• What are the symptoms of the disease and how can it be treated?
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    The Independent

    What are the symptoms of the disease and how can it be treated?

    Parkinson's disease is the world's second most common neurodegenerative disorder, behind Alzheimer's disease.While it's unknown exactly why people develop the condition, according to Parkinson's UK, experts believe its a combination of genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the damage of nerve cells in the brain.So what are the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and how can it be treated? Here's everything you need to know. What is Parkinson's disease?Parkinson's disease is a degenerative neurological condition.This means that over time the brain of an individual living with the disease becomes more damaged, the NHS explains.A person living with Parkinson's disease doesn't have enough of the chemical dopamine in their brain, the Parkinson's Foundation states.Dopamine is responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells in the brain.When an individual experiences a loss of nerve cells in the brain, this causes a reduction in the quantity of dopamine in the brain. What are the symptoms?The main symptoms of Parkinson's disease include involuntary shaking (otherwise known as tremors), movement that's slower than usual and stiffness in the muscles, the NHS outlines.Other symptoms may include difficulty balancing, nerve pain, incontinence, insomnia, excessive sweating, depression and anxiety.For more information about the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, visit the NHS here. How many people does it affect?Around 145,000 people in the UK are affected by Parkinson's disease, Parkinson's UK explains.This means that around one in every 350 adults is living with the degenerative condition.According to the NHS, symptoms of Parkinson's usually develop after the age of 50.However, for every one in 20 people affected by the disease, symptoms may appear when they're under the age of 40.The Parkinson's Foundation outlines that men are 1.5 more likely than women to be affected by the condition.High-profile individuals to have been diagnosed with Parkinson's include former US president George H. W. Bush, Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox and boxing legend Muhammad Ali. How can it be treated?While there is no known cure for Parkinson's disease, symptoms may be controlled through treatment.The most common form of treatment used for the condition is medication, Parkinson's UK states."Drug treatments aim to increase the level of dopamine that reaches the brain and stimulate the parts of the brain where dopamine works," the charity explains.The medication used to treat Parkinson's disease varies according to each patient.This is because as symptoms of the disorder progress, the drugs used to treat the condition may need to be changed.While drug treatment may help to manage Parkinson's symptoms, it cannot slow the progression of the disease.The NHS explains that those living with Parkinson's disease may also undergo physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and, in rare cases, brain surgery to treat the condition.For more information about Parkinson's disease, visit Parkinson's UK.

  • Pregnant women’s ‘safety bubble’ expands during third trimester to ‘keep danger at arm’s length’
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    The Independent

    Pregnant women’s ‘safety bubble’ expands during third trimester to ‘keep danger at arm’s length’

    A pregnant woman's "safety bubble" enlarges during her third trimester, a new study has discovered.Scientists from Anglia Ruskin University and the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at Addenbrooke's Hospital carried out an investigation to determine how a mother's sense of peripersonal space alters during pregnancy.An individual's peripersonal space is the area of space immediately around their body, and is widely regarded as measuring at approximately an arm's length away.For the study, which was published in journal Scientific Reports, the researchers assessed 85 pregnant women aged between 21 and 43 by having them take part in an audio-tactile reaction time task 20 weeks into their pregnancies, at 34 weeks and eight weeks after giving birth.The audio-tactile test involved the participants experiencing tapping sensations on their abdomens while being exposed to noise from loudspeakers.The team also assessed a control group of women who were not pregnant.The team assessed 37 pregnant women and 19 control women during the first testing session; 28 pregnant women and 17 control women during the second testing session; and 20 pregnant women and 15 control women during the third testing session.According to the study's findings, a pregnant woman's sense of personal space increases during the third trimester of pregnancy.The researchers state that this "may represent a mechanism to protect the vulnerable abdomen from injury from surrounding objects".Dr Flavia Cardini, senior lecturer in psychology at Anglia Ruskin University and lead author of the study, says that the expanded peripersonal space is "the brain's way of ensuring danger is kept at arm's length"."Pregnancy involves massive and rapid changes to the body both externally, as the body suddenly changes shape, and internally, while the foetus is growing," adds Dr Cardini.Dr Cardini states that the results of the study indicate that when the body goes through "significantly large changes" during pregnancy, the "maternal brain" also makes changes to the immediate area around the body.The researchers found that during the second trimester of pregnancy and eight weeks following childbirth, the women did not exhibit any change to their sense of personal space.Earlier this year, it was reported that exercising during pregnancy can help to protect children from obesity later in life.While previous studies had shown that exercise by obese women during pregnancy can prove beneficial for their children, this study demonstrated that the same can be said for women who aren't obese.“Based on our findings, we recommend that women - whether or not they are obese or have diabetes - exercise regularly during pregnancy because it benefits their children’s metabolic health," said Jun Seok Son, a doctoral student at Washington State University who carried out the study.

  • UK named among least family-friendly countries in new study
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    The Independent

    UK named among least family-friendly countries in new study

    The UK is one of the least family-friendly countries in the developed world, a new study finds.Researchers for Unicef analysed the policies on child care and parental leave of the 41 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).The findings showed that the UK ranked in the bottom 10 of the worst countries for maternity leave, at 34th in the table, offering just six weeks' parental leave at 90 per cent of pay and 33 weeks at a lower rate. The data suggests the latter is equivalent to 12 weeks of full pay, and brings the UK behind offers from the likes of France, Germany and Sweden.Meanwhile, Estonia was found to be the most generous of the countries listed, offering women 85 weeks’ maternity leave at full pay after having a baby, followed by Hungary (72 weeks) and Bulgaria (61 weeks).Among the countries that have a paid leave policy for mothers, New Zealand and Australia were found to offer the least at just eight weeks of leave at full pay. The US offers no time, ranking it the worst for maternity leave.When it comes to paternity leave, the UK ranked 28th in the list, offering fathers two weeks' statutory paternity leave at £148.68 per week.However, the Department of Business last year said that the take-up by eligible fathers “could be as low as two per cent”, with financial issues cited as the primary reasons.Japan is the only country listed in the table that offers at least six months at full pay for fathers. However, Unicef found that only one in 20 fathers in the country took paid leave in 2017.Similarly, South Korea has the second longest period of paid paternity leave available, but fathers were found to make up just one in six of all parents who take parental leave.The researchers behind Unicef’s report say that paid paternity leave helps fathers bond with their babies, contributes to healthy infant and child development, lowers maternal depression and increases gender equality. As a result, the organisation is calling for national policies ensuring paid paternity leave and encouraging fathers to use it.Liam Sollis, head of policy and advocacy at Unicef UK, says: “Evidence shows that a child’s brain develops the fastest in its early years, and that during this period parents and caregivers have a vital role in providing nurturing interactions, good nutrition and sensory and motor stimulation.”Parental leave legislation in the UK entitles parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay during the first year after the child is born or, in the case of adoption, placed with the family.The UK’s Shared Parental Leave (SPL) can be used in blocks “separated by periods of work, or take[n] all in one go”, the Government states. Parents can also choose to take time off work together or to stagger the leave and pay.However, only 1 per cent of new parents used shared parental leave last year, according to research from the Trades Union Congress, prompting calls for an overhaul of the system.Just 9,200 new parents took up shared leave in 2018 out of more than 900,000 who were eligible, the study found.“UK working parents and caregivers still face major challenges balancing work and their caregiving responsibilities,” adds Sollis.“While the UK government is taking steps to review and raise awareness of family friendly policies, take-up of shared parental leave, particularly amongst fathers, remains unacceptably low, and governments and businesses need to do more to tackle the financial, cultural and administrative obstacles that many families face.”According to data from 29 countries listed in the report, parents of young children in the UK were the most likely to cite cost as the reason why they do not use formal nursery childcare.However, in Czech Republic, Denmark and Sweden, finances were an issue for less than one in 100 parents who said that they had an unmet need for childcare services.According to the 2018 Global Gender Gap Report, published by the World Economic Forum in October, it will take an estimated 202 years for economic equality between men and women to be achieved.

  • Father’s Day 2019: When is it and what are the best deals?
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    The Independent

    Father’s Day 2019: When is it and what are the best deals?

    Father's Day – the international celebration of fathers, paternal guardians and other familial role models – is just around the corner.Numerous people across the country will be spending Father's Day with their families and loved ones, going out for meals and exchanging gifts and cards to mark the occasion.From the date to the best gift deals around, here's everything you need to know about Father's Day: When is it?This year, Father's Day falls on Sunday 16 June in the UK.It always takes place on the third Sunday of June, as it also does in several countries including Uganda, Turkey, Bangladesh and Mexico.Father's Day is commemorated on various different dates in nations across the globe, such as in Switzerland, where it always takes place on the first Sunday in June.During the Middle Ages, an annual celebration of fatherhood was observed on 19 March in Catholic Europe, on the same date as the feast day of Saint Joseph.The modern iteration of Father's Day as we know it today began being celebrated in the US in the early 20th century.It began being commemorated as a result of the success of Mother's Day, which stemmed from the religious observance of Mothering Sunday.The first observance of a "Father's Day" was held on 5 July 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia. How is it celebrated?Father's Day is widely regarded as a secular celebration, an occasion on which fathers and guardians are celebrated by their families and loved ones.In the Roman Catholic tradition, fathers are honoured on Saint Joseph's Day, on 19 March.It's custom on Father's Day to present your father or male guardian with a card and a gift as a token of your appreciation.Some also spend their Sundays going out for meals with their fathers or going on days out with them.Last year, stationery company Paperchase was praised for creating a line of Father's Day cards for single mothers. Here are some of the best deals around for Father's Day Enjoy some laughsWhy not treat your dad by taking him to a comedy night this Father's Day?This deal will give you your pick from a wide range of comedy nights taking place in the UK, during which you can expect up to three comedians to deliver hilarious entertainment.You'll also be given access to an after-show party at selected locations.Comedy night for two: £25, virginexperiencedays.co.uk. Suave scent> View this post on Instagram> > Whether he's 1 in a million, super strong or a complete champion. No matter what type of Dad he is, we've got something for everyone this Father's Day. Shop the link in bio. . . . . fathersday pacorabanne armani perfume fragrance scent aftershave fathersdaygifting> > A post shared by The Perfume Shop (@theperfumeshop) on Jun 9, 2019 at 2:00am PDTThe Perfume Shop is offering plenty of deals on selected perfumes in the lead-up to Father's Day.The Hugo Boss eau de toilette "Boss Bottled United" is currently reduced from £87 to £42.99, while Ralph Lauren's "Polo Red" is reduced from £64 to £39.99.For more information, visit the perfumeshop.com. The ultimate pamper kitLookfantastic is currently offering a limited edition collection of cosmetic products at a heavily discounted price especially for Father's Day.Worth £136, this gift bundle includes a Molton Brown Tobacco Absolute Bath and Shower Gel, Refinery Eye Gel, an Elemis TFM Deep Cleanse Facial Wash and more.Limited Edition Father's Day collection: £49, lookfantastic.com. Capture the momentCamera Jungle is currently offering a 15 per cent discount across the site for Father's Day.Using the discount FATHER15 at checkout, you can bag bargains on a range of photographic equipment.For more information, visit camerajungle.co.uk. Fancy a tipple?> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by HonestBrew (@honestbrew) on May 16, 2019 at 9:00am PDTIn honour of Father's Day, Honest Brew is offering beer bundles at massively discounted prices.A nine-beer bundle, worth £50, now costs £29.90 and includes the nine beers in addition to a £10 voucher, a beer glass and a pair of socks.Meanwhile, a six-beer bundle has been reduced from £42.90 to £24.90.For more information, visit honestbrew.co.uk Unleash your inner superhero> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by CAPOWCosplay (@capowcosplay) on Mar 3, 2019 at 2:46pm PSTThis photo shoot experience is the ultimate gift for any father who shares a proclivity for superheroes with their children.Reduced from £185 down to £25, Capow Portraits if offering fathers and their children the chance to dress up as their favourite superhero, take part in a photo shoot against realistic movie backgrounds and take home a 12" x 8" print.Father and child Superhero Photo Shoot by Capow Portraits: £25, virginexperiencedays.co.uk. Go for a driveIf your father fancies himself a bit of a petrolhead, then he's going to love taking a supercar for a spin.With this experience, reduced from £99 to £59, your father will given the choice to test drive elite cars including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins and more.The experience lasts for approximately two hours, which includes an introduction and safety briefing.Double Supercar Driving Blast with High Speed Passenger Ride: £59, redletterdays.co.uk. Take your father to new heights> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by The View from The Shard (@shardview) on May 10, 2019 at 2:58am PDTHow do you like the idea of a three-course meal at an Italian restaurant before taking in the views of the capital?For £89, reduced from £118.90, you can treat your father to a three-course dinner at Marco Pierre White, a short walk away from The Shard, before ascending London's famous glass skyscraper.Your meal will also include a glass of prosecco each.For more information, visit buyagift.co.uk.For more Father's Day present inspiration, visit our IndyBest gift guide here.

  • Piers Morgan criticises ‘bonkers’ reaction to ‘triggering’ GCSE calorie question for pupils with eating disorders
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    The Independent

    Piers Morgan criticises ‘bonkers’ reaction to ‘triggering’ GCSE calorie question for pupils with eating disorders

    Piers Morgan has described criticism of a GCSE calorie question as “bonkers” after several Twitter users say it could be triggering for pupils with eating disorders.The question appeared in Edexcel’s calculator paper, which was sat by candidates on Thursday 6 June, the Times Educational Supplement reports.The question asked about how many calories a woman had consumed for breakfast, prompting several Twitter users to argue that it might affect people who have struggled with an eating disorder.The question on the paper read: “There are 84 calories in 100g of banana. There are 87 calories in 100g of yogurt. Priti has 60g of banana and 150g of yogurt for breakfast. Work out the total number of calories in this breakfast”.During a segment on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, the presenter quoted Caroline Nokes, Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North, who tweeted him to explain why the question may affect certain individuals.“Taking exams whilst suffering an eating disorder is tough enough without having @piersmorgan suggest you shouldn’t be taking exams if question on calorie counting triggers issues – total lack of compassion and understanding of serious mental health condition edexcelmaths,” Nokes tweeted the presenter.> Taking exams whilst suffering an eating disorder is tough enough without having @piersmorgan suggest you shouldn’t be taking exams if question on calorie counting triggers issues - total lack of compassion and understanding of serious mental health condition edexcelmaths> > — Caroline Nokes (@carolinenokes) > > June 12, 2019The broadcaster questioned Nokes’ argument, adding: “This country is going completely bonkers.”He continued, saying: “We don’t rewrite the entire maths paper which has a perfectly reasonable question because somebody may have a trigger moment.”The debate has prompted mixed reactions on Twitter with several agreeing with the 54-year-old's argument.Replying to Nokes' comment on social media, Morgan wrote: "Oh please. It’s utter snowflake nonsense. Have you even read the question?"One Twitter user commented on the star's post: “This is utter madness, there will always be someone who is offended by something....but a maths question shouldn’t be one of them!”“Totally agree with you Piers! It’s getting ridiculous! We are getting to the point of not daring to speak to anyone about anything for fear of upsetting them over something!!” commented another.> This is utter madness,there will always be someone who is offended by something....but a maths question shouldn’t be one of them! 🤯> > — Emma Shirley (@EmmaShi55557936) > > June 12, 2019> Oh please. It’s utter snowflake nonsense. Have you even read the question? https://t.co/amkBQ6AYH0> > — Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) > > June 12, 2019> Totally agree with you Piers! It’s getting ridiculous! We are getting to the point of not daring to speak to anyone about anything for fear of upsetting them over something!! 😡> > — Julia Hanson (@Lincjules5555) > > June 12, 2019However, others have pointed out how affecting the question may be to certain individuals who have been affected by eating disorders.One user commented added: “Being in recovery of an eating disorder is one of the most difficult and frustrating things ever and a question like this can easily trigger someone years after they have had it so pls go and f**king educate urself thanks [sic].”Another added: “As somebody who was hospitalised for anorexia in my final GSCE year this question would have been really difficult for me. Piers Morgan can f**k off, his ignorance is showing through again.[sic]”One user tweeted: “Okay, yes it’s just a maths question and as someone with anorexia I’ve had to get used to working out the numbers and ignoring the context, but the reality is that everyone is at different points in their journey and the topic is easily avoided so why risk triggering relapse?”> Being in recovery of an eating disorder is one of the most difficult and frustrating things ever and a question like this can easily trigger someone years after they have had it so pls go and fucking educate urself thanks> > — swaiba (@swaibaf) > > June 12, 2019> As somebody who was hospitalised for anorexia in my final GSCE year this question would have been really difficult for me. Piers Morgan can fuck off, his ignorance is showing through again: https://t.co/no4U3E1tMR> > — Rachel (@OpenMindMH) > > June 12, 2019> Okay, yes it’s just a maths question and as someone with anorexia I’ve had to get used to working out the numbers and ignoring the context, but the reality is that everyone is at different points in their journey and the topic is easily avoided so why risk triggering relapse?> > — Lily Wilson (@LilyWilson_xx) > > June 12, 2019On Tuesday, a spokesperson from Pearson – which owns the exam board EdExcel – responded to the backlash on Twitter and said the company has reviewed the question and believes it to be “valid”.> pic.twitter.com/QCflgsZu3Z> > — Pearson Edexcel (@PearsonEdexcel) > > June 11, 2019However, they invited students to complain if they felt “triggered” by the question.“We encourage any student who thinks that this question may have impacted their performance to get in contact with us via their school,” a segment of the Tweet reads.Tom Quinn, director of external affairs at eating disorder charity BEAT says referencing to counting calories can be triggering for people with or in recovery from an eating disorder and can therefore cause significant distress.“We would urge greater awareness of how such references can affect people with or vulnerable to eating disorders, and given that young people are most at risk of these serious mental illnesses, we would encourage exam boards to avoid such material in their exams,” Quinn told The Independent.According to the organisation, approximately 1.25 million people in the UK are estimated to have an eating disorder. Around 25 per cent of those affected by an eating disorder are male.If you have been affected by this article, you can contact the following organisations for support:mind.org.ukbeateatingdisorders.org.uknhs.uk/livewell/mentalhealthmentalhealth.org.uksamaritans.org

  • Beyoncé and Solange's mother Tina Knowles-Lawson reveals she devoted special days to each child
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    The Independent

    Beyoncé and Solange's mother Tina Knowles-Lawson reveals she devoted special days to each child

    Tina Knowles-Lawson has spoken about what it was like raising her daughters Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, revealing a special tradition she practised throughout their childhoods.Over the weekend, Knowles-Lawson attended Summit21, a two-day conference in Atlanta which celebrates black girls and women.The businesswoman and fashion designer was invited to speak at the conference, during which she opened up about how she managed time spent with her two daughters during their younger years."One thing I'm really happy I did was I gave each of my kids a day," Knowles-Lawson said."As Solange got older, I would spend Wednesdays with her and help with homework and do those types of things and just devote that day to her, and then one day to Bey."Knowles-Lawson explained that doing this made Beyoncé and Solange feel as though they were receiving adequate attention, a tricky feat to achieve with children."You know because kids, no matter how much you give them love and attention, it's never enough," the 65-year-old added."I mean I'm sure, everybody who has kids knows, you can take them to [now-closed theme park] AstroWorld, to eat, and they'll still say, 'Well what else are we going to do?'"Knowles-Lawson is known to have a close relationship with her daughters.In January, she revealed while speaking on Maria Shriver's Meaningful Conversations podcast that she, Beyoncé, Solange, her niece Angie Beyincé and former Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland are all on a group text."It's like I have four girls," Knowles-Lawson said. "And it's so funny because we are always on group chats."Earlier this month, the fashion designer hosted the 2019 Wearable Art Gala in Santa Monica, California with her husband, Richard Lawson.The theme of the event was "A Journey to the Pride Lands", taking inspiration from Jon Favreau's soon-to-be-released remake of The Lion King.Beyoncé attended the event in a gold ensemble which paid homage to the character she plays in the film, Nala.The outfit featured an embellished bodysuit, cape, fringed heels and a lion face, with feathers protruding from the lion's face to emulate a mane.

  • John Legend highlights double standards for mothers and fathers
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    The Independent

    John Legend highlights double standards for mothers and fathers

    John Legend has called out the double standards mothers and fathers face when raising their children, opening up about the castigation Chrissy Teigen faced following the birth of their first child.In April 2016, Legend and Teigen’s daughter, Luna, was born. Just over a week later, the celebrity couple went on their first date night as parents.“People were shaming Chrissy for leaving the house, and didn’t say anything bad to me,” Legend tells Romper with regards to the evening.“Look, we’re both parents and we’re both going out. If you think that’s not appropriate – and first of all, you shouldn’t think that’s not appropriate – if you’re going to blame somebody, blame both of us, not just the mother.”Legend has witnessed Teigen being shamed for her parenting methods on several occasions over the years, such as when the model engaged in public discussions about undergoing IVF and when Internet trolls questioned why her son, Miles, wore a head-shaping helmet.“I think it’s just a lot of these cultural traditions that have been too limiting and not inclusive enough over the years,” the singer states, adding that he hopes societal norms have started to “shed”.Legend outlines how those who criticise mothers for their parenting methods while praising fathers for doing the bare minimum have “lowered the bar”.“All the times when we’ve lowered the bar and have said dad is babysitting when he’s taking care of his own kids – no he’s not, he’s just parenting,” the La La Land star says.The 40-year-old explains that these “gender norms”, where the mother is expected to take sole care of the children while the father works, are “baked into how people are having these conversations”. “I just wish people would think more about that and what that means,” Legend adds.Another aspect of parenting that Legend has taken heed of is the assumption that fathers won’t change their babies’ nappies.According to recent research conducted by Pampers, nine out of 10 fathers have gone into a men’s public bathroom that doesn’t have a baby changing table.“It’s kind of assumed dads won’t change diapers, so facilities are built in a way that bakes that assumption in,” Legend says.“And [that] then perpetuates the fact that dads won’t change diapers because they don’t even have a place to do it.”In order to combat the lack of baby changing areas in men’s public bathrooms, Legend has partnered with Pampers and Florida father Donte Palmer to launch a new campaign, which promises to provide 5,000 baby changing tables in public bathrooms across North America by 2021.In 2018, a photograph of Palmer changing his son’s nappy while crouching in a men’s public bathroom went viral, highlighting the need for the addition of baby changing tables in men’s bathrooms.Legend stresses the importance of acknowledging the “active role dads are playing their babies’ lives”, stating that he believes the campaign will pave the way for “more inclusive parenting”.

  • Strobe lighting at dance festivals ‘triples risk of epileptic seizures’
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    The Independent

    Strobe lighting at dance festivals ‘triples risk of epileptic seizures’

    The use of strobe lighting at electronic dance festivals may more than triple the risk of epileptic seizures for susceptible individuals, researchers have warned.It’s long-been known that exposure to flashing lights can trigger seizures among a minority of individuals with epilepsy, a condition known as photosensitive epilepsy.However, the risks associated between those who attend electronic dance music festivals where strobe lighting is used and those more likely to experience epileptic seizures are not widely known.According to a new study published in the journal BMJ Open, the increased risk of seizures caused by strobe lighting at dance music festivals may affect people who are unaware that they have epilepsy.Experts from medical centres in the Netherlands conducted a study assessing 400,343 people who attended 28 daytime and night-time electronic dance music festivals across the country throughout 2015.The data was originally collated by Event Medical Services, a company which provides medical services to almost all dance music festivals in the Netherlands.Of those assessed, 241,543 people attended night-time festivals where strobe lighting was used, and 158,800 attended daytime festivals where strobe lighting was used.The strobe lighting at the daytime festivals was reported as being less intense, due to the sunlight.Overall, there were 2,776 incidents where festivalgoers required medical assistance at the 28 festivals, 39 of which were due to epileptic seizures.There were 30 reported cases of epileptic fits during the night-time festivals, and nine during the daytime festivals.While the researchers say that their study is observational, they write that they believe their finding that risk of a seizure is more than three times more likely at a night-time festival where strobe lighting is more intense is “externally valid”.They add that other factors – such as if the festivalgoers had taken ecstasy, were sleep deprived or using other forms of medication – may have also increased their likelihood of suffering epileptic seizures.“Regardless of whether stroboscopic light effects are solely responsible or whether sleep deprivation and/or substance abuse also play a role, the appropriate interpretation is that large [electronic dance music] festivals, especially during night-time, probably cause at least a number of people per event to suffer epileptic seizures,” the researchers state.“Given the large dataset, we believe our findings are externally valid, at least for other [electronic dance music] festivals in other countries which generally attract a similar audience.”The researchers add that organisers of electronic dance music festivals do not provide adequate warnings about the associated risk between strobe lighting and epileptic seizures.“Concert organisers and audience should warn against the risk of seizures and promote precautionary measures in susceptible individuals,” they conclude.The researchers of the study were prompted to carry out their investigation following an incident when a 20-year-old man with no history of epilepsy suddenly collapsed and experience a fit at an electronic dance festival.The festivalgoer was reported as having had an “’aura-like’ experience”, and denied consuming any alcohol, drugs or medication.“When asked about pre-seizure symptoms, he remembered an urge to turn his eyes away from the strong stroboscopic light effects coming from the stage in front of him, because they elicited what he referred to as discomforting sensations,” the researchers write.Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders in the world, affecting approximately 50 million people worldwide.Those living with the life-long condition may be prone to experiencing frequent, unpredictable seizures, which occur when sudden bursts of electrical activity happen in the brain.Epilepsy affects one in 100 people in the UK, Epilepsy Action states.According to the Epilepsy Society, one in 20 people are likely to experience a one-off epileptic seizure at some point in their lifetime.However, this does not necessarily mean that they have epilepsy.For information about what you can do if you witness someone having an epileptic seizure, visit Epilepsy Action’s website here.

  • How to make the most of your commute to work
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    Keepers of Cool

    How to make the most of your commute to work

    Don’t squander away the time and instead keep yourself energised with these productive tasks.

  • Hallucinating, panicked, yet sent home by doctors: One woman’s story of suffering postpartum psychosis
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    The Independent

    Hallucinating, panicked, yet sent home by doctors: One woman’s story of suffering postpartum psychosis

    Sophie Wood had never truly appreciated the feeling of soft carpet underneath her toes. Nor the luxury of boiling a kettle without being watched, chopping an apple with a knife, or using a hairdryer. But six weeks after being admitted under the Mental Health Act (1983) to a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU), she was slowly starting to remember the minutiae that make life interesting.“For weeks, I’d had someone sitting at the end of my bed watching me, monitoring exactly what I ate, the medication I was taking, and how I was caring for my baby,” the 35-year-old tells The Independent. “I felt like a prisoner. At the beginning, all I wanted to do was escape.”After longing to start a family for years, this isn’t exactly how Sophie had envisaged the first few weeks of motherhood. In April 2016, Sophie gave birth to her daughter, Isabella. Like the majority of new mums, she fully expected long sleepless nights and problems latching in the early stages. “I didn’t sleep at all for three to four days after giving birth,” she admits.“While I was excited and elated to have a baby, I felt entirely responsible for looking after my daughter all the time. I became obsessed with checking she was breathing. Every time she cried I went to pick her and feed her. I felt I needed to be with her, constantly.”These may sound like the concerns every mum feels after giving birth, but Sophie and her husband soon realised her experience of motherhood wasn’t the norm as her obsession soon turned into delusion. Unbeknown to Sophie, she was suffering from postpartum psychosis (PP) – a severe form of mental illness which usually begins in the first two weeks after childbirth.National charity Action of Postpartum Psychosis (APP) estimates that more than 1,400 women experience PP each year in the UK (one to two in every 1,000 mothers). Symptoms can include hallucinations, delusions, restlessness, confusion, and a manic mood.Dr Trudi Seneviratne, chair of the perinatal faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, says it’s often difficult to pinpoint whether someone is suffering from PP or the “baby blues” (when women experience low mood and feel mildly depressed after childbirth) given the natural fluctuations in mood due to hormone changes after a woman gives birth.However, Seneviratne notes that 75 per cent of women who suffer from PP often exhibit behaviours that make them appear overly-energetic. “They might write down a list of ideas all at once, become busy and obsessive with certain concepts. Their sense of taste, smell and hearing may also become heightened.” What is postpartum psychosis? Postpartum psychosis (PP) is a rare but serious mental health illness that can affect a woman soon after she has a baby, the NHS states.It is estimated that over 1,400 women experience PP each year in the UK (one to two in every 1,000 mothers).Symptoms of PP include hallucinations, delusions, restlessness, confusion, and a manic mood.Dr Jess Heron, director of the national charity Action on Postpartum Psychosis concurs, adding: “The early symptoms of PP can be difficult to identify because many women feel a little bit elated and sleep deprived in the first few days after having a baby. There are some mums at particularly high risk of PP: mums who have previously experienced an episode of bipolar disorder, or a previous postpartum psychosis.”That said, for around half of women – including Sophie – PP can come completely out of the blue.“The only way I can describe PP is like an iceberg,” she says. “If you look at the pictures of me after I’d given birth, I looked like a perfectly normal and happy new mum holding my baby. Underneath I was suffering from chronic anxiety and confusion.”While Sophie still doesn’t know what triggered her PP, she believes the lack of aftercare she received in the first few hours following childbirth played a key role. After undergoing an emergency caesarean section as a result of her daughter being in breach (when a baby is born bottom first instead of head first), Sophie found herself becoming increasingly distressed.“It was around midnight when my husband was booted out of the hospital and I was put on the general ward with other mothers and babies,” she recalls.“It was pitch black and I was connected to multiple tubes and a catheter. My daughter was screaming and I really felt incapable of helping her. I kept pressing my buzzer but no one came to help. I could see she might need feeding but my milk hadn’t come in. I panicked.”That night, Sophie tried to breastfeed to no avail, resulting in her nipples becoming raw and bleeding. A midwife later told her that “this feeding malarkey” might not be for her. “It was excruciating,” she says. “I beat myself up about it so much in the first few days.“My daughter gradually started to lose weight because I couldn’t feed her. I felt I was it was my fault as I couldn’t give her the natural thing she needed. I felt I was failing as a mother.Four days after coming home from hospital with her child, Sophie experienced her first psychotic episode. After falling asleep amid exhaustion, she recalls having a horrific nightmare. “I woke up screaming in a hot sweat and shaking. My husband ran up the stairs to find me babbling nonsense. I told him I felt unsafe and that I didn’t know what was going on.” Sophie could feel herself getting jittery, battling racing thoughts and talking quickly.> It was so sad for my family to watch me go from being happy, organised, and positive about becoming a mother, to someone so anxious and fearfulMoments later, Sophie’s husband found her doing the Michael Jackson-inspired moonwalk across the landing (“I wasn’t even aware I knew the entire Thriller routine”), before forcing him to watch the Lion King. “I remember holding up my daughter like the monkey on Pride Rock showing Simba to the pride. “Look, she’s ours, she’s amazing,” I kept repeating to my husband. The couple recognised how out of character Sophie’s behaviour was and were increasingly concerned. “I felt like I was coming in and out of dream world,” she says, describing her mental state at the time. “My husband knew something was wrong and told me he thought I was having a psychotic episode but he was naturally scared to call anyone in fear social services would take me and the baby away.”Despite visiting A&E that night, Sophie was told she was experiencing the normal anxieties of becoming a new mum and needed sleep. After being handed a cup of tea and a sedative, she was soon sent home.Over the next few days, her mental state deteriorated rapidly. She began hearing voices in her head and was convinced her brother had died. She even lost the ability to speak and spent hours watching her wedding video on repeat. To this day, she still has the in-depth business plan she wrote out on her phone about a new invention she’d created to help new mums suffering like she was. “I genuinely thought I was the new Richard Branson,” she jokes.Eight days after giving birth, Sophie was forced into an ambulance and admitted to an MBU which provides support for mothers who experience severe mental health difficulties during and after pregnancy. She remembers her husband breaking down into tears as he signed the forms to have her sectioned.“It was so sad for my family to watch me go from being happy, organised, and positive about becoming a mother, to someone so anxious and fearful,” she says. “No one saw it coming.”During her initial stay at the unit, Sophie feared male staff would hurt her and she couldn’t bare people looking at her with Isabella. “I was tearful, quiet, and fearful. I ended up singing a lot to myself. It was a very lonely time,” she says.Despite taking numerous forms of medication including mood stabilisers, attending group therapy, mindfulness and group counselling sessions, at no point during her time in the facility did anyone tell Sophie she was suffering from PP. She says: “I used to ask people ‘what’s happened to me, why am I here?’ They used to tell me I was unwell which I thought was ludicrous. ‘Unwell’ is what you are when you have a cold or food poisoning.”While Sophie showed signs of improvement during her time at the unit, her battle with PP was far from over. She suffered from chronic anxiety and feared going outside. For the first month after leaving the MBU, she called the crisis team on a daily basis. “I was traumatised. I kept having flashbacks of what had happened,” she says. She didn’t step foot into a supermarket on her own for six months.Heron says: “Women go on to make a full recovery, however, the journey to full recovery can be long and difficult.”According to the NHS, most women will require treatment for PP in hospital, ideally at an MBU. Treatment may include medication, psychological therapy, and on extremely rare occasions electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).Seneviratne says: “Ninety per cent of sufferers will make a good recovery thanks to a combination of medication which can include anti-psychotics, that have mood stabilising properties, and sedatives that help them to sleep. However, while medication is important, so too are psychological therapies.“The term ‘psychosis’ is a hugely stigmatising term as it can be a reason why people don’t seek help early enough – PP is a severe condition. It’s important to talk openly about PP and give families the platforms to do so. Sufferers should in no way feel embarrassed about sharing their experiences.’’As her treatment continued, Sophie underwent counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and was finally diagnosed with PP some four months after giving birth. She came off her medication 11 months later and has attended numerous meet-ups and peer support groups through APP to share her experience. With hopes to have more children in future, she has also discussed several contingency plans with her doctor on how she can try to avoid suffering from PP again.“We’ve spoken about the need for medication, making contact with a perinatal mental health support nurses, birth plans, bottle feeding – anything so I can feel as calm as possible if I fall pregnant,” she says.As a result of her experience, Sophie has also become a media volunteer for APP and is setting up a blog to detail her journey through future pregnancies about how she plans to prevent PP, if she can, for women, families, and healthcare professionals.“It is not the ‘baby blues’ or a bad patch, rather a serious mental health condition. The earlier you get intervention, the healthier you’ll be. It takes a long time to recover from this illness but it is possible, there is hope.”To find out more information about postpartum psychosis, click here. For more help on the condition, contact www.app-network.org

  • Fibromyalgia: What is the condition that Kirsty Young and Lena Dunham suffer from?
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    The Independent

    Fibromyalgia: What is the condition that Kirsty Young and Lena Dunham suffer from?

    Today is World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, an annual day dedicated to raising awareness of the debilitating condition and of those who suffer its effects.The condition, which affects Girls creator Lena Dunham and former Desert Island Discs host Kirsty Young, as well as an estimated 10m other people in the US, causes chronic pain. Read on for everything you need to know about fibromyalgia. What is fibromyalgia?Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition characterised by chronic pain and tenderness across the body.While there are some common symptoms, such as fatigue, everyone experiences fibromyalgia differently, with some cases more severe than others.It’s fairly common, according to the charity Arthritis Research UK, which claims that up to one person in every 25 may be affected.The symptoms for fibromyalgia can be very similar to inflammatory or degenerative arthritis, however, the conditions are not linked.There is no specific test for fibromyalgia, meaning it can often be difficult to diagnose. Who is affected?Fibromyalgia can affect anyone at any age, though it typically affects roughly seven times as many women as men.It usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50. What causes fibromyalgia?It’s not clear what causes fibromyalgia, but researchers suggests it’s related to abnormal amounts of particular chemicals in the brain which disrupt the central nervous system and the way pain is processed in the body.Others speculate that the condition is genetic.According to the NHS, in many cases, fibromyalgia is triggered by physically or emotionally stressful events, such as giving birth, having an operation or bereavement. What are the symptoms?The most common symptom experienced by people with fibromyalgia is widespread chronic pain, which may be more severe in the back and/or neck. Other symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, hypersensitivity, spasms, diarrhoea, dizziness and muscle stiffness.Fibromyalgia can also affect your mental wellbeing, causing something known as “fibro-fog”: problems with memory and concentration. How is it treated?There is no known cure for fibromyalgia, however, it can be managed through treatment, which varies depending on your symptoms.This can be a combination of painkillers, antidepressants, cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling.Some sufferers may also be advised to embark on specific exercise programmes and relaxation methods in order to help manage and alleviate the pain.For more information on fibromyalgia, visit Fibromyalgia Action UK, a charity which supports people with the condition.

  • Royal baby boy: What title will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son have?
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    The Independent

    Royal baby boy: What title will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son have?

    On Monday 6 May, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed the arrival of a son.The baby boy, whose name is yet to be revealed, is seventh in line to the throne, and Queen Elizabeth II's eight great-grandchild.While some are speculating if Prince Harry and Meghan will give their son a traditionally royal first name, others are wondering whether the child will obtain a royal title.Despite the fact that the baby's first cousins are princes and a princess, the Sussex's son won't receive a royal title unless granted one by the Queen.In 1917, King George V passed a Letters Patent, which stated that "...the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and only enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms".This means that Prince Harry and Meghan's son will likely not become a prince or known as "His Royal Highness", and may instead be known as Lord (forename) Mountbatten-Windsor.The royal couple may choose to forego a title for their son altogether, in which case he may be known as Master (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor.However, the Queen could issue a new Letters Patent to change this, as she did for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children.In December 2012, the Queen issued a Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm declaring “all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour”.This explains why Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all have HRH titles.Another title that the Sussex's baby may receive bears links with an ancient Scottish kingdom.On the day of the royal wedding in May 2018, one of the subsidiary titles Prince Harry was bestowed by the Queen was Earl of Dumbarton.As the son of a duke, the baby is entitled to be known as this title.Before Prince Harry was granted the title by his grandmother, it had not been used for more than 260 years.The town of Dumbarton in Scotland, founded in the fifth century, was once the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde.According to Historic Environment Scotland, Dumbarton Castle in the region was a "mighty stronghold in the Dark Ages".Legend dictates that the fort was visited by the wizard Merlin, from Arthurian legend, in the sixth century.For all the latest news on the royal baby, visit The Independent's live blog here.

  • Royal baby news – live: Alexander bookmakers' favourite name for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's son
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    The Independent

    Royal baby news – live: Alexander bookmakers' favourite name for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's son

    The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a baby boy, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.The duchess went into labour during the early hours of Monday morning. Prince Harry was by her side.A statement was released on the royal couple's official Instagram account, revealing that the baby was born before 6am."We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019," the statement reads."Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz."The announcement adds that the duchess and the newborn are both "healthy and well".Please allow a moment for the blog to load...

  • Royal baby latest: Meghan Markle gives birth to boy as world waits for his name to be revealed
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    The Independent

    Royal baby latest: Meghan Markle gives birth to boy as world waits for his name to be revealed

    The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a baby boy, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.The duchess went into labour during the early hours of Monday morning. Prince Harry was by her side.A statement was released on the royal couple's official Instagram account, revealing that the baby was born before 6am."We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019," the statement reads."Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz."The announcement adds that the duchess and the newborn are both "healthy and well".Please allow a moment for the blog to load...

  • Royal baby boy: Where does Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s child fit in the line of succession?
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    The Independent

    Royal baby boy: Where does Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s child fit in the line of succession?

    On Monday 6 May, Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had welcomed a son in the early hours of the morning.The arrival of the couple's first child, who is yet to be named, changes the line of succession for the throne.Prince Harry and Meghan's son is seventh in line to the throne, meaning that Prince Andrew, the Queen's second eldest son, is now eighth in line.The first few members of the royal family in the line of succession remain unchanged.First in line is Prince Charles, who became the longest-serving heir apparent in 2017.The Prince of Wales beat a previous record of 59 years, two months and 13 days set by his great-great-grandfather King Edward VII.Prince Harry's older brother, the Duke of Cambridge, is second in line to the throne.He and the Duchess of Cambridge's three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – follow behind, in third, fourth and fifth place respectively.The Duke of Sussex is sixth in line, which subsequently places his newborn son in seventh place.In April 2018, Princess Charlotte made history as the first female member of the royal family to retain her claim to the throne following the birth of her younger brother.Prior to the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013, a female royal’s claim to the throne would have been diminished by the arrival of a younger brother.However, as stated by the legislative act when it was passed six years ago: "In determining the succession to the Crown, the gender of a person born after 28 October 2011 does not give that person, or that person’s descendants, precedence over any other person (whenever born).”Following the announcement of his son's birth, Prince Harry addressed the press in Windsor.The beaming father said that watching his wife give birth was an "amazing experience"."I’m very excited to announced that Meghan. and myself had a baby boy early this morning, a very healthy boy," he said."How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension."We're both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there. It's been amazing."For all the latest news on the royal baby, follow The Independent's live blog here.

  • Madonna says giving phones to older children ‘ended her relationship with them’
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    The Independent

    Madonna says giving phones to older children ‘ended her relationship with them’

    Madonna has said giving phones to her two eldest children had a hugely negative impact on her relationship with them.Despite having given 22-year-old Lourdes and 18-year-old Rocco phones when they were in their early teens, Madonna does not plan on doing the same for her 13-year-old son David."I'm going to stick that one out for as long as possible, because I made a mistake when I gave my older children phones when they were 13," the Madame X star told Vogue."It ended my relationship with them, really."The singer has five children, ranging in age from six to 22 years old.> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Madonna (@madonna) on Oct 14, 2018 at 10:46am PDTMadonna explained that Lourdes and Rocco's phones became a "very, very big part of their lives", largely due to the growth of social media."They became too inundated with imagery and started to compare themselves to other people, and that's really bad for self-growth," the multi Grammy Award-winner said.Of all her children, Madonna believes David is the most similar to her in terms of his "focus and determination"."I'm pretty sure he got it from me. He's the one I have the most in common with," she stated.As for her eldest child Lourdes, whose father is actor Carlos Leon, Madonna is jealous of her "insane" talent."I'm green with envy because she's incredible at everything she does – she's an incredible dancer, she's a great actress, she plays the piano beautifully, she's way better than me in the talent department."During a recent interview with MTV, Madonna revealed becoming a "soccer mum" while living in Portugal made her feel "depressed".The musician explained that she wasn't suited to the lifestyle change, saying she found herself with "no mates".According to a report published by Ofcom in January, a growing number of children under the age of 11 are using social media.Despite the fact that most social networks do not allow children under the age of 13 to register, 18 per cent of eight to 11 year olds were found to have created online profiles.The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) recently called for clinicians to consider the impact social media can have on the mental health of children.“Although we recognise that social media and technology are not primary drivers of mental illness in young people, we know that they are an important part of their lives and can be harmful in some situations," said Dr Bernadka Dubicka, chair of the child and adolescent faculty at RCP.

  • Meghan Markle: Everything the Duchess of Sussex has ever said about motherhood
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    The Independent

    Meghan Markle: Everything the Duchess of Sussex has ever said about motherhood

    The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to her first child.The announcement was made on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s recently launched Instagram account.“We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019,” the statement reads.Meghan Markle has spoken openly about her desire to become a mother on several occasions in the past, saying in a 2016 interview that having a family would be a “dream”.Here are all the times the duchess has opened up about motherhood: A family heirloomWhile speaking to Hello! magazine in 2015, the duchess revealed that she plans on passing on a sentimental gift to her future daughter.The Californian-born royal explained that when she discovered Suits had been renewed for a third season, the legal television drama she starred in from 2011 to 2018, she “totally splurged” on a £4,200 Cartier French Tank watch.She had the piece engraved with the message “To M.M. From M.M.” to remind herself of the significance of the piece. The duchess said that she planned to give it to her daughter one day. Ticking off the bucket listIn 2015, Ms Markle was interviewed by Best Health magazine about her healthy living regime for the magazine’s May 2016 cover.During the interview, the then-Suits actor also spoke about her plans for the future.When asked what’s on her bucket list, the duchess answered: “I want to travel more and I can’t wait to start a family, but in due time.” Leading a balanced lifeIn 2016, Ms Markle told Lifestyle magazine that her life is “more amazing” than she ever thought it could be.“I dreamt of becoming a successful working actress, which I can now very thankfully tick off the list. And I also dream to have a family,” she said.The duchess added that it’s “all about balance”, and that having a family would enable her to feel more “grounded”.“Raising a family will be a wonderful part of that,” she explained. Time for a bedtime storyWhile answering rapid fire questions for a 2016 interview, Ms Markle was asked what children’s book she couldn’t wait to share with her future children.The duchess gave The Giving Tree as her answer, a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein.First published in 1964, the book documents the relationship between a young boy and a tree. Taking an interest in baby products​Two months prior to their wedding, the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle toured the Belfast campus of Northern Ireland’s next generation science park.> Prince Harry and Ms. Markle then visited the Belfast campus of Northern Ireland’s next generation science park, @CatalystIncHQ, to meet some of Northern Ireland’s brightest young entrepreneurs and innovators. pic.twitter.com/OUgBw4FUDE> > — Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) > > March 23, 2018During their visit, the couple were introduced to a company called Schnuggle which makes hypoallergenic baby products.“I’m sure at some point we’ll need the whole thing,” Ms Markle said, when perusing the company’s range of products.For everything you need to know about the royal baby, click here.

  • Royal baby boy: Prince Harry expresses admiration for women after Meghan Markle gives birth
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    The Independent

    Royal baby boy: Prince Harry expresses admiration for women after Meghan Markle gives birth

    The Duke of Sussex has stated he is in awe of the Duchess of Sussex, saying that watching his wife give birth was an "amazing experience".Following the announcement made by Buckingham Palace that Meghan gave birth in the early hours of this morning, Prince Harry addressed the press outside Windsor Castle.As he stood in front of the stables unable to conceal his joy, the duke said he was "very excited" to announce the birth of the couple's newborn son."I’m very excited to announced that Meghan. and myself had a baby boy early this morning, a very healthy boy," he said.The royal went on to express his admiration for women's strength in the act of childbirth."How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension," Prince Harry said."We're both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there. It's been amazing."Prince Harry stated that both Meghan and their baby, whose name is yet to be revealed, are both doing "incredibly well".Ian Lloyd, a royal photographer and commentator, said that new father's expression of emotion is "typical of him"."He is expressing the sheer wonder of childbirth and how you feel at this awesome moment in your life," Lloyd tells The Independent."It's typical of him as he is able to express those emotions. Traditionally, the royal family would never have said that."Lloyd adds that the nature of Prince Harry's announcement is a sign of how he and Meghan "function as a couple"."It's a move away from the traditional royal reticence of expressing emotions. He is a new-age father," the photographer states.Several royal fans have praised Prince Harry for his appreciation of the difficulties of childbirth."The kudos he gave to his wife, and all women for going through the process of childbirth was beautiful!!" one person tweeted."Listening to Prince Harry talk about the birth of his son (and tearing up) and praise women for the powerful work of childbirth gave me all the feels this morning," another remarked."I can't help but tear up myself and think 'his mother would be so proud of the man he is'."For all the latest news on the birth of the royal baby, follow The Independent's live blog here.

  • Why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won’t have legal custody of royal baby
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    The Independent

    Why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won’t have legal custody of royal baby

    In October, Kensington Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were expecting their first child in spring 2019.While the couple and their relatives expressed their excitement over the news, there is a fascinating law in place that means that Prince Harry and Meghan won't have full legal custody of their child when the duchess gives birth to the royal baby.A law enacted more than three centuries ago means that the Queen would actually have full legal custody of the children, royal expert Marlene Koenig explains.The law, called “The Grand Opinion for the Prerogative Concerning the Royal Family,” was introduced by King George I in 1717.“George I did not get along with his son, the future George II,” Koenig tells The Independent. “I believe it came about when the Prince of Wales [George II] did not want to have the godparent for his son that his father wanted - so George I got Parliament to come up with something.”According to Koenig, issues surrounding the law arose in 1994 when Diana, Princess of Wales separated from Charles, Prince of Wales.Diana expressed wishes to take their sons, Harry and William, to live with her in Australia, but couldn’t due to the regulations laid out by the custody law.An annual register published in 1772 goes into greater detail explaining the details of the regal ruling.“They said that the opinion of 10 judges, in the year 1717, was a confirmation of the legality of this prerogative, which admitted the King’s right to the care of the marriage and education of the children of the royal family; and that the late opinion acknowledges, that the King had the care of the royal children and grandchildren, and the presumptive heir to the crown…”, the register outlines.While the law indicates that the Queen legally has custody of her great-grandchildren, which also includes the children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Koenig doesn’t believe that she would ever feel the need to act upon it.“I would doubt that the Queen would interfere. [It’s] more of a formality,” she says.“I think the Queen has let her children raise their kids.”Last year, it was revealed that a law that states that only sons can inherit hereditary peerages was being challenged in the European Court of Human Rights.If the law were to be changed, this would mean that a daughter born to Prince Harry and Meghan would inherit a royal title, whereas she wouldn’t have been granted one before.“Under the current system, any child of the Duke and Duchess won’t automatically have a royal title,” royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams explained to The Independent.“The peerage, unlike the succession to the crown, favours males and if they have only daughters, the title of Sussex could die out as it did before."

  • Royal baby latest: Meghan Markle gives birth to 'a very healthy' boy, Prince Harry announces
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    The Independent

    Royal baby latest: Meghan Markle gives birth to 'a very healthy' boy, Prince Harry announces

    The Duchess of Sussex is in labour, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.The duchess went into labour during the early hours of Monday morning. Prince Harry was by her side.Many royal fans will likely be keeping a close eye on social media for any further updates about the birth, especially following the recent launch of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official Instagram account, keen to find out anything and everything about the birth of the royal couple's first child.There are many details we already know, including the fact that the royal baby will unlikely be granted a royal title.Please allow a moment for the blog to load...

  • Royal baby latest: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry prepare for birth of first child
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    The Independent

    Royal baby latest: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry prepare for birth of first child

    With the Duchess of Sussex due to give birth to the royal baby any day, excitement is brewing across the nation.Many royal fans have been keeping a close eye on any possible updates on social media, following the recent launch of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official Instagram account, keen to find out anything and everything about the birth of the royal couple's first child.There are many details we already know, including approximately when the duchess will give birth and the fact that the royal baby will unlikely be granted a royal title.However, much information about the royal birth is being kept under wraps.Please allow a moment for the blog to load...

  • Royal baby latest: Prince Harry cancels trip as bookies suspend bets amid rumours Meghan has given birth
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    The Independent

    Royal baby latest: Prince Harry cancels trip as bookies suspend bets amid rumours Meghan has given birth

    With the Duchess of Sussex due to give birth to the royal baby any day, excitement is brewing across the nation.Many royal fans have been keeping a close eye on any possible updates on social media, following the recent launch of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official Instagram account, keen to find out anything and everything about the birth of the royal couple's first child.There are many details we already know, including approximately when the duchess will give birth and the fact that the royal baby will unlikely be granted a royal title.However, much information about the royal birth is being kept under wraps.Please allow a moment for the blog to load...

  • Royal baby latest: Rumours Meghan Markle has given birth lead bookies to suspend bets
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    The Independent

    Royal baby latest: Rumours Meghan Markle has given birth lead bookies to suspend bets

    With the Duchess of Sussex due to give birth to the royal baby any day, excitement is brewing across the nation.Many royal fans have been keeping a close eye on any possible updates on social media, following the recent launch of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official Instagram account, keen to find out anything and everything about the birth of the royal couple's first child.There are many details we already know, including approximately when the duchess will give birth and the fact that the royal baby will unlikely be granted a royal title.However, much information about the royal birth is being kept under wraps.Please allow a moment for the blog to load...

  • Royal baby news - live: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry updates, due date and name odds
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    The Independent

    Royal baby news - live: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry updates, due date and name odds

    With the Duchess of Sussex due to give birth to the royal baby any day, excitement is brewing across the nation. Many royal fans have been keeping a close eye on any possible updates on social media, following the recent launch of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official Instagram account, keen to find out anything and everything about the birth of the royal couple's first child. There are many details we already know, including approximately when the duchess will give birth and the fact that the royal baby will unlikely be granted a royal title.

  • Drinking too many protein shakes could reduce lifespan, scientists claim
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    The Independent

    Drinking too many protein shakes could reduce lifespan, scientists claim

    Drinking too many protein shakes could lead to an increased risk of obesity and a reduced lifespan, a new study has claimed. Researchers from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre carried out an investigation to determine the impact excessive consumption of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) has on the body. Published in journal Nature Metabolism, the study found that while BCAAs help to build muscle, they can also negatively impact an individual's temperament, cause weight gain and lead to a shortened lifespan.