and kindly allowed me to quote his comments in papers I wrote for peer-reviewed journals. This is what he wrote:
"Without reservation I concur with your recommendation of bathing neonates with just plain water (no soap) for the first month as the baby is in the process of developing its own normal stable microbiota".
Having studied and researched neonatal skincare, I developed guidelines for my own NHS maternity unit. These have since been introduced throughout the UK. Philip's support of my hypothesis that: 'anything placed ‘on, in or around a baby’ has the potential to cause harm' gave me the confidence I needed to continue this work. The advice forms the basis of the TIPS® award-winning leaflet Babycare - back to basics™ (see v9 here [...]).
I really believe that this is a water-shed moment (pardon the pun) in the history of birthing our babies. Research is showing us that if we meddle with the natural processes surrounding birth, the establishment of breastfeeding and even the care of our baby's skin, we risk long term damage to immune systems that could affect not just the next generation but generations to come. Caesarean section will still be needed and not everyone can breastfeed but we can implement simple procedures, as explained in The Microbiome Effect to help partially restore the microbiome. One example of how a few simple changes to procedures, which could be incorporated into an elective birth, is to opt for a 'gentle or natural caesarean'. Parents could discuss this beforehand requesting immediate skin to skin contact with their baby and the chance to get one-to-one help establishing breastfeeding in the operating theatre. A new 'seed swabbing' technique is being researched (under strict protocols) by Dr Dominguez Bello from New York University whereby a gauze swab is inoculated with vaginal microbes immediately before surgery. This swab is then removed and used to artificially 'seed' the baby's microbiome at the moment of birth by wiping it over the mouth, face and body. Initial results look promising but this research is in its infancy but in a few years time this could be common-place in the delivery room. Making the most of this 'window of opportunity' to introduce new ways of 'seeding and feeding' the natural microbiome could be life-changing.
Four years ago I reviewed Vivien Sabel's book The Blossom Method™ and gave it the very first TIPS 'Must-have Book' award. ([...]). When I offered to review The Microbiome Effect, I was unprepared for its powerful message or its potential to change our perception of birth, and the importance of microbes, forever. Such is the ground-breaking nature of this publication that I have decided to give this book my second 'Must-have Book' award.
Comment Comment | Permalink


The Butcher's Hook: Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016
The Butcher's Hook: Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016
by Janet Ellis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first novel!, 30 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Utterly compelling and deeply disturbing but still leaves you wanting more...


The Secret Life of Germs: What They Are, Why We Need Them, and How We Can Protect Ourselves Against Them
The Secret Life of Germs: What They Are, Why We Need Them, and How We Can Protect Ourselves Against Them
by Philip M. Tierno Jr. Ph.D.
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A truly life-changing read..., 31 May 2015
I heard about Philip Tierno's book, The Secret Life of Germs completely by chance: it was mentioned in a CNN TV clip I watched while on holiday in Ibiza back in 2005. Once home, I ordered The Secret Life of Germs from Amazon. This excellent and thought-provoking book talks about why germs are both frightening and reassuring to mankind. For me personally, this book became so much more than an excellent read...
Having read The Secret Life of Germs I wrote to Philip asking for his thoughts on my water-only approach to baby care during the first month of life. I wanted to know if encouraging parents to practice uninterrupted colonisation of the newborn by skin-to-skin contact with the mother (and reducing the number of carers) would reduce the risk of cross infection when the baby’s immune system is still immature.
Philip kindly wrote back, gave me the reassurance I had hoped for and kindly allowed me to quote his comments in papers I wrote for peer-reviewed journals. This is what he wrote:
"Without reservation I concur with your recommendation of bathing neonates with just plain water (no soap) for the first month as the baby is in the process of developing its own normal stable microbiota".
I believe support from such an influential expert in his field gave added credibility to my work.
Having studied and researched neonatal skincare, I developed guidelines for my own NHS maternity unit. These have since been introduced throughout the UK. Philip's support of my hypothesis that: 'anything placed ‘on, in or around a baby’ has the potential to cause harm' gave me the confidence I needed to continue this work. The advice forms the basis of my TIPS® award-winning leaflet Babycare - back to basics™ (see v9 here: http://bit.ly/1aY91LV ).
In 2006 I was lucky to have the pleasure of meeting Philip at the New York University Medical Center, where he showed me and my family around his laboratory. I am pleased to say that we still keep in touch.
I would highly recommend The Secret Life of Germs, especially to anyone interested in how germs affect us all in our everyday life. It is easy to read and includes some lovely stories and anecdotes which truly bring the text to life.
I particularly loved this statement:
“We must continue to explore the gargantuan potential of microbes so that we may harness their power for the good of mankind”.
This book shows that germs need not be our enemy; in fact they could well become our best friends!


The Silvanus Supremacy: Reluctant HERO 1: Volume 1
The Silvanus Supremacy: Reluctant HERO 1: Volume 1
by Jake Rider
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Eco-teen-hero that keeps you guessing..., 24 Aug. 2014
Read this book on my daily commute to the Commonwealth Games and loved it! Great pace, excellent detail, credible characters and I could imagine the film version being enjoyed by adults and teenagers alike - looking forward to the second book in the series...


The Baby's Coming: A Story of Dedication by an Independent Midwife
The Baby's Coming: A Story of Dedication by an Independent Midwife
by Virginia Howes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TIPS Must-have BOOK AWARD FOR 'THE BABY'S COMING'!, 6 April 2014
I LOVED this book and would highly recommend it to all student midwives, practising midwives, parents-to-be and anyone interested in the topic of birth. This book is not just a great read, it is also a story that will inspire you to follow your dreams.
Over the years I have reviewed many books for TIPS but only The Blossom Method™ by Vivien Sabel achieved a Must-have TIPS Award. This inspirational parenting book introduces a revolutionary way of understanding the subtle but amazingly simple language of newborns. So when I was sent Virginia Howes' first book The Baby’s Coming, I did not anticipate it would become the second recipient of a Must-have book TIPS Award.
Quite simply I could not put this book down, and finished reading it at 02:45 on Mother's Day - having shed tears of joy, empathy and frustration! Virginia’s detailed and vivid descriptions of a number of home births (including breech, twins, vbac and even one in a local hotel) makes the reader feel like a VIP guest at each unique birth.
However what I enjoyed as much as the birth stories was Virginia’s own life story which is interwoven throughout the text. She is refreshingly open, frank and brutally honest - this is both touching and compelling. Virginia shares details of her personal life, and although this has its fair share of ups and downs she remains an eternal optimist. What shines through is her unswerving determination to become an independent midwife. Her own birth choices had been compromised, partly by the ’one-size-fits-all’ model of midwifery provided by an NHS that can sometimes be a post-code lottery. This system all too often fails women, leaving them feeling isolated, scared and disempowered.
Virginia is not afraid to fight for the women in her care, even if this means she has to confront her superiors regarding midwifery practice. She gives us one example of this when she talks about ‘the bisons of the labour ward’. She uses this nickname to describe a small minority of negative and controlling midwives who made Virginia’s life very difficult on many occasions during her midwifery training. Sadly the actions of a few might affect the excellent work of the vast majority of midwives, who work tirelessly to create lasting positive memories of birth. Virginia is refreshingly eager to stand her ground. She is more than happy to challenge these bullies whose intimidating actions should not be tolerated: they are neither professional nor conducive to natural birth.
The strong and trusting relationship between the parents and their midwife is precious. It develops over time throughout pregnancy and labour. However this trust can very easily be shattered with a few ill chosen words, or with actions that are at best insensitive and at worst bordering on professional misconduct. Such behaviour highlights the unwillingness of certain midwives to practice, as they have been taught, by following their instincts. Instead they choose to follow outdated hospital protocols that are no longer backed up by credible evidence. Virginia is determined to provide a tailor-made gold standard of midwifery care that all maternity units should aspire to.
To say that Virginia is an inspiration is an understatement. Her CV is impressive with life skills that are many and varied: kissogram business owner, mother of four, grandmother of five (all delivered at home by Virginia), general nurse, hospital midwife, passionate supporter of breastfeeding, inventor of the Howes Birth Mirror and founder of Kent Midwifery Practice (to name just a few!).
In recent years Virginia has spearheaded a campaign by Independent Midwives UK. The campaign lobbies the UK government to introduce an indemnity insurance option for independent midwives when a new EU directive is implemented in October 2014.
I am certain that Virginia's campaign will succeed - I have already joined as a full member. Additionally, I am convinced she will continue to inspire and empower her clients to achieve the birth they have longed for.
Virginia shows us that Mother Nature (she uses her own term: ‘Birth Angels’) invariably knows best. If a woman gets the support and encouragement she needs (and deserves) at this very special time, then she will be able to birth in a place, at a time and in a way that is right for her and for her family.
So now I'm sure you can understand why I loved this book. In fact it has all the ingredients for a great ‘feel-good’ movie but for now I hope that Virginia will be pleased to accept her well deserved ‘Must-have’ TIPS Book Award!


Giottos MH621 Quick Release Sliding Adapter Plate
Giottos MH621 Quick Release Sliding Adapter Plate

4.0 out of 5 stars Class product, 4 Feb. 2014
Absolutely brilliant product! Does what it says on the tin! Only problem is that I had to drill a hole to the side of the channel for the screw so that I could have the camera off to one side in order to be able to open the battery door!


Proxima Direct® Mini Displayport to HDMI adapter - for MacBook Pro Air iMac etc - With Audio Top Quality - Thunderbolt Compatible
Proxima Direct® Mini Displayport to HDMI adapter - for MacBook Pro Air iMac etc - With Audio Top Quality - Thunderbolt Compatible
Offered by Proxima Direct
Price: £4.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 7 Dec. 2013
By far the most useful thing to date for my iMac, absolute doddle to setup and makes video editing on premiere 100x better!


One Little Baby
One Little Baby
by Richard Dungworth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight!, 4 Feb. 2013
This review is from: One Little Baby (Paperback)
This little book is quite simply a delight from start to finish. I promise you and your baby will be enchanted.


The Blossom Method: The Revolutionary Way to Communicate With Your Baby From Birth
The Blossom Method: The Revolutionary Way to Communicate With Your Baby From Birth
by Vivien Sabel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Blossom Method WILL become an international bestseller!, 2 Jun. 2012
I have never made such a prediction about any book before but then this is no ordinary book. Its message is simple enough: observe, mirror and respond to your baby's non-verbal clues and you can learn to better understand their language.
Vivien Sabel was the third and last child of a non-signing deaf mother (an inspiration in her own right). This taught Vivien to recognise the subtleties of non-verbal communication instinctively. Vivien used these skills to communicate with her baby daughter Blossom who was born in 2004. Vivien went on to research this very topic for many years, observing newborn ways of communicating: tongue-talking, body-talk, eye gaze and simple signing. When Vivien tried to discuss her findings with other new parents she was surprised to find out that they were not already using this simple system of communication to `talk' to their babies. So she decided to share her tips with us all in a book. Professionals and parents were quick to praise Vivien's book and after dozens of enthusiastic reviews from many parenting experts around the world a publishing deal soon followed (you can follow Vivien's inspirational journey to publication in our latest `My Story' feature at: [...]).
Named after her daughter, The Blossom Method will help everyone to better understand baby language. Once you understand a baby, you can quickly learn to speak back and respond to their needs before they become distressed. What Vivien describes is so simple and so obvious that you may wonder why we have not heard about this before. In fact, this is nothing new. Babies have been `talking' to us since time began but maybe we have lost the ability to fully tune into their language, especially in the fast-paced world we live in. The Blossom Method will help us all re-learn our babies' non-verbal signs. This is sure to greatly reduce stress for all parents!
A few years ago I was asked to review the Dunstan Baby Language DVD ([...] ). The concept is similar to The Blossom Method but the Dunstan Baby Language lists five common baby sounds as the basis of a communication system. The Blossom Method identifies many more communication clues for parents, including baby talk, leg kicking and even the smell of baby's breath. Understanding and responding to these clues can greatly increase the bond with your baby who in turn will feel more secure and self-confident.
The Blossom Method clearly explains how to observe, mirror and respond to your baby. It also provides various testimonials from parents who have used The Blossom Method to deal with a number of parenting issues like constipation, early signs of illness and early potty training.
Where this book proves to be a real gem is in its relaxed tone and non-judgemental advice. Anyone who reads this book can become a better parent or carer - you can't say fairer than that!
I am so impressed with The Blossom Method that I have decided to award it the very first TIPS Must-have Book Award!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 3, 2012 8:47 AM BST


Rosemary Conley - Slim 'N' Salsacise [DVD]
Rosemary Conley - Slim 'N' Salsacise [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rosemary Conley
Price: £3.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for all!, 23 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If like me you have had no dance training and you are looking for a fun way to keep fit and have fun then look no further. I came onto Amazon to read the reviews before buying this (very reasonably priced) DVD and I decided it was worth a try. So many reviews say that the steps are hard to pick up or the person got bored after one or two tries. I wanted a programme that I could realistically pick up within a few days but more importantly something I would enjoy doing while getting fit. Rosemary Conley provides excellent instructions and gives you enough time to get used to each routine. I started with section one which I did over and over again until I felt ready to move onto section two. I can now do section 1 & 2 together which is around 35 minutes. Not yet ready to move onto section three but watch this space! It is fun and even for a complete novice, who is not particularly fit (I am 50 btw) it is attainable so I recommend you give it a go!


Page: 1 | 2