What is Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip?
Developmental dysplasia of the hip or DDH, is a condition that affects the hip joint in newborns and young children. The hip is like a ball-and-cup, formed by the round top of the thigh bone - called the femur - and a cup-shaped socket in the pelvis. The hip joint is stable in spite of its large range of motion and is kept in place by ligaments and other soft tissue structures. The normal infant hip is not mature at birth but develops into a strong and stable joint as the child grows.
What happens in hip dysplasia?
In DDH, the hip does not develop normally as the cup and ball are either partially or completely out of alignment. DDH can vary from mild to severe depending on whether the cup is shallow, soft tissue structures are lax or a combination of all. These problems may cause the hip to become unstable, and even come out of the joint. This is known as a dislocated hip and is believed to occur in around one in 1000 infants. One or both hips can be affected. DDH isn't painful in babies and young children. Untreated DDH can result in limping in young children. This can progress to hip pain and arthritis at a later date.
How common is it?
DDH is more common in girls and first-born children. It's more likely to occur if there's a family history or if the baby was breech. Swaddling or wrapping a baby's legs too tightly can also lead to DDH. Certain traditional practices like wrapping the children, etc. are known to increase the risk, while carrying them with limbs separated apart is known to decrease the risk of dysplasia. All newborns should have both hips carefully examined by a health professional.
Treatment depends on the child's age and the severity of the condition. Young babies with confirmed DDH are usually treated in a brace or harness that holds the legs apart. This helps the hip socket to deepen and the hip to become stable with growth. Regular monitoring of the hip position is necessary to ensure good outcomes. Surgery may be necessary if brace treatment is unsuccessful, or if a hip dislocation is first noticed when the child is older.
What is the long-term outlook?
Most infants who are diagnosed and treated early do not have any hip problems in later life. Earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better the outcome, as late diagnosis often requires surgical treatment and can mean a higher likelihood of ongoing hip problems.
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The habit of thumb sucking is very common in many toddlers and babies, but often disturbs the parents to a great extent. Before dealing with this habit, it is very imperative for parents to understand the cause of this behavior. The tendency of thumb sucking is quite normal for the babies as it makes them feel comforting.
Problems that occur with thumb sucking
There are certain problems that occur if the baby develops the habit of prolonged thumb sucking. The problem that occurs mainly on sucking the thumb for longer time is with the teeth of the toddlers which may result in speech problems. Some babies get over this habit of thumb sucking on their own without any adverse after affects. However, sometimes prolonged thumb sucking may result in irritation on the skin or lead to peeling off of the skin, causing discomfort and pain to the child. There are chances that even the nails on the fingers grow in a crooked manner because of infection caused by thumb sucking.
How to get your child to leave thumb sucking habit?
Pregnancy brings with it a new set of additional responsibilities. The mother has to be extra vigilant about monitoring and caring for her health. This ensures that sufficient nutrition is being provided to the growing infant, at the same time, ensuring no harm comes through you. Listed below are some simple ways to do the same.
These are simple ways to monitor and care for your and of course, the baby’s health throughout pregnancy.
What is congenital hypothyroidism?
Newborn babies who are unable to make enough thyroid hormone have congenital hypothyroidism, meaning they are born with an underactive or absent thyroid gland. If the condition is not found and treated, children can have mental retardation and growth failure. But the good news is that early diagnosis and proper treatment can prevent these problems. In most cases, the condition is permanent and your child will need lifelong treatment.
What causes congenital hypothyroidism?
The most common causes are
Other possible causes include
What are the signs and symptoms of congenital hypothyroidism?
Many babies with congenital hypothyroidism appear normal at birth or for several months after birth. But others may have these signs and symptoms:
Thyroid hormone deficiency can also occur in older babies or young children, even if test results at birth were normal.
Early diagnosis is very important. Most of the effects of hypothyroidism are easy to reverse. For this reason, doctors always ask to get screening for hypothyroidism of your newborn.
Thyroxine is usually given to treat hypothyroidism. Once the child starts taking this medicine, blood tests are regularly done to make sure thyroid hormone levels are in a normal range.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if:
If a pregnant woman takes radioactive iodine for thyroid cancer, the thyroid gland may be destroyed in the developing fetus. Infants whose mothers have taken such medicines should be observed carefully after birth for signs of hypothyroidism. Also, pregnant women should not avoid iodine-supplemented salt. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an endocrinologist.
The most devastating period for any pregnant women is a miscarriage. This normally happens because of genetic abnormality noticed in the fetus caused due to tripling of a chromosome. This is also called ‘spontaneous abortion’ because the body rejects the random genetic abnormality. Apart from this, there are many other reasons for miscarriage namely blood clotting, deshaped uterus, uterine fibroids, unhealthy cervix and so on. Now, this could lead you to the next question - What can we do to prevent miscarriage?
Time to meet the gynaecologist:
When there is tripling of chromosomes or genetic mismatch, the body actually rejects the fetus, thereby preventing birth of an unhealthy baby. But, if the miscarriage repeats several times, then you have to meet your gynaecologist for further tests and appropriate medical intervention.
Symptoms of miscarriage:
In the normal course, when miscarriage occurs, the women would experience back pain or vaginal bleeding or blood in the vaginal mucus or cramping or abdominal pain. Ironically, sometimes the miscarriage may happen without any of these symptoms. It would get noticed only during routine scanning. However, in the normal course, the chance of a miscarriage is highest before the 12th week. But if miscarriage happens after the 12th week and before the 24th week, then it is called spontaneous abortion. Thereafter, it is known as a ‘still born’ baby.
However, there are some steps that can help women prevent a miscarriage. These steps are briefly explained here.
The causes of a miscarriage are many; women should discuss about the issues relating to a miscarriage with a gynecologist. This helps them take appropriate preventive steps against this unwanted situation.