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Asymmetrical shape of the head in the newborn

Asymmetrical shape of the head in the newborn


The asymmetrical shape of the head is not unusual in newborns. The head is deformed both by the passage through the birth canal, during the natural birth, and also by the position in which it most often stays, after birth. The head can be stretched (sharpened) or flattened (flattened), shapes that always scare the parents, because they have the impression that it will stay that way. Here are other causes of head deformity in newborns and what steps you can take to speed up your return to normal shape!

Why is the baby born with deformed head (sharp, flattened)?

The main cause for which the child is born with the head shaped unevenly on one side is the passage through the birth canal. At birth, the baby's skull bones are very flexible. The skull is also provided with fountains, which are soft areas of the head, surrounded by very flexible bones, which are not yet knotted.

There are four fountains, but at birth, attention is focused only on the two of them. One of the main roles of the fountains is that they allow the modeling of the head during the expulsion of the child through the birth canal, which is very narrow.

The shape of the head is most often elongated (sharp) or flattened (flattened). Although many parents worry that the shape will remain that way forever, doctors claim it is only a temporary effect. Another common cause of head deformity in newborns is the position in which the child is often held.

At this age, the newborn sits more on the back, both in the crib, and in the car seat or on other surfaces. The back area of ​​the head begins to flatten if it is held steadily in this position, just as it could rotate on one side, if it is left to sleep that way. There are other, more serious, causes of head deformity in the newborn.

There is a possibility that the bones of the skull will unite earlier than they should (the fountains close prematurely) and give birth to a condition called craniosinostoza. In the case of craniosynostosis, the constantly expanding brain pushes into the cranial cavity and causes deformation, because the bones are still flexible. The condition is surgically corrected.

When does the newborn's head return to normal?

Doctors explain that the asymmetrical shape of the baby's head at birth is a result of the pressure exerted during the expulsion on the birth canal and that it will not remain so. In most newborns, the shape of the head returns to normal within 48 hours after birth. It is important to remember that the flattening or elongation of the head shape has no negative impact on the brain.

How should the baby be placed in the crib?

Whether it is sleeping or simply lying in bed, the position of the baby's head must be constantly alternated. Although lying on the tummy would be the ideal solution to prevent head deformity, the baby is not allowed to stay in this position until the age of one year, because of the risk of sudden death syndrome.

So, as long as you are obliged to sleep only on your back until the first birthday of the baby, it is advisable to consider some rules. These help not only to return more quickly to a normal head shape, but also to prevent further deformation of the skull. In this case, let the child rest on his back, but be careful to alternate the position of the head, when on one side, when on the other, to avoid uneven shaping of the skull.

In the rest, during periods when he is awake and active, do not let him stay all the time in the back, in the crib. Alternate his position, either by holding him in his arms or on his tummy. And if you have to lie on your back, make sure that you do not always stand with your head in the same part, but that it alternates the position.

Your baby's head shape at birth - elongated, flattened? When did he return to normal form? Did you take any action or did you find that the return occurred naturally? Tell us your tips and suggestions in the comment section below!