WHAT IS PLAGIOCEPHALY?

Plagiocephaly, sometimes known as ‘flat head syndrome’, is a common condition which can be caused by babies spending a lot of time lying on their back, premature birth or tight neck muscles, amongst other causes. The condition is common and affects babies while their skull bones are still soft and malleable. Plagiocephaly does not have any adverse effect on the brain’s development or indicate damage to the brain.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE CONCERNED THAT YOUR BABY HAS PLAGIOCEPHALY?

If you are worried about the shape of your baby’s head, speak to your doctor. Although the condition does not cause serious concern, early medical advice and intervention can prevent it from getting any worse. It is important to rule out other causes of asymmetrical head shape, although these are rare.

The shape of the skull will improve naturally over time, but your doctor can make recommendations to assist. Regular tummy time for your baby, time and positioning of the cot and toys within it to encourage your baby to turn away from the flat area are small changes you can make in the meantime.

Physiotherapy may also be recommended after the medical assessment to help ease neck movements in both directions. Specific moulded pillows may also be trialled and in more severe cases helmet therapy may also be considered.