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.

Related Articles


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 October 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 October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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