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.

Waters Breaking

When a baby is head-down ready for birth, the fluid-filled amniotic sac around the baby acts as a cushion for the baby?s head. During the first stage of labour the membranes around the sac usually rupture (the ?waters break?) - causing the fluid around to flow out. Once the waters have broken, labour often speeds up because the baby?s head pushes against the cervix and encourages contractions. If the waters break and delivery is not expected for some time, antibiotics may be given to avoid infection, and the labour may be induced or speeded up.

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This is the gradual change from a milk-only diet to solid foods. For more advice on weaning click here. HiPP also have a free weaning chart, included in our weaning pack (sent to you once your baby reaches 4 months of age) or you can download a free copy by clicking here. You can also obtain more information and advice on weaning from:

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Weight Gain - Babies

Babies are all individuals and grow at different rates, but on average they double their birthweight by four to five months and triple it by the age of one. Your baby?s weight and head circumference will be regularly checked by your health visitor or GP and plotted on a growth chart in the baby?s Personal Child Health Record book. The chart works on averages - the ?50th centile? is the average measurement for a baby of each age. Any baby who is on the 75th centile for weight, for example, is heavier than average; a baby on the 25th centile for weight is lighter than the average.

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Weight Gain - Pregnancy

Everyone varies, but the average weight gain during pregnancy is around 10-12 kilograms (22-28lb).

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Weight Gain - Toddlers

On average, between the age of one and two, toddlers gain about 2.5kg (5lb) and grow about 12cm (4 ¾?). They gain about 2kg (nearly 4.5lb) and grow about 8cm (just over 3?) between their second and third birthdays. By the age of two, a toddler will be approximately half his or her adult height.

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Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Rarely seen since babies are now immunised against this serious and highly contagious illness. Whooping cough starts with cold-like symptoms, but the cough develops and becomes much worse - usually followed by a characteristic ?whoop? as air is dragged back into the lungs.

The following website can provide useful information on immunisations and your child:

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Babies swallow air when they feed and also when they cry and this trapped air causes discomfort. Some babies suffer a lot with wind and others very little. After a feed, it helps if you support the baby in a sitting position, or rest the baby upright on your shoulder; so that any wind can be brought up (it's a good idea to protect yourself with a muslin or towel in case they also bring up some milk). Babies who are bottle fed may benefit from a different size of teat. Gently massaging a baby's tummy can also help to relieve the symptoms. If your baby suffers severely from wind, your health visitor or GP may recommend medication.

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In children, the common type of roundworm found is threadworm. These live inside the child's bottom and eggs are laid around the anus, causing itching, particularly at night. The child scratches his or her bottom and picks up eggs under the fingernails. These are easily transferred into the mouth and swallowed and the whole cycle continues. If your child has a very itchy bottom, especially at night, look for thread-like worms in their stools. If you find them, consult your doctor, who will prescribe anti-worm treatment for the whole family. This is a single-dose treatment followed two weeks later by a second single dose. Keep nails short and make sure children wash their hands after going to the lavatory. Anti-worm treatment may not be suitable for babies under three months, for breastfeeding mothers or during pregnancy (particularly during the first trimester). In this instance the doctor may recommend following a strict hygiene routine.

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