A plagiocephaly diagnosis is often harder on the parents than on their baby. The therapy needed to treat the diagnosis can seem overwhelming. Doctors will do their best to assure calm the parent’s fears, but feelings of guilt and anxiety are common. In this article, we will look at three important reasons why plagiocephaly is not the parent’s fault.
#1: Babies soft heads are susceptible to reshaping
Baby’s are born with soft heads for an important evolutionary reason. In order for a baby to safely pass through the birth canal, their head must be able to accommodate. While this is paramount to a safe birth, it puts babies at risk for shaping and flattening of their head after birth.
In other words, the thing that allows your baby to safely enter the world is also the reason their may develop a flat head.
#2: One in two babies shows some signs of flattening
One study found that almost half of babies will show some evidence of flattening in their first few months of life. In this 2013 study, researchers collected data from 440 infants between the ages of 7 and 12 weeks as they presented to their physician for a “well-check”.
Of those 440 infants, 205 developed some degree of plagiocephaly. Of the babies studies, 46.6 percent met the criteria for a flat head syndrome diagnosis. Of all infants diagnosed, 63.2 percent were affected on the right side and 78.3 percent had a mild form.
So, if your baby has received a diagnosis of plagiocephaly you can rest assured that you are not alone. Almost half of new parents will have the same experience.
#3: You are doing something right for your baby
There is one very important thing parents should keep in mind in the face of a plagiocephaly diagnosis. The reason the rates of head flattening are rising is due in large part to the “Back to Sleep” Movement. When parents put their baby down on their back, they are significantly reducing the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Since the 1994 introduction of the Back to Sleep Campaigns, deaths caused by SIDS have reduced considerably.
Although a plagiocephaly diagnosis is not the best case scenario for a new parent, it comes as a result of something you are doing to keep your baby safe.
These are just a few of the reasons why plagiocephaly is not your fault as a new parent. While there are things you can do to prevent head flattening, sometimes it happens. There is no need to beat yourself up if you find yourself in this situation.
The treatments for baby flat head syndrome are easier than ever, and the prognosis for your baby is excellent. So, if your baby is diagnosed with plagiocephaly, remember it isn’t your fault.