Preventing Flathead Syndrome (Plagiocephaly + Torticollis): A Guest Blogpost by Dr. Jane Scott, Founder of Tortle Products, LLC and Board-Certified Neonatologist + Pediatrician
MAM Moms and Dads, please allow us to introduce you to a friend of ours: Dr. Jane Scott, mother of 4, neonatologist, pediatrician, and founder of Tortle Products, who has made it her mission to end the Flathead Syndrome epidemic throughout the world.
Dr. Jane Scott
Millions of babies each year are being diagnosed with Flathead Syndrome in the US alone. Every baby is at risk for developing Plagiocephaly (a flattening of the skull) or Torticollis (an imbalance in the neck muscles). Infants are born with very soft skulls, their heads are heavy and their neck muscles are weak. These qualities, along with the fact that infants spend the majority of their time sleeping on their backs, promote the right environment for baby to develop some form of Flathead Syndrome within the first six months of life. Many studies have now shown that Flathead Syndrome may not only be cosmetic. Babies may also develop sight and hearing abnormalities as well as developmental delays as a result of having Flathead Syndrome.
Fortunately, Flat Head Syndrome is almost always preventable, especially when parents and caregivers are educated about the issue and proactive in their prevention efforts. Repositioning the baby every 2-3 hours may help in the prevention of Flathead Syndrome, as well alternating the arm in which a baby is held or fed. Car seats and strollers keep our babies safe when traveling, but are another important place to remember repositioning the baby every few hours. Even while wearing babies in slings or carriers, reposition often to prevent the development of flat spots or imbalanced neck muscles. Another way to help prevent Flathead Syndrome is to practice supervised tummy time right from birth so baby becomes familiar and comfortable in this position. One new product, Tortle, makes it easy for busy parents and caregivers to prevent Flathead Syndrome. The Tortle is an FDA-cleared, simple, safe, and comfortable beanie designed to aid parents in repositioning their infants. By alternating the Tortle’s positioning roll from side to side with each feeding, parents prevent the development of flat spots and neck tightening. For more information about Tortle and Dr. Jane’s mission, visit Tortle.com.
Dr. Jane Scott- Board Certified Neonatologist, Pediatrician, and Founder of Tortle Products, LLC
As a neonatologist and pediatrician, babies and moms are Dr. Jane’s life. Not only does she have first-hand experience as a mother – she had four premature babies – she works with infants who have severe medical conditions and understands how difficult this can be for families.
Born in Kenya, Dr. Jane attended the University of Western Australia Medical School in Perth. Years later, after moving to the United States, she attended the University of Colorado Medical School and completed her residency in Pediatrics and fellowship in Neonatology at Duke University while simultaneously raising four young children. She was soon recruited to build up St. Luke’s Magic Valley Hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho from a Level 1 NICU to a Level 3A NICU. She returned to Colorado in 2010 and currently practices in Centennial.
Throughout her career, Dr. Jane has worked with parents to help avoid and correct problems associated with an abnormal head shape, known as positional plagiocephaly. The incidence of this condition has increased dramatically, from parents following the protocol introduced by the American Academy of Pediatrics of placing babies only on their backs to decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
In addition to educating new parents on the prevention of plagiocephaly, Dr. Jane created Tortle, a non-invasive affordable solution that not only treats mild cases and early diagnosed positional plagiocephaly and torticollis in young infants, but can prevent it from ever occurring. The Tortle is a patented, FDA cleared device that Jane hopes will eradicate flat head syndrome while allowing moms to safely follow AAP’s important Back to Sleep protocol. Dr. Jane is currently writing her first book on plagiocephaly, which is slated for release in Spring 2013.
Dr. Jane’s work is her passion, but when she’s not working she enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.