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Hello from MNHQ...
Where we're still a bit feverish after our live swine-flu webchat about with health secretary Andy Burnham. Despite the dodgy typist and the even dodgier internet connection, Andy got round to most of your pandemic posers (as he pointed out to us at the time, "These webchats aren't easy; you can't just avoid the questions, can you?"). And he's promised to get his people to mail our person with his responses to the rest.
From the swine to the ridiculous: have you had a play with our new Baby Name Finder yet? Launched to give you a bit of a larf over the hols end all your baby-name dilemmas, it's already predicting that boys called Wolf will be reality TV stars who shop at Iceland and girls called Bernice will be dental hygienists with a taste for Fox's Party Rings. Roll on the day when no Mumsnet baby will be monickered without due reference to all of our prejudices...
Now for this week's parenting news ...
Swine flu helpline fears tackled: Pregnant women and parents of babies under one should call their GP rather than the government's new helpline if they are worried about swine flu because they are particularly vulnerable, it was confirmed this week. And the 1,500 staff who will be answering calls have been given special training in how to pick up potential cases of meningitis in children, amid fears it could be misdiagnosed as swine flu because the symptoms are so similar. (Guardian 23.07.09)
Early birth risk test: A saliva test could help spot which pregnant women are likely to go into premature labour, according to a study in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. It says monitoring progesterone levels in saliva could provide a cheap and convenient early marker for which women will go into spontaneous early labour. They will then be given steroids to help develop the baby's lungs, reducing the risk of disability or death. (BBC Online 22.07.09)
Other stories in brief
WIN A TWO-WEEK FAMILY ROAD TRIP WITH THE GREAT BRITISH PANDA MOTOR TRAIL! Panda Drinks and Motorhome.co.uk have teamed up to offer you a chance to win your family an adventurous two-week cross-country road trip. The winner will get to visit Britain’s most entertaining theme parks and campsites in a luxurious motorhome. To enter, follow @PandaDrinks on Twitter and use #Mumsnet in your Tweet.
This week's prizes are:
IS YOUR CHILD A BUDDING TV REPORTER? What's Your News? is a daily news show (Nick Jr, 7am) for four to seven-year-olds, where the news is their news. And this summer, one lucky child will win the chance to visit London, become Special Reporter for the day and get their story published on the What's Your News? website. Click here to find out how to enter.
Quote of the week
TheProfiteroleThief explains the cons of having a doctorate to your name: "The downside is you will be expected to perform CPR if anyone has a heart attack."
Looking for a school holiday day out? Mumsnetters' suggestions this week include
Aitch's TV round-up: Whatever it takes, Sunday 26 July, ITV, 9pm
A cautionary tale from Paula Milne, the woman who brought us The Politician's Wife. She's noticed, as have a few of us, I fear, that the world of celebrity has gone stark, staring mad. I wonder what tipped her off? Was it Jade's last few months living life like an 'everything must go' car-boot sale? Katie and Peter slagging each other across America and beyond? Here, Shane Ritchie stars as a showbiz agent in the Max Clifford vein who spots the star potential of a young ingenue caught in flagrante with a married footballer...
Blog of the week: The sea of milk
yawningmonster shares the soggier side of breastfeeding: "When my [oldest child] son climbed into bed at 12.15am, I managed to ignore the squelching noise - until he accused me of wetting the bed. Well, at least I don't need to worry about milk-supply issues; there was enough soaked into our bed to feed an army of babies. Must stop blogging and Google how to wring breastmilk out of a Queen-sized mattress."
Bursting to blog? Why not start your own?
Recipe of the week: OhYouBadKitten's courgette and fennel salad
A stunner of a summer salad, bursting with healthy seasonal veg but requiring little more than a bit of slicing and peeling and the odd squeeze and drizzle. Delish.
Review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?
That's all, we're off to wonder why everyone thinks girls called Justine like Chocolate Hob Nobs...
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