Lisa and Jack: Mom Helps Baby Overcomes Torticollis with Cranial Helmet
Lisa’s son Jack, a twin, had a slightly misshapen head after he was born. The doctor assured her that over time, it would likely self-correct, but at four months of age, the shape still had not corrected itself, and Lisa was referred to Hanger Clinic for a cranial band.
A Mother’s Concerns
“We learned that he had torticollis, which he probably developed from being in one position for so long in utero. We saw a neurosurgeon just to be sure there wasn’t something more serious related to his head shape. The neurosurgeon suggested a couple of places to get a cranial band, but I ended up choosing Hanger Clinic because it’s an older company with a good reputation.”
On the day of Jack’s evaluation, Lisa broke down crying in the office. “I was so nervous and overwhelmed. I thought, how can I put my baby in a helmet? Will this treatment hinder his development? Are people going to think there’s something wrong with him? Will they think that I’m shallow and only concerned about his looks?”
Fortunately, those fears started to dissipate when she met with Jack’s orthotist.
“It’s not easy bringing two babies into Manhattan. They did everything they could to make the process as simple as possible. The best thing they did for me, though, was help me see the process in a different light. The band didn’t bother Jack at all. Since he wasn’t bothered by it, I decided that we would just embrace it. We ended up painting it ourselves to look like a New York Giants helmet–my husband loves the Giants. By doing that, when you looked at him, you didn’t think, ‘Oh, he has a medical condition.’ Instead, you thought, ‘How fun!’ We look at it as the first art project we got to do with our babies. His sister and other kids at playgroup would tap it and were curious about it. It got to a point where it was fun and funny and not a big deal.”
Jack wore the cranial band for four months, and today, Lisa looks back on the experience with fond memories. We are so pleased with the results of the helmet. I still can’t believe how different he looks!
When asked what advice she would give to a mom considering treatment, she said: “Relax into it. It might seem like a huge issue at first, but once you start, it becomes part of your life. Time goes by fast, so own it and decorate the band and make it fun. Talk about it. Don’t feel ashamed. Realize that sometimes, things just happen; and, keep it in perspective.”
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