Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected. During pregnancy, a baby’s head grows because the baby’s brain grows. Microcephaly can occur because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, which results in a smaller head size.
When should I be concerned about my baby’s head size?
Macrocephaly means big head, and it is the name for a condition in which an infant or child has an abnormally large head size. For a doctor to diagnose macrocephaly, the measurement of the head around its widest part needs to be larger than the 98th percentile.
What causes a baby’s brain not to grow?
Anencephaly is a birth defect (a health problem identified at birth). It occurs when the skull, scalp and brain do not develop properly in the womb. Portions of the baby’s brain and skull are missing. The brain tissue that does form is usually exposed because there isn’t enough skin and bone to cover it.
Do babies with microcephaly grow normally?
They grow normally during childhood and adolescence and still meet age-appropriate growth milestones as they get older. Others can have severe problems with learning and moving. Children with microcephaly are more likely to have other medical problems, like cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
Will my baby’s head get bigger?
One of the most common reasons for macrocephaly is something that doctors call “benign familial macrocephaly.” In other words, big heads run in your family. A doctor might determine that a baby’s big head is inherited by measuring the heads of the parents.
When should I worry about my head circumference?
From 4 to 6 months of age, the head circumference or head growth slows to about 1 cm per month. Now, these are just guidelines and every baby is different so do not become concerned if your baby’s head is growing a little faster than normal.
What is abnormal head circumference?
Macrocephaly refers to an overly large head. It’s often a symptom of complications or conditions in the brain. There’s a standard used to define macrocephaly: The circumference of a person’s head is more than two standard deviations above average for their age. Or, their head is larger than the 98th percentile.
Can brain abnormalities be cured?
There’s no cure for neurodegenerative diseases, but treatment can still help. Treatment for these diseases tries to reduce symptoms and maintain quality of life. Treatment often involves the use of medications to control symptoms.
At what month does a baby’s brain develop?
By the end of the seventh week of pregnancy — five weeks after conception — your baby’s brain and face are the focus of development.
At what week is a baby’s brain fully developed?
Your baby’s brain development is a complex process that continues throughout your pregnancy. At just six weeks, the embryo’s brain and nervous system begin to develop, although the complex parts of the brain continue to grow and develop through the end of pregnancy, with development ending around the age of 25.
What is the life expectancy of a baby with microcephaly?
There is no standard life expectancy for microcephalic babies because outcomes depend on so many factors, and the severity of the condition can range from mild to severe. Babies with mild microcephaly may still meet the same milestones like speaking, sitting and walking as a child without the disorder.
Can microcephaly go away?
Microcephaly is a lifelong condition. There is no known cure or standard treatment for microcephaly. Because microcephaly can range from mild to severe, treatment options can range as well. Babies with mild microcephaly often don’t experience any other problems besides small head size.
Should I be concerned if my baby’s head is small?
Chances are your doctor will detect microcephaly at the baby’s birth or at a regular well-baby checkup. However, if you think your baby’s head is smaller than normal or isn’t growing as it should, talk to your doctor.
What causes a baby to have an enlarged head?
Causes of macrocephaly include: Benign familial macrocephaly – other family members with big heads (inherited) Excess fluid in the brain – benign extra-axial fluid of infancy or hydrocephalus.
How can I make my baby’s head round?
Try these tips:
- Practice tummy time. Provide plenty of supervised time for your baby to lie on the stomach while awake during the day. …
- Vary positions in the crib. Consider how you lay your baby down in the crib. …
- Hold your baby more often. …
- Change the head position while your baby sleeps.
What is a normal size baby head?
The average newborn’s head circumference measures about 13 3⁄4 inches (35 cm), growing to about 15 inches (38 cm) by one month. Because boys tend to be slightly larger than girls, their heads are larger, though the average difference is less than 1⁄2 inch (1 cm).