HiPP's A-Z of pregnancy & child health

The A-Z contains information on many aspects of pregnancy 
and child health. It is arranged alphabetically so you can find what you are looking for with ease. If you are at all concerned about your health or your child’s health, please consult your health professional.

Ultrasound Scans

Ultrasound scans are used to check that your baby is growing and developing normally. There are generally two scans that are offered during pregnancy - a 'dating scan' carried out around 10-14 weeks, which helps to establish how far along your pregnancy is, and an 'anomaly scan' at about 18-21 weeks to check that the baby is developing normally.

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Umbilical Cord

After a baby is born, the cord that goes from baby?s navel (or umbilicus) to the mother?s placenta is clamped near the baby?s navel and cut (sometimes fathers are offered the opportunity to do this). The stump of the cord will gradually shrivel and drop off.

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Umbilical Hernia

Some babies have umbilical hernias, which are small swellings near the navel. These generally require no treatment and will usually clear up by themselves.

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Undescended Testicle/s

When boys are born, their testicles have usually already descended into place in the scrotum. In some cases, however, particularly in boys born early, one or both of the testicles have not yet descended. This often rights itself during the first year. If not, surgery is likely to be carried out before the boy is two - an undescended testicle does not develop properly and may cause problems later.

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Urinary Tract Infection/Cystitis

This can become more common in pregnancy. If you need to pass water frequently and feel discomfort or pain, this could be signs of an infection. Drink lots of water and consult your doctor. A glass of cranberry juice a day may help to prevent recurrence of cystitis.

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Urine Tests In Pregnancy

At an early stage in the pregnancy you may be offered a urine test to check the presence of any bacteria that could cause problems with the pregnancy (sometimes these bacteria are present when you have unknowingly had a urinary tract infection). If you are in a high-risk group for gestational diabetes (e.g. if you are overweight or if you have suffered from this condition in a previous pregnancy), your urine may also be checked for sugar levels. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes which occurs only during pregnancy and almost always gets better after the baby has been born. At all antenatal appointments, your urine will be routinely tested to check if there is any protein present in it. It is not unusual during pregnancy for the urine to contain small amounts of protein. Sometimes this is caused by the kidneys having to work harder during pregnancy, or it may indicate that your body is fighting an infection. Your midwife may carry out further checks, and will also continue to monitor the protein levels. Increasing levels of protein may be a sign of pre-eclampsia and you will also be checked for raised blood pressure and sudden swelling of the face, feet and hands.  

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Often termed nettle rash or hives, this is an allergic skin reaction which can be common in children. It usually comes and goes very swiftly, with bumpy itchy weals on the legs, arms and trunk. It can be a reaction to a food or drug, or be linked with exposure to heat, cold or the sun. Calamine lotion and antihistamine drugs may be recommended. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which antihistamines are suitable for use by babies/young children (antihistamines not usually recommended in babies under 6 months). Pregnant women should seek advice from their doctor on the use of antihistamines.

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