2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
With the arrival of a newborn at home, many questions arise. A big concern of all parents is the prevention of flat head.
It is therefore important to understand how it occurs in order to find solutions to prevent it.
Let's start by defining flat head or plagiocephaly. It is actually a flattening of the skull that occurs as a result of prolonged external pressure on the baby's head. The baby's skull is very malleable at birth due to the absence of ossification at the level of the sutures, that is to say the junctions between the different bones of the skull. This malleability persists for a few months and begins to decrease around the fourth month of the child's life. It is therefore important to take advantage of this period to carry out the treatments necessary to reduce flattening. Plagiocephaly can lead to delays in the child's overall motor development in the first months of life. It is therefore important to take care of it. Thus, the earlier a child is assessed at birth, the less impact plagiocephaly will have.
What are the possible causes of plagiocephaly?
- Intrauterine position; that issay the position the baby was in inside the womb (lack of space);
- Reduced cervical mobility can cause baby to always keep their head in the same position;
- The decrease in cervical mobility can be caused, for example, by the intrauterine position, by the use of forceps or the suction cup during childbirth;
- Position baby always on the back.
Should we put baby on the stomach is a question that comes up often. Since the Sleep on Your Back recommendation, the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has decreased by 40%1. However, many parents now worry about placing their child on their stomach during their waking moments. This lack of tummy time can contribute, for example, to earlier motor delays and plagiocephaly. In the long term, this can affect the overall development of the child in their abilities to learn to grab objects, crawl and crawl, stand and walk.
It is important to start putting baby on his stomach from birth, a few minutes at a time for a total of about one hour a day, until he is three months old 2. Babies often complain when placed on their stomachs. The sooner you start after birth and maintain a regular schedule of tummy time on the floor, the more your child will be able to strengthen their neck, core and shoulder muscles. The fact ofvarying your child's positions is very important to help develop muscle strength3.
So here are some suggestions to help you place baby on the stomach:
- Place baby on tummy for a few minutes after each diaper change. You can place a small rolled up towel under his arms to raise him up a bit.
- Walk baby around the house holding baby on your forearm facing down. Always keep your arm close to your body;
- Place baby on his stomach and lie down in front of him; your child is drawn to your face and your voice. Being in front of him will encourage him to raise his head. Move from side to side to encourage him to turn his head.
- Lie down with tummy to tummy baby; be careful to always keep your hands on baby to prevent him from falling. Since a newborn does not lift his head much, vary the position of the head (right and left) to prevent him from developing a preference;
- Use a mirror to keep baby interested during tummy time. Baby likes to look at himself;
- Lay baby on your thighs keeping one hand on his bottom to prevent him from rolling. Alternate placing baby's head on your right or left thigh.
What else can I do to promote movement and encourage my newborn to turn her head4?
- When it's time for bed baby, vary the way youplace him in the bunk;
- If you install a mobile, place it at the height of his thorax or lower in order to favor the movement of flexion of the neck;
- When changing diapers, vary the side and where you are;
- Instead of holding baby by the ankles when changing the diaper, place his knees on his stomach and hold this position with one hand while you change the diaper with the other. This stretches baby's back muscles;
- After bathing, place baby on tummy to dry.
What are the signs to observe that could indicate the need for a chiropractic consultation for my newborn?
- Baby has a preference for holding his head (always left or right);
- Baby can't lift his head and push himself with his forearms around the age of three months;
How can chiropractic help prevent or reduce plagiocephaly?
Through manipulations adapted to children, chiropractic care allows:
- To restore cervical mobility;
- To relax the cervical musculature;
- To advise parents on different exercises to do with baby in order to promote motor development.
Chiropractic is a he alth profession that aims to recover and maintain human he alth through the interaction of the nervous, muscular and skeletal systems. The goal of chiropractic adjustment is to restorejoint mobility of vertebral segments and reduce muscle spasms and inflammation.
In infants, the vertebral adjustment is done using the tip of the finger and the pressure exerted is very light, similar to a touch.
Regular follow-up with the chiropractor makes it possible to identify possible sources of spinal dysfunction and thus prevent the appearance of future problems. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, care may include he althy lifestyle recommendations such as ways to improve your child's posture, backpacking tips, and exercises. Good spinal hygiene is the key to better he alth.
For further information, do not hesitate to contact me.
“Too many babies with flat heads” according to the article on the subject of plagiocephaly published in the fall of 2017 in the newspaper La Presse. Recent studies on this clinical condition of infants are unanimous, to avoid wearing a helmet (cranial orthosis) screening for plagiocephaly must be done very early
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