Just what is plagiocephaly?
PLAGIOCEPHALY is a condition where a baby’s skull is flattened in one area, making it look parallelogram-shaped.
The mains signs of the condition include a flattening to the side or straight across the back of the baby’s head, a misalignment of the ears, bulging forehead on the same side as the flattening, and one eye appearing larger than the other, or slightly higher than the other.
The majority of babies are not born with the condition, but develop it in the first few weeks of their life, usually at about four to eight weeks of age.
This is known as positional plagiocephaly, and can be due to a number of factors, including a condition called torticollis, which is the tightening of the neck muscles, and prolonged pressure from hard surfaces such as car seats, hard floors, and cot mattress.
Of the small percentage of babies born with plagiocephaly, the causes can include a lack of amniotic fluid in the womb, a difficult birth, prolonged time in the birth canal, external force to the head, for example in a forceps delivery, and the position of the baby in utero.
Another form of plagiocephaly is craniosyntosis, which is caused by the bones in a baby’s head fusing too quickly.
This latter condition must be treated urgently to ensure that there is enough room for the brain to grow.
Always speak to your GP or health visitor if you have any concerns about your baby.