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.


European Union (EU) legislation requires most additives used in foods to be labelled in the list of ingredients either by name or by an E number. All additives with E numbers have passed safety tests and have been approved for use. The Food Standards Authority (FSA) has advised parents of children showing signs of hyperactivity that cutting certain artificial colours from their diets might have some beneficial effects. The additives to avoid are: E110 (Sunset Yellow), E104 (Quinoline yellow), E122 (Carmoisine), E129 (Allura red), E102 (Tartrazine) and E124 (Ponceau 4R). Visit for more information. No artificial additives are used in HiPP Organic baby foods. For more information on the HiPP Organic product range click here.

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Adenoids are found at the back of the nasal passage above the tonsils and they form part of the body?s defences against respiratory infections such as coughs and colds. The adenoids start to grow from birth and reach their maximum size at about 3-5 years old. They start to shrink again around the age of 7, by late teens are barely visible and by adulthood will have disappeared. In some children the adenoids become enlarged and this can lead to difficulties with breathing and to nasal-sounding speech. Enlarged adenoids can also result in middle-ear infections and a build up of fluid in the middle ear ('glue ear'). The Enlarged adenoids generally shrink as the child gets older or they may be surgically removed (either on their own (adenoidectomy) or as part of a tonsillectomy).

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ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

This is a disorder in which a child is typically constantly active, unable to sit still, has a short attention span, has difficulty in concentrating on tasks and has impulsive behaviour e.g. trouble controlling what they are saying. In some children, certain foods or food additives seem to aggravate symptoms. For more information visit ADHD is a medical condition which should not be confused with normal excitable or boisterous behaviour. Support groups for ADHD include: National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service: or The Hyperactive Children?s Support Group:

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Air Travel

Air travel can usually be undertaken until the 36th week of pregnancy, but after 28 weeks most airlines require a letter from your GP stating that you are fit to fly. Make sure your travel insurance is valid for pregnancy and that it provides cover for you and the baby if the baby arrives early.

Pregnant women who fly are at a small but significant risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (the medical term for blood clots), referred to as DVT. During a flight, pregnant women should make sure they drink plenty of water, wear special flight socks and get up and walk around at least once every hour. While seated, the calf muscles should frequently be worked by flexing the feet up and down.

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Alcohol In Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, or trying to become pregnant, it?s generally considered best to avoid alcohol in at least the first 3 months if possible. If you would like an occasional drink, restrict your intake to no more than 1 or 2 units of alcohol, once or twice a week and avoid getting drunk, or binge drinking.

One small (125ml) glass of wine is about 1.5 units, a standard (175ml) glass of wine is about 2 units, alcopops about 1.5 units and half a pint of (standard strength) beer, lager or cider, or a single measure of spirits, are around 1 unit.

If you require more information visit

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Alcohol While Breastfeeding

Your blood alcohol levels (and the level of alcohol in your milk) will generally be highest 1-1½ hours after your last drink. The occasional glass of wine or other alcoholic drink does not appear to harm a breastfed baby or interfere with milk production.

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An allergy is an inappropriate reaction by the body?s immune system to normally harmless substances such as pollen, cat and dog fur, house dust mites, and some foods - most commonly dairy products, seafood, wheat, eggs, peanuts. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can vary but could include itchy skin or a rash, itchy eyes, wheezing, swelling. In rare cases the allergy can produce an extreme and life threatening reaction or anaphylactic shock. Common allergic conditions are hay fever, asthma, eczema and urticaria (also referred to as hives/nettle rash). Visit the British Allergy Foundation for more information:

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This is a diagnostic procedure in which a small amount of the amniotic fluid surrounding a baby in the womb is withdrawn with a syringe, using an ultrasound scan for guidance. The amniotic fluid is analysed to identify or exclude certain disorders or defects. The results of an amniocentesis can also reveal the baby?s sex.

Amniocentesis may be offered - after counselling -where a screening test has indicated an increased risk of Down's Syndrome, where an ultrasound scan has detected a possible abnormality; or to those women who have a past history or family history of a genetic or chromosomal disorder.

Amniocentesis is usually performed between 15-20 weeks of pregnancy and it is down to personal choice whether you want this procedure to be carried out as it is not entirely risk free.

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Amniotic Fluid

This is a fluid surrounding the baby in the womb and is also known as the 'waters'.

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Anaemia And Pregnancy

During pregnancy, blood tests are carried out to measure the levels of haemoglobin in the blood. Haemoglobin carries oxygen around the body. Anaemia is a condition in which haemoglobin levels are low - and the resulting lack of oxygen going round the body causes symptoms such as tiredness, breathlessness, poor concentration, paleness/pale skin, weakness. The body uses iron to make haemoglobin and iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia. Pregnant women have a greater volume of blood circulating in the body and therefore they need good levels of iron to make enough haemoglobin.

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Anaemia In Infants

The stores of iron a child is born with start to run out at about 6 months, so the inclusion of iron-rich foods in the diet is important. Lack of iron may lead to anaemia, which can affect a child's physical and mental development. Meat is a good source of iron, as are fish, eggs, lentils and beans. To improve iron absorption, give foods or drinks rich in vitamin C, e.g. fruit or diluted fruit juice, at the same meal. Follow-on milks such as HiPP Organic Follow-on milk also contain increased levels of iron.

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Anaphylaxis is the name given to a type of allergic reaction which affects the whole body. It can be life-threatening. Thankfully it is very rare; however if it occurs it requires immediate medical treatment and it is for this reason that all allergies should be taken seriously.

Anaphylaxis usually occurs within a few minutes of exposure to the allergen but can take a few hours to develop. The symptoms can be varied but include skin redness, urticaria (hives) appearing on the body, mouth and throat itching or swelling, difficulty in swallowing or speaking, heart beating faster, wheezing or worsening of asthma, feeling sick or vomiting, drop in blood pressure (may feel weak or fall down) and unconsciousness.

If you believe that your child may be experiencing anaphylaxis then immediately seek medical advice by calling 999 and follow their instructions. Usually it is treated by adrenaline (an EpiPen), and some people who have had anaphylaxis in the past carry this with them just in case.

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Apgar Score

This is a scoring system used to evaluate the physical condition of a newborn baby one minute after birth (and commonly repeated after 5 minutes). Assessments are made for breathing, heart rate, colour, muscle tone and response to stimulation. Scores are given out of ten and an Apgar score of seven or over indicates that the baby is in good condition.

A slightly low Apgar score (especially at 1 minute) is normal for some newborns, especially those born after a high risk pregnancy, caesarean section or complicated labour and delivery. Lower Apgar scores may also be seen in premature babies.

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ARM (Artificial Rupture Of Membranes)

Also termed amniotomy, this is where a pregnant woman?s ?waters? are ?broken? by use of a special instrument, i.e. the membranes surrounding the amniotic sac are ruptured in order to induce the birth or to speed up labour.

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Asperger's Syndrome

This is a form of autism - a condition affecting the way a sufferer communicates with, and relates to, others. The disorder is usually recognised in childhood because of difficulties with social interactions, stilted speech and very focused, specialised interests. Intelligence levels are usually normal or high. It is often harder to diagnose than other forms of autism as the symptoms tend to be more subtle. For more information visit the Asperger?s Foundation:

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Asthma is an inflammatory condition of the airways of the lungs. During an asthma attack, the airways become narrower and inflamed, causing difficulty in breathing, coughing, wheezing, ?tight? chest and considerable distress. The number of children affected with asthma has increased considerably in recent years. For more information on asthma visit

Some children under the age of one get wheezy when they have a cold -sometimes called 'viral wheezing', 'baby asthma' or even 'wheezy bronchitis'- but this is different to the asthma that occurs later on in childhood. Asthma is more likely if the child has symptoms that persist even when the cold is better and especially if they have eczema as well.

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More common in boys, an affected child has difficulties with relationships, communication and imagination. The child will also demonstrate repetitive patterns of behaviour. The condition usually becomes apparent by the age of 2 years old.

An autistic child prefers to play alone, makes poor eye contact, has difficulty with everyday social interactions and is extremely resistant to change of any kind. Rituals and obsessions are very important. They are often seem to be ?in a world of their own?. Delay in learning to speak is common and the child may also display one or more sensory sensitivities e.g. extreme reactions to being touched.

For more information contact the National Autism Society:

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