We knew that Claire had a slight case of Torticollis from about this moment...
What is Torticollis? it literally means " Twisted Neck" the sternocleidomastoid muscle that runs down the sides of the neck close to the ears becomes tightened somehow. No one really knows why that happens to some babies and not others but sometimes abnormal uterine positioning can be resposible. That old uterus of mine (may it RIP) wasn't very elastic. The pediatrician that examined Claire in the hospital noticed that even as a brand new baby, only a few hours old, she favored her right side. We were given advice to follow up with her regular pediatrician.
Fast forward a few months and the pediatrician here has sent us to Physical Therapy to help both stretch and strengthen the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Meanwhile, we have also been evaluated by a specialist for the shape of Claire's head.
Some of the questions they asked:
Good baby? Yes
Sleeps uninterurpted? Yes! 10+ hours!
Restrictive intrauterine positioning? Yes
Trauma at birth? Yes
The odds are not in her favor.
Did No you know 85% of infants that have Torticollis are also diagnosed with Plagiocephaly?
Now what is Plagiocephaly you ask? a common condition characterized by an asymmetrical distortion (flattening of one side) of the skull. Since Claire usually prefers to sleep on the same side, that side is getting flattened. (Drew was a stomach sleeper and never had this problem) Although SIDS has decreased since babies were put to bed on their backs, alternatley Plagiocephaly has increased. SIDS is a little more detrimental than a flat head though...
How do you correct Plagiocephaly? Cranial Remolding Orthosis (Baby Helmet) With the helmet in place and continuing the physical therapy for Torticollis, in a few months we'll have a brand spankin' new shaped head. Symmetrical, round and bulbous-- I didn't think she could get any more perfect!