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Churnalism

As newsrooms shrink, the age-old problem of "journalism by press release" - essentially lifting bits from a press release and calling it a story - has become more pronounced. Now, for those who care about this sort of thing, an amusing web site out of England - churnalism.com - which allows the user to enter a bit of text from a press release and see, with precision, how much of that text wound up in stories in the popular press.

Here's a recent comparison, courtesy of churnalism. First, from the press release:

It takes the average new mother one-and-a-half years to 'feel like a woman again' after childbirth, a study revealed yesterday (Tues).

Experts found gruelling sleepless nights lead to a dip in confidence amid the loss of independence, worries over her post-baby figure and how she will be perceived by others.

Personal fitness, fashion and social life also take a back seat as a new mother comes to terms with caring for her new arrival.

But finally after 18 months the confidence begins to return as baby weight falls off, they become more comfortable with the role of motherhood and settle back into work.

The timescale was revealed in a study of 3,000 mums carried out by nursing wear fashion website www.abeautifulmummy.co.uk.

Yesterday managing director Claire Burns said: ''Mums have a different set of priorities after having a baby.
''With the new arrival comes a wealth of responsibility, endless sleepless nights, feeds every couple of hours and numerous nappy changes.

''It is no wonder new mums find it harder to take care of themselves as they come to terms with their new role - at the end of the day this new baby is the centre of their world.''

The study found a lack of routine amid the chaos of a new baby was a key factor in draining a mum's confidence along with extreme tiredness and hours spent feeding.

Additionally, it emerged more than two thirds of new mums admitted feeling 'saggy', 'fat' and 'unattractive' in the months after giving birth.

Six out of ten claimed their confidence took a real knock when they realised their old clothes didn't fit.

And a quarter said they felt they were competing with others mums - and celebrities - to lose weight quickly after birth.
Six out of ten said their self-assurance disappeared due to hormone-driven emotions.

Unsurprisingly, 64 per cent claimed a lack of routine in the early months meant they struggled to make it through the day.
During this time, 68 per cent of mums said they felt like 'a feeding machine', while 63 per cent admitted 'letting themselves go' by failing to take care of their hair, make-up or clothes.

The report also showed a large percentage of mums had no time for themselves once the baby was born, and 32 per cent said breastfeeding limited what they could wear.

And 39 per cent felt unattractive in every outfit they put on.

The poll shows a third of mums were terrified about returning to work, while 66 per cent feared they wouldn't have the confidence to excel in their role.

Nine out of ten mums said work no longer seemed as important after they gave birth, and 79 per cent didn't want to leave their baby to go back.

It also emerged most mums need at least ten months to feel 'part of the gang' again when returning to work after maternity leave.

Many said they even felt they had to try harder to re-establish themselves at work.

Claire Burns added: ''It's really hard for women to feel sexy, chic and stylish after just having given birth.

''Your body isn't what it was - you're too small for maternity clothes and too big for your normal wardrobe.

''This just makes mums feel incredibly unattractive and uncomfortable in their own skin - and can be one of the reasons why mums don't want to socialise in the days and months after having a baby.''

Research conducted by global market research company www.onepoll.com

Now, a "story" from the Daily Mail:

As the dirty nappies pile up and a good night’s sleep seems a distant memory, it is easy for a new mother to think life will never be the same again.

But it will happen – even if it does take an average of 18 months, according to a poll of thousands of ­British women.

That’s 547 days, for any parents desperately counting down the time on their calendar, before new ­mothers are able to ‘feel like a woman again’.

During that one and a half year period, however, sleepless nights, loss of independence and weight worries all contribute to a crisis of confidence.

More than two thirds of those questioned admitted to feeling ‘saggy’, ‘fat’ and ‘unattractive’ in the months after giving birth.

Six out of ten claimed their confidence took a real knock when they realised their old clothes didn’t fit.

And a quarter of the 3,000 women said they felt they were competing with other mothers – including celebrities – to lose weight quickly after birth.

Unsurprisingly, 64 per cent of those polled for fashion website A Beautiful Mummy claimed a lack of routine in the early months meant they struggled to make it through the day.

Around a third blamed breastfeeding for limiting what they could wear and 39 per cent felt unattractive in every outfit they put on.

Others struggled to adjust to the loss of ‘me time’, with 63 per cent saying they let themselves go by failing to take care of their hair, make-up or clothes.

Siobhan Freegard, of the Netmums parenting advice website, said that while 18 months might be the average figure, many women will take longer.

‘New mothers go through phases,’ she said. ‘The first is the dressing-gown phase. Then you get to the phase where you have managed clean hair. Clean hair and make-up is another phase.

‘As your child gets to between two and a half and three, you suddenly find you are able to co-ordinate clothes, make-up and earrings. Earrings and fresh lipstick is a sign you have come out the other side. But this doesn’t mean you are not happy during that time,’ she stressed. ‘It just means you have different priorities.’

The change in priorities also meant that nine in ten new mothers polled said work no longer seemed as important after they gave birth, and 79 per cent didn’t want to leave their baby to go back. Many also feared they would no longer excel in their job.

For those who did take the plunge, it tended to take at least ten months to feel part of the gang again when returning to work after maternity leave.

Claire Burns, managing director of A Beautiful Mummy, said: ‘Mums have a different set of responsibilities after having a baby.

‘With the new arrival comes a wealth of responsibility, endless sleepless nights, feeds every couple of hours and numerous nappy changes.

‘It is no wonder that new mums find it harder to take care of themselves as they come to terms with their new role – at the end of the day this new baby is the centre of their world.’

Mrs Burns added: ‘It’s really hard for women to feel sexy, chic and stylish after just having given birth.

‘Your body isn’t what it was – you’re too small for maternity clothes and too big for your normal wardrobe.

‘This just makes mums feel incredibly unattractive and uncomfortable in their own skin – and can be one of the reasons why mums don’t want to socialise in the days and months after having a baby.

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