Microcephaly is a rare nervous system disorder that causes a baby’s head to be small and not fully developed. The child’s brain stops growing as it should. This can happen while the baby is still in the mother’s womb or within the first few years of birth.
Should I be concerned if my baby’s head is small?
Chances are your doctor will detect microcephaly at the baby’s birth or at a regular well-baby checkup. However, if you think your baby’s head is smaller than normal or isn’t growing as it should, talk to your doctor.
Can a child with microcephaly be normal?
Microcephaly in children is a rare and genetic condition. Some children with microcephaly are both with normal intelligence and have normal developmental milestones, but their heads will always be smaller than normal children for their age and sex. Even in such cases, a regular follow-up with the doctor is advised.
When should I be concerned about my baby’s head size?
When should my baby’s head circumference be measured? The WHO guidance advises that: “Head circumference should be measured around birth, at the 6-8 week check up and at any time after that if there are any worries about the child’s head growth or development”.
How can I help my baby’s head grow?
Put your baby on your chest on their tummy facing you and softly talk to them to try to encourage them to lift their head. Put your baby, belly down, on your thighs and gently rub their back. Holding your baby upright over your shoulder while gently supporting their head also strengthens their neck and back muscles.
Does small head mean small brain?
Even though head size also depends on factors such as the muscularity of the head and thickness of the bone, it’s very likely that a bigger head means a bigger brain. But Hurlburt says people with bigger brains aren’t necessarily smarter than those with smaller ones.
At what age is microcephaly diagnosed?
Diagnosis. Early diagnosis of microcephaly can sometimes be made by fetal ultrasound. Ultrasounds have the best diagnosis possibility if they are made at the end of the second trimester, around 28 weeks, or in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Does microcephaly go away?
Microcephaly is a lifelong condition. There is no known cure or standard treatment for microcephaly. Because microcephaly can range from mild to severe, treatment options can range as well. Babies with mild microcephaly often don’t experience any other problems besides small head size.
Can a baby grow out of microcephaly?
Microcephaly is a lifelong condition that has no cure. Treatment focuses on preventing or reducing problems and maximizing a child’s abilities. Children born with microcephaly need to see their healthcare team often. They will need tests to track the growth of the head.
How long do babies with microcephaly live?
There is no standard life expectancy for microcephalic babies because outcomes depend on so many factors, and the severity of the condition can range from mild to severe. Babies with mild microcephaly may still meet the same milestones like speaking, sitting and walking as a child without the disorder.
How do I know if my baby has microcephaly?
To diagnose microcephaly after birth, your baby’s provider measures your baby’s head circumference during a physical exam. Head circumference is the distance around your baby’s head. Your baby’s provider then compares your baby’s measurement to that of other babies of the same sex and age.
When does baby head growth slow down?
CHILDREN | Stages of Development and Growth
Between birth and 2 months, the average head growth in 1 week is 0.50 cm (0.20 in.), and then slows to 0.25 cm (0.10 in.) between 2 and 6 months.
What is it called when a baby’s brain doesn’t develop?
Anencephaly (pronounced an-en-sef-uh-lee) is a serious birth defect in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull.