Today I took Laura to the baby clinic to be weighed. I think I wrote about this before, but here it goes again. In the UK there are routine check-ups in set period of the baby’s life, done by a GP or Health Visitor or Midwife, and there are the informal check-ups, where you go to the baby clinic and chat with the midwife.
There are routine check ups (at least in my area) after the baby is born, one at the hospital, then the midwife came here 2 days later to check on me and breast feeding techniques and baby, then another midwife came 3 days later for the foot prick thing, then I had to go to the hospital for another check (this one to be discharged from the hospital’s midwives care and start with a health visitor – Laura took longer to be discharged because her belly button took a month to fall because of the antibiotics), then there’s a review around 6 to 8 weeks (mine was around 10 because we changed areas), when Laura had her first set of immunisation, then the health visitor came over to check on us, gave us the red book (every child in the UK has one, and all the information on growth and development, including vaccines should be in there), then she had the other immunisations at 2 and 3 months. And that was it. At the baby clinic I go to check her weight, once a month, as per recommendation. Unless there is something wrong with the baby, this is how it works.
So today I asked the midwife if I could check Laura’s length (until 2 years old – or something like that – they measure her length, not height) and she told me that here (again, my area? London? UK?) they only measure the baby twice: one at the 6 to 8 weeks check up (in my case, not even that – they only measure Laura at 3 months, at the hospital, for a check up on her kidneys) and the other at the 12 months review. And again, they would have checked is Laura has had problems putting on weight (or gaining too much at once), and according to the system, there is no need for the baby to be measured and it only brings anxiety to the mother. Between you and me, I get anxious because she is NOT measured, but I’m not gonna tell her that.
Laura is doing fine. For those who know Mr. C and I, you know that there is no chance that Laura will be a tall lady. Chubby or slim, yes, it’s possible. So, I would be more than happy if she is taller than I am, and even happier if she is more than 1.65cm. Too much to ask?
Weight-wise, Laura is doing good. They follow a chart here in the UK, that tracks the growth of 100 breastfed babies. So if the baby is around number 50, that means that there are 50 kids with less weight than her and 50 above (or 49, whatever the math is). Laura started at 25 and is now around 50, slightly less. Which is good, right? Right. But then the anxious mother thinks to herself: what if length-wise she is around 25 or less? That means she is chubby! She doesn’t look chubby for me, though, so the anxiety is gone.
If you are curious about the growth chart in the UK, here is a link. There is a chart for boy and a chart for girls, because of course their growth patterns (thank goodness) is different.
P.S.: By the way, Laura is 7,180kg – if she was a boy with this weight, she would be 9th, not 50th! Or she would have to be 8kg to be 50th. Doesn’t seem much of a difference, but when you talk about babies, 100gr is a lot!
P.S. 2: These charts are for reference only and consider breastfed babies – formula babies are (and should be) bigger.
NB: Numbers are approximate.