The Berkshire Show

mnberksMy Trip to the Berkshire Show

The Berkshire Show, organised annually by the Newbury & District Agricultural Society, is a weekend jam packed full of things of family friendly things to do and see all related to country life. There is so much to see including lots of animals, agricultural machinery, areas to shop for hand-made goods and so much more.

My husband and I took our two year old and our one year old to the Berkshire Show on Saturday 20th September. The first thing that struck us was that it was quite well organised. There are plenty of car parks (some that are free and one that charges £5 for the day) each labelled with a colour and they even had row numbers. They do pack you in and we did complain that there wasn’t a lot of room to reverse your car without risking hitting a car parked in the row behind. There was also poor sign posting for getting out of the rows of cars in the car park to leave the car park but that was our bugbear for the day.

My two year old was amazed from the start because we started off looking at some beautiful birds of prey and although we have plenty of Red Kite where we live, you don’t often get a close up view. We also saw a variety of snakes & lizards, enjoyed the petting zoo with goats, chickens, rabbits & donkeys, and enjoyed going to look at all the show animals including Lamas, pigs, sheep and poultry. On that note, I didn’t like the Poultry tent because all the animals were in very small cages and I felt quite uncomfortable about that. Whilst I appreciate it is only for a weekend event, the thought of them being cooped up and crammed in really rather upset me. The larger animals had a lot more space to roam about.

bs1There were tractors, diggers, combine harvesters and all sorts of machinery on show. Whilst it’s not really my interest, my husband and son both really enjoyed looking at them all. I was very entertained to discover that there is also a Police tractor – something I had never given any thought to.

As well as lots to see, there were many tents with kids areas for them to sit down for a bit and do some drawing, enter competitions and get some nice freebies! I was particularly happy to see a tent specifically for baby changing and feeding with a nice play area for the little ones to let off steam. I had been walking around for a few minutes trying to work out where I was going to change a nappy without being right in everyone’s way. There were also volunteers walking around telling parents where this tent was which I think was very handy.

The animals were in lots of competitions so you could listen to the judges and commentary on what was being looked for amongst the animals to pick a winner.

I was really impressed by and really enjoyed looking at all the hand made wooden crafts from benches and chairs to garden animals & walking sticks. The talent is fantastic. I only wish a few more had been Berkshire based!

Some of you would recognise them from Britians Got Talent – Bolddog Lings Freestyle FMX team were there doing a Motorcycle stunt display. We didn’t get to see it but heard from others that it was fantastic to see. The Main arena also featured show jumping and heavy horses.


Along with crafts, photography and cookery demonstrations there was something for everyone. We noticed that most of the people there were older and not so many families. That’s a bit disappointing for us because we thought it was a great place to take the children.

berkshire showThere was plenty of seating but not enough toilets. The toilers they did have always seemed to be a long walk from where I was and at one point I had a debate about whether I could hold it or not. So for future years they really need more toilets especially with the huge number of visitors attending.

Overall, a great day with lots to see and do for all the family. You can buy tickets in advance or on the day but it is obviously more expensive on the day. For more information on the Berkshire show, visit their website here:

My tickets were free but this in no way influenced the outcome of my review.


When it comes to Breastfeeding, is there such a thing as normal?

Image   New R

esearch Reassures Breastfeeding Mothers. Image

Let me starting with my own little introduction before I add the press release outlining the results of the research into breastfeeding and whats normal. Breastfeeding is close to my heart. Firstly, because I was unable to breastfeed my first child and secondly, because I had to work really hard to establish breastfeeding with my second child and overcome a variety of problems. So I am really pleased that this research has been done. To read about my personal experience breastfeeding, click here:

I would love to hear your thoughts on this research and your experiences of breastfeeding. Login in to Mumsnet Berkshire and add your thoughts to the thread. You never know, BumpsPR may even be in touch to learn more about you to help this campaign to reassure breastfeeding mums that there really is a lot of different normal.

Every breastfeeding mother will, at some stage, question if she is doing everything ok. Common questions such as, how often do I need to feed my baby or, how do I know if my baby is getting enough milk, will certainly play on their minds. Breastfeeding mothers may also find they compare themselves, wondering why a friend’s baby doesn’t feed as frequently during the night for example.

These types of questions will be asked by mothers during their breastfeeding experience and may cause anxiety or concern for some. Now, thanks to new study 1,2 from leading lactation researcher Dr Jacqueline Kent our understanding of breastfeeding is far clearer. Kent’s work has outlined the boundaries for what can be considered ‘normal’ breastfeeding and in doing so has answered these common queries. This is music to the ears of many mothers’ who find themselves questioning their personal breastfeeding experience and asking if it is normal?

Dr Kent’s findings were presented for the first time at Medela’s world leading breastfeeding symposium in Madrid this April and have since been shared far and wide around the world. Her work confirms that in fact there is no breastfeeding norm, no specific pattern that infants will, or indeed need to adopt, and certainly no set of rules that benchmark the right way to breastfeed.

The new research explains that every breastfeeding relationship between mother and baby is unique and that it will adapt and change throughout the breastfeeding period. The differences may appear extreme, but are natural and not necessarily an indication of insufficient milk supply or other problems.

Kent’s findings highlighted varying breastfeeding patterns between infants, but also showed changes in each baby’s individual experience, sometimes changing monthly. Between one and six months of lactation breastfed infants take fewer, faster, larger feeds, but their total daily milk intake is constant. The significant variability in frequency and volume intake of the healthy, exclusively breastfed infant aged 1 to 6 months is as follows:

  • 4-13 – the number of breastfeeding sessions per day
  • 12-67 minutes – the duration of a breastfeeding session
  • 54-234 ml – volume of milk consumed in a breastfeeding session
  • 478-1356 ml – the volume of milk consumed in a 24 hour period

All of the infants who were monitored as part of the study were considered to be growing normally according to the WHO growth charts. At every age there is a wide range in the number of breastfeeds in a day, but on average the frequency decreases between one and six months, after which it stabilizes. Similarly, there is a wide range in the duration of each breastfeeding session at every age, but on average the duration decreases between one and six months.

This knowledge will undoubtedly provide much-needed evidence to give health professionals confidence in various feeding situations and to give mothers self-assurance in their role. Better knowledge of the variability and expected changes in breastfeeding patterns will also improve mothers’ confidence about their milk supply.

The breastfeeding community must take from this study the understanding that changes in an infant’s breastfeeding behaviours are completely normal, as are differences between babies.

Lack of milk is often cited as one of the reasons mothers give up breastfeeding; the concern that their baby is not getting milk is naturally a worry. Mothers may think that because their baby is feeding more often it is a sign they are not getting enough each feed, but thanks to Kent we have learnt that this is not necessarily the case.

Using Kent’s new work to further educate both mothers and health professionals on the expected breastfeeding journey can potentially irradiate breastfeeding myths, thus making it a truly ground-breaking study in the field of lactation



  1. Kent,J.C. et al. Volume and frequency of breastfeeds and fat content of breastmilk throughout the day. Pediatrics 117, e387-e395 (2006).
  2. Kent,J.C. et al. Longitudinal changes in breastfeeding patterns from 1 to 6 months of lactation. Breastfeeding Medicine 8, 401-407 (2013).


About Dr Jacqueline Kent:

Kent started her academic career with a Bachelor of Science at UWA. In 1986 she was appointed as a research assistant at UWA in the Hartmann Human Lactation Research Group. She completed her PhD in 1999 on the calcium in milk and is now working in the group as a Research Assistant Professor.

As part of the Hartmann Human Lactation Research Group, Jacqueline researches the biochemistry and physiology of lactation and breastfeeding in babies. The aim of the group is to understand exactly how the process of lactation works, in order to provide an evidence base to improve treatment when medical difficulties arise in breastfeeding mothers, and to encourage more mothers to breastfeed.

Jacqueline has published 36 papers in refereed journals, 7 review papers, and has been invited to present papers to breastfeeding counsellors, midwives and lactation consultants at local, national and international meetings. She is also mother of two breastfed daughters.