Babies, Children and Development
babies, children and development
...our sweet little ones- the human newborn is one of the
most dependant infants on the planet, dependant upon us for care, nurture and love. Yet what happens when we do our best for them and they still do not thrive? Modern medicine has a lot of answers and is amazing in most regards, but it is only recently that we have begun to notice the CRITICAL role that head shape plays in development. Here are a few main areas we address and why-
MENTAL FUNCTION: The actual ability for the mind and central nervous system to function and send its proper messages depends upon this amazing brain to be:
- in a "case" that is shaped to its requirements and
b. able to transmit the signals from the brain to the end organ, muscle, etc..
If the skull is mis-shaped the brain does not function properly; the further the deformity, the greater the number of areas that may go "off line" or be compromised. The good news is that they usually work fine once proper shape is restored. The body needs a properly shaped skull so the growing developing brain may have room for all areas to expand and develop. We already inherently know that head and face disorganization usually results in an a human that does not function the same as the symmetrical ones.
Skull mis-shape often brings problems with transmission of messaging. Baby "helmets" do a great job re-shaping the upper portions, the case shape and the cosmetic areas. The CRITICAL cranial base, where dozens of nerves, blood supply and much more pass through does go primarily unaddressed by helmet therapy. "Difficult" issues like colic are rather easy in our office as they are simply a nerve transmission problem. If the base of the skull is malformed, then problems WILL ensue, sometimes sooner, sometimes in 20 years, with jaw, hips, spine, neck and feet.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
Unfortunately this falls to parents often to FIND the problems that they "just know" something is "off" or wrong. Since most pediatricians have so many demands on their time and have little if any substantive training in looking at the skull carefully, they will only usually spot the head deformity that can be seen easily. Soften subtle problems are missed at well baby visits; so here are some tools for you... remember, SYMMETRY MATTERS; if you think it might be off, you are right. Our brains KNOW symmetry and order and they love to look at it; trust your gut instincts.
Look at your baby from above (birds eye) their head while someone entertains them and holds them still; place index fingers on equal areas at the same time, like both sides of forehead, both cheek bones, stick in both ears lightly. Now from below (nose/chin shot) as their head is slightly tipped up. Take a few clear aligned photos if you wish, email them to us and we may assist: email@example.com
Ears don't line up, one or both stick out or are turned
Eyes don't match in size, height, front to back
One ear farther back
Chin off to one side (to the side that the ear sticks out)
Flat areas, one side or both "smushed", flat or bulging
Is their cry like a cat or kitten? too high, odd sounding?
Do they not cry? (big red flag)
Wheezy breathing, especially in nose
Look up their nose; does it look closed off on one side?
Eye contact, even in early weeks
Twisted hips or neck
Won't latch to nurse or can't stick out tongue
Head position seems "off"
Arching of their back frequently, daily
Vomiting forcefully 24+ inches (some spit-up is normal)
Spitting up much more than typical
Not thriving or developing
Chronic ear infections (see us BEFORE doing tubes!)
Missing reflexes (ie: rooting reflex, etc.)
Failure to thrive
A cry that sounds strained or like a cat
Any type of seizure activity, twitching, etc.
Head shape is, in any way, not looking right
If you see any of the above PLEASE schedule a consult now.
Google, YouTube and some initiative will help you to become quite well versed in newborn reflexes, when they should be doing what... We think knowing about reflexes and development should be part of the parent qualification process, as we find pediatricians often too busy and over loaded to take the time to check some of these vital signs.
as the young twig is bent, so shall the tree grow
We are often asked by parents as to WHY their baby's head ends up misshapen. There are several factors here; this is a short list of the most common. Two types of mis-shape occur:
- from time in the womb, and
b. from delivery.
In the womb, there is development time and labor prep time, the latter being the time they spent "dropped" into the pelvis. A mother with misaligned hips/mis-shaped pelvis may mis-shape each child as they drop for the last week or two. Interuterine shaping may also be influenced by fluid levels, a cyst, fibroid, tumor, bifurcated or mis-shaped uterus, etc. Delivery may mis-shape by the mechanical forces and trauma therein, the way the baby is delivered (breech, posterior, superman...) as well as duration of delivery. C-Section births often result in compression issues and problems latching due to head/neck issues brought on by methods used removing the child.
If you send photos into us please include CLEAR well lit views of these 4 angles. Do it while they sleep and have an assistant to get it right! :)