Understanding Flat-Head Syndrome

If you’ve ever seen a fresh newborn with a conehead, you know that baby’s heads are moldable. So what happens when they spend too much time lying on one part of their skulls? How do flat spots affect development, and what can you do to correct them? Michelle Emanuel is here to tell us more.

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What we talked about:

  • The different types of flat spots, and their classifications
  • Why do they happen
  • Effects from the ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign
  • How movement during pregnancy, pelvic floor health and birth process can bring on flat spots
  • The problem with our “container and containment” culture
  • Rock & Play is not your best friend
  • Where and how should babies sleep to minimize flat spots
  • Balancing “Back to Sleep” with Tummy Time
  • The need for full head and neck movement
  • Use your voice! Encouraging your child’s Orienting Reflex
  • Movement: strengthening the weaknesses in a gentle way
  • 85% of head growth happens in the first year!
  • Not just the head: sinuses, tongue function, oral health and more
  • What’s the best way to help your baby move
  • Armoring Patterns: when things are way tighter
  • What your pediatrician should know
  • How to do Tummy Time so your baby will like it!
  • Assessing the tongue for restrictions and proper movement
  • Where to go for help?


Related resources*:

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Michelle Emanuel

Courtesy of Michelle Emanuel

About Michelle Emanuel

Michelle Emanuel has 20 years experience as a Neonatal / Pediatric Occupational Therapist in both hospital and private practice settings.   Michelle has experience and training in a wide variety of knowledge and skills which includes Newborn/Infant Development, Pre and Perinatal Psychology, Autonomic Nervous System Regulation, Infant Sensory Processing, Baby Massage/Craniosacral Therapy and other forms of bodywork/ manual therapy.  She developed and began teaching TummyTime!™ Method and classes about ten years ago.   Michelle has been in private practice specializing in the Evaluation and Treatment of babies with torticollis (significant head turning preference and / or tightness) and Plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) for babies, newborn to 1 year of age.  Michelle has a unique perspective on infant torticollis and flat head syndrome, emphasizing the parent / baby relationship and improving active movement.

She leads online assistance for parents who are interested in learning how to help their baby at home.  The group is called “Parent Provided Michelle Guided”.  In addition to these activities, Michelle enjoys speaking at conferences and teaching classes to both Professionals and Parents.

Stay in touch with Michelle through her website: wholebodyllc.com, or follow the conversation on her Facebook page. You can also email her at emanuelot[at]yahoo[dot]com.

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