Plagiocephaly of the baby: prevention and treatment
Plagiocephaly It is the most common craniofacial anomaly. It consists of an asymmetric distortion of the baby's skull. This is flattened in the posterior zone (occipital) and has a shape similar to a rhombus.
It is a purely aesthetic disorder, which does not affect the intellectual development of the baby. Its incidence is high and It is mainly due to the position in which the baby is placed to sleep. It occurs when, from birth, the newborn sleeps on his back, with his head always on the same side.
But nevertheless, it can also be present from birth. In these cases it may be due to a narrowing of the mother's pelvis or, even, to some complication in childbirth. In this article we explain how to prevent and treat it.
Why is plagiocephaly formed?
Plagiocephaly it is due to a pressure exerted on the baby's skull. It can be during fetal development, at the time of delivery or after it.
The incidence of plagiocephaly has increased markedly because, currently, pediatricians recommend placing the baby on his back for sleeping.
This position prevents the newborn from suffering a sudden death during sleep, but also exerts a continuous pressure in the same area of the skull that ends up deforming it. In the same way, baby carriers have also been linked to this increase in incidence.
Other situations that can lead to plagiocephaly are:
- Premature delivery.
- Congenital muscular torticollis. It causes the baby to always rest on the same area of the skull.
- An inadequate position inside the uterus.
- Injuries during childbirth.
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Symptoms of plagiocephaly
As we mentioned before, it is an aesthetic pathology. It does not compromise the intellectual development of the baby. The highlight is that produces facial and cranial asymmetry, for that reason it is very evident. It also causes the ears to be misaligned and the forehead bulged.
Plagiocephaly can decisively determine the baby's self-esteem in the future. Therefore, it is very important to know certain measures to prevent and treat it in time.
How to prevent?
Since the baby must sleep on his back, It is important move the posture of your head. The ideal is to alternate the support side between left and right. It is recommended that the child spend some time upside down while awake.
The Tummy time is a method to develop motor skills of the baby. It is only done when the baby is awake. It consists of placing the baby face down, as we have said before.
It can be done on the parents' chest, in the bed, or any comfortable surface. Ideally, spend some time playing, in a guarded manner, in this position. So, in addition, the baby's muscular capacity is reinforced.
The important thing is to avoid prolonged support of the head in the same position. For this you can have him in his arms or in chairs that do not press his skull. Therefore, it is recommended not to use long chairs that maintain a fixed posture, such as the car's restraint devices.
In addition, other interactive measures can be performed. For example, you can Place toys on the other side in the crib. So, the safest thing is for the baby to turn his head. Another way is to lift the mattress slightly to tilt it.
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Treatment of plagiocephaly
The treatment is only used when the previous measures have not worked. First, you can use molded helmets. It consists of applying a moderate pressure on the skull. In addition, they avoid the support of the head on the deformity.
They are a dynamic orthopedic cranioplasty system. They are used from the third month of life. It is very important that constant reviews are carried out.
The surgery has only been used in very severe cases. In fact, it should only be done if the other procedures have failed.
It is important to follow the prevention measures to prevent this from happening. These are exercises or simple measures that will prevent the baby from suffering an important unsightly problem.
In the same way, the ideal is to go to the doctor before any doubt or anomaly. He will know how to advise and help your baby.