The adventure of children's growth begins in the womb. It accelerates before puberty and slows down after puberty. Growth monitoring is important for detecting many problems in advance. Anadolu Medical Center Child Health and Diseases and Medical Genetics Specialist Ela Tahmaz answered our questions about the parameters and the points that should be taken into consideration during the growth process from infancy to the end of adolescence.
How are the baby's growth parameters monitored during pregnancy?
With the beginning of pregnancy, the growth rate of the baby starts to be monitored. The growth of the baby in the mother's womb is particularly important in the first three months when the organs are formed. During this period, maternal nutrition, medication and environmental factors are among the factors affecting growth. The three most frequently observed parameters in growth follow-up are; weighing, height and head circumference. The growth monitoring in the womb is also monitored in the light of these parameters with different methods.
How is the approach to children with poor follow-up and growth retardation?
Infections in the womb, chromosomal disorders, drugs taken by the mother, illnesses, smoking or skeletal system may cause growth retardation in the womb. In such a case, first of all, the problem is raised and cause-oriented treatment is applied.
What needs to be paid attention from the moment the baby is born?
At birth, the baby's weight (weight), height and head circumference is absolutely measured. In particular, the baby's weight is checked every day while he is in the hospital. Then, it is checked whether the measurements are compatible with the birth week. In the first week, the baby can lose up to 10% of the birth weight. However, the weight lost after a week, with breast milk is taken back. In particular, the growth around the head is considered among the healthy growth criteria in the first three years of life. During this period, the baby's head bones are developing due to brain development. Under normal circumstances, age, weight, height and head circumference are expected to develop in parallel with each other, otherwise a situation may indicate the presence of a problem. The sutures between the head bones that existed in the early years and the anterior fontanel (soft part of the baby's head) are gradually closing. Since the development of the head circumference will slow down when there is a problem affecting the brain development, it is a stimulus for the physician that this region does not develop at the desired rates.
How often should babies be checked?
The growth of babies needs to be monitored once a month. In order to have certain vaccinations every month, the head circumference, weight and height development of the babies brought to the physician control must be monitored. In the first six months, some problems may occur due to reasons such as the fact that the baby cannot take the mother's milk or that the milk is not sufficient. In such cases, parents are advised to seek medical advice and breastfeeding advice instead of immediately switching to formula or food waters.
Does this period have a different importance or privilege for preterm babies?
These babies are born at a lower weight than other babies and the sooner they are born into normal developmental processes, the later they pass. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the development of infants according to their corrected age if they were born many weeks before the age of two and a half.
The child should be accustomed to self-catering after the age of two
What are the fastest and slowest periods of growth and what do families need to do during these periods?
Babies are growing very quickly in the first six months. Therefore, it is recommended that monthly follow-up be performed regularly in this period. Until the age of two, the growth of the baby continues at a marked rate, while the slowest growth period is entering between the ages of 2 to 5 years. In adolescence, growth is increasing again. However, this growth rate slows down after the child reaches puberty. The biggest problem of families is that children between the ages of two and five cannot gain weight due to lack of appetite. Because of the age period by choosing some foods to eat now, it is necessary to take into account the wishes of the child and create a diet according to him. In addition, during this period, lengthening and weight monitoring should be done regularly. During this period, children gain weight between 1.2 and 1.5 kilograms per year. However, especially after the age of one week, the child does not regularly gain weight, 1 - 2 weeks after the break begins to gain weight. For this reason, the growth
It needs to be done every 3 to 6 months.
What are the criteria for healthy growth before and after puberty?
Height gains more importance in school age children between 5 and 12 years. The child 's height is expected to grow depending on the size of the parents. A rapid growth attack is observed in children before puberty. 6 - 11 cm in girls. whose growth is 7 - 13 cm. between. Other developments with adolescence accompany this. One of the important features here is that although the growth attack in girls is seen in the first half of adolescence, it occurs in the second half of adolescence in men. Therefore, boys have experienced a slightly longer growth period than girls. The introduction of sexual hormones and growth hormone during adolescence are more common in boys in the second half of puberty. Therefore, it takes a little more time for the growth plaques (epiphysis) in their bones to mature and fuse with each other. So boys can be taller than girls.