When I first noticed that there was something wrong with the shape of my little baby’s head he was nearly five months old. Even though I decided to do something about it, I could not get one sentence out of my mind ‘It’s my fault’. I blamed myself for not noticing it earlier, for not paying enough attention to my baby’s head position when he was asleep, for not putting him on his tummy often enough, for not knowing that his head might develop a flat spot.
And then I asked myself a question – “Why didn’t I know?”. I had read so many articles, booklets, leaflets about pregnancy and caring for a newborn and not once did I run across information about the flat head syndrome. There was a lot of advice regarding how to position a baby to sleep due to sudden infant death syndrome, but there was nothing about the fact that when a baby is lying on her back for the most of the time her skull might deform so she should be on her tummy as often as possible when awake. The only thing I remember is seeing a short film on YouTube where a midwife was explaining that tummy time is important for neck muscle development, but nothing about the head. I found this astonishing since problems with muscle development might as well lead to head deformities.
The same story at antenatal classes and even during midwife visits. No information about flat spots whatsoever.
Funny enough when I visited the NHS website and searched for the flat head syndrome, I could learn about two types of ‘moulding’- plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, what they were and how to prevent them. The problem was that I found this information AFTER my baby developed this condition.
So my next question is – “If the NHS does not fund the treatment, why they do not inform parents-to-be about the importance of tummy time in relation to head shape so that parents know this before it happens and most importantly prevent this to happen to their babies.”
AWARENESS – this is all we need.