Causes of Flat Head Syndrome - Biological vs Environmental

Part of the prevention of Flat Head Syndrome is knowing the causes. Are they biological, environmental or both? 

While we've seen that deformational plagiocephaly can be both biological and environmental, positional plagiocephaly is more likely environmental, due to the nature of positioning. 

Biological Causes of Flat Head Syndrome

Causes of deformational plagiocephaly before birth include:

  • Pressure inside a uterus that is either too small or crowded (in a multiple birth pregnancy).
  • Unusual fetal positioning inside the uterus.
  • A uterus that contains too little amniotic fluid.
  • Premature birth
  • High birth rate
  • Restricted neck movement due to torticollis

Other biological risk factors include the prevalence of this occurring more frequently in males, babies who drop early and are positioned against the uterus, 

Environmental Causes of Flat Head Syndrome

Environmental causes include:

  • Feeding position - never switching sides
  • Infrequent or no tummy time, meaning the baby is spending too much time on it's back
  • Low educational status of parents 
  • Obstetric interventions during birth




Crescent eases the transition from #WombtoWorld by safely mimicking the ergonomics of being held. Our patented technology cradles infants the way nature intended, providing healthy weight distribution for their tiny body. Crescent Womb’s unique design relieves pressure from the back of the head, limiting known environmental risks of Flat Head Syndrome.



Linz C, Kunz F, Bohm H, Schweitzer T. Positional skull deformities- etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2017; 114: 535-42. 

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