Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Resurgence in swaddling prompts fears of rise in babies' developmental hip abnormalities

Date:
October 28, 2013
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
A resurgence in the popularity of traditional swaddling has prompted fears of a rise in developmental hip problems in babies, which are now known to be linked to the technique, warns a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon.

Swaddled newborn. Around one in five babies is born with a hip abnormality, with factors such as a breech birth or a family history, recognised risk factors. But mechanical factors after birth also have a role, says Professor Clarke. While many of these cases resolve spontaneously, swaddling may delay this.
Credit: BlueOrange Studio / Fotolia

A resurgence in the popularity of traditional swaddling has prompted fears of a rise in developmental hip problems in babies, which are now known to be linked to the technique, warns a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

The swaddling of infants used to be an almost universal practice, but fell out of favour in many parts of the world.

But the technique, which involves the binding or bundling of babies in blankets with their arms restrained and the legs stretched out, has recently become fashionable again, because of its perceived calming effects, says Professor Nicholas Clarke, of Southampton University Hospital.

Nine out of 10 infants in North America are now swaddled in the first six months of life, and demand for swaddling clothes soared by 61% in the UK between 2010 and 2011.

The evidence suggests that swaddling helps induce sleep and soothes excessive crying and colic. But there is also a growing body of evidence to show that it is linked to a heightened risk of developmental hip abnormalities.

This is because it forces the hips to straighten and shift forward, risking the potential for misalignment, and this in turn is associated with an increased risk of osteoarthritis and hip replacement in middle age.

In Japan an educational programme to encourage grandmothers not to swaddle their grandchildren prompted the prevalence of hip dislocation to halve.

Around one in five babies is born with a hip abnormality, with factors such as a breech birth or a family history, recognised risk factors. But mechanical factors after birth also have a role, says Professor Clarke. While many of these cases resolve spontaneously, swaddling may delay this.

Professor Clarke advises that swaddling can be safe provided that it doesn't prevent the baby's legs from bending up and out at the hips, because this position allows for natural development of the hip joints. The babies' legs must not be tightly wrapped and pressed together, he warns.

Any commercial swaddling products should include a loose pouch or sack for the babies' legs and feet, allowing for plenty of hip movement, he says.

Healthcare professionals need to do their bit by giving mums the correct advice about how to swaddle their child safely, to ward off hip abnormalities and other potential problems in later life, he says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. N. M. P. Clarke. Swaddling and hip dysplasia: an orthopaedic perspective. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2013; DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2013-304143

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Resurgence in swaddling prompts fears of rise in babies' developmental hip abnormalities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028184950.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2013, October 28). Resurgence in swaddling prompts fears of rise in babies' developmental hip abnormalities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028184950.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Resurgence in swaddling prompts fears of rise in babies' developmental hip abnormalities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028184950.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins