What is Deformational Plagiocephaly?
Commonly known as Flat Head Syndrome, deformational plagiocephaly is where the baby's head has an irregular shape caused by external forces. This can occur while the baby is still in the womb or develop after birth.
What are the risk factors for deformational plagiocephaly?
Babies can be at risk for deformational plagiocephaly in the womb. These risk factors include:
- Pressure inside a uterus that is crowded, as in multiple births.
- Unusual fetal positioning, sometimes caused by the baby resting after dropping in the mother's pelvis.
- Unusually large babies
Other risk factors include being the first born child, male, method of feeding, positioning during bottle feeding and tummy time when awake.
What is the most common risk factor for plagiocephaly?
Perhaps the most common risk factor for plagiocephaly is sleep position. As the baby's head flattens, it will naturally rest on that flat area, exacerbating the problem.
To help lower the risk of deformational plagiocephaly, babies should spend time on their tummies and adjust the position of the head while sleeping, while still maintaining sleeping on their back.
Additionally, switching arms for bottle feeding will also help reduce the risk factors.
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Linz C, Kunz F, Bohm H, Schweitzer T. Positional skull deformities- etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2017; 114: 535-42.