World Plagiocephaly Awareness Day is on the 4th April, together Country Child and Babymoov is supporting the little known condition that affects half of all babies under the age of one.
Publisher of Country Child magazine Jo Leigh recently self diagnosed that her new born baby was in danger of developing a case of positional plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) which is when a baby’s head is flattened at the back or side due to pressure on the soft skull bones, which have not yet fused, becoming moulded into a different shape. This can occur when an infant spends excessive periods of time lying or resting in the same position on their backs; in pushchairs, car seats, bouncers and cribs.
Plagiocephaly affects as many as 47% of babies between 7 and 12 weeks. Preventative treatments recommended by health practitioners focus on repositioning baby’s head as much as possible, to vary the pressure spots on the skull. All too often though, positional plagiocephaly is diagnosed too late, leaving parents to seek out often costly alternatives.
Jo comments: “I tried to position my daughter into several different positions from sitting her in a bumbo, high chair or tummy time but she was not interested, always wriggling and crying to be placed on her back, preferring this position at all times. She was premature so essentially she may not have been developmentally old enough to tolerate positional techniques before the flattening had chance to take hold. This is when I looked at investing into a baby pillow and chose the Babymoov Lovenest.”
Plagiocephaly is said to occur more often in premature infants whose skulls are even more pliable than other babies. These babies may spend a great deal of time lying down as they receive treatment for other medical complications.
Committed to helping prevent flat head syndrome, Babymoov has worked with a French paediatrician – Dr Maidenberg – to create an affordable, simple solution: the Lovenest (£14.99 RRP). The innovative, ergonomic design, featuring a special incline to ensure pressure is evenly distributed across the infants head, thereby helping maintain the natural curvature of the skull. It also works to ensure good ventilation during sleep and is made from soft, breathable fabrics. Suitable from birth and for use in pushchairs, bouncers, cots and cribs, the Lovenest is available in a range of colours (Blue, Smokey & White) and is suitable from birth to 4m.
Jo’s Review of the Babymoov Lovenest:
“As my daughter was premature she did spend a lot of time in her cot in hospital on her back and neo natal nurses are trained to keep babies on their backs, primarily due to SIDS and where possible change the head position on regular 15 minutes to hourly intervals. When back at home, keeping up this monitoring is a challange and as life returned to normal, my daughter continued her preference for sleeping on her back and did lead to a mishapen head, if only of a slight amount. Conscious of this, Babymoov Lovenest was sought and I started to use this at nap times in her pram or cot, in her travel seat and bouncer. By two weeks I had noticed a difference, where the crown of her head was flatter, it was now starting to become more round. I have no doubt in my mind that by using this with her preferred position means that she is able to be content whilst training her skull to conform. I certainly worry less about her sleeping/lying on her back and a happier mum means a happier baby in my book. Thank you Babymoov!”
Another Mother’s Story:
Aileen’s son Loki was finally diagnosed with Plagiocephaly at four-months-old, after a battle with health professionals to take her concerns seriously. Aileen was continually told “it will right itself and his hair will cover it” were repeated time and again. Like Aileen, consequently, many parents take to chat rooms, seeking advice from other parents. One such source of information is the Facebook group that Aileen has now set-up, in an effort to raise awareness for the condition and support parents whose children are affected by it.
Aileen was eventually able to seek out treatment for her son privately, which involved regular 140 mile round trips to a clinic in Leeds for her son to be fitted with a helmet which managed to correct his head shape in just 16 weeks. Such treatment is currently not available through the NHS and can cost upwards of £2,000, making it unobtainable to many parents.
The current treatments recommended by health officials include; tummy time, varying the way baby is carried/handled, feeding on both sides, and by strategically positioning mobiles and toys in their cots to change the direction of focus. The NHS report, ‘the earlier that Plagiocephaly is detected, the greater the chance that it can be stopped’. Unfortunately, many first-time parents aren’t aware of the condition or how to prevent it. Aileen comments, “Plagiocephaly can be prevented but knowledge is the key”.
Aileen’s and Jo’s varying personal experiences are mirrored by many other parents that believe the awareness of Plagiocephaly needs to increase in order to prevent its occurrence.
Visit: Babymoov to find out more on the Lovenest product by Babymoov.