Flat head syndrome
Couple weeks ago I wrote article for meetothermums and that was my last one which I wrote for them. They decided to delete my account because someone was offended by my post about flat head syndrome. That person wrote that he is a GP and according to him I wrote a lot of things which can worried other Moms. I was really upset and I couldn’t understand it because I wrote on the beginning of my article that I’m not an expert. What’s more I found some information on NHS website.
Probably I should forgot about my article but hey it’s my blog and I can post here whatever I want right? If you feel that I wrote something wrong please tell me. It’s nice to have some conversation. Please, no not delete people if they have own opinions.
So here you have my original article:)
What is it?
I wanted to write about flat head syndrome months ago but I wasn’t sure if I should because I’m not an expert. I decided to do that because there should be more information about that syndrome. So I will start from definition because not everyone now what it is. Babies sometimes develop a flattened head as a result of them spending a lot of time lying on their back. There are two types:
plagiocephaly – the head is flattened on one side, causing it to look asymmetrical; the ears may be misaligned and the head looks like a parallelogram when seen from above, and sometimes the forehead and face may bulge a little on the flat side. Babies are most vulnerable because their skull is soft and pliable when they’re born
brachycephaly – the back of the head becomes flattened, causing the head to widen, and occasionally the forehead bulges out. It can happen when babies lie for long periods on their backs. Brachycephaly is less common.
Why I want you to know about it? The explanation is simple. When my son was born his head had a lovely round shape. Unfortunately it stared to change because I was advised to keep him on his back during his sleeping time. They believe that it’s important to do this to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). OK I can understand that but why midwives, GP’s or HV’s do not inform new Mums that it can cause flat head syndrome?
If I would know about it I would try to keep my baby on his side during naps. I would try to change his position. Also I asked midwife if is OK that my boy is lying on his right side. She said YES but why she didn’t say what it can cause?
Fortunately my little bug decided to sleep on his tummy when he finished 3 months. I know that some Mummies will think now that I’m bad Mum and I should keep him on his back. But I don’t see a problem in it. He doesn’t want to sleep on his back and I can change his position but he will roll over on his tummy. Because of that we bought breath monitor which is helping assure us that everything is OK.
What you can do?
We had a special pillow for him to make his head more round. I was waking up in the middle of the night (couple of times) and I was changing his head position from right to left. We put all his toys on the left side of the bed.
The shape of his head is better now but I think it will be slightly flat. I hope it will change when he will start growing. It’s really important to check how sleeping on the back is affecting your baby’s head. If you want to be sure that everything will be OK buy a pillow which is designed specially by doctors, neurosurgeon and physiotherapist to reduce the pressure under the head. This allows the head to grow normally and round out to its natural shape. It is very effective when used before 6 months of age. It is recommended to use the pillow for prevention from the very first day of life.
If you have sling or baby carrier use it as often as you can because it’s helps to prevent flat head syndrome. Also make sure that you will be changing side you hold your baby when feeding and carrying.
There are specially designed helmets and headbands that some people claim can help improve the shape of a baby’s skull as they grow. You can use it if the problem is really visible. Unfortunately it’s quite expensive typically costing around £2,000. In my opinion it’s not really comfortable for such a little baby because he needs to wear it almost 24h.
Anyway my point is that they should inform us Parents about flat head syndrome to prevent it. What do you think about it? How is with your baby?