We were lucky in a way, the testing for hip dysplasia doesn’t happen everyday at the hospital where our daughter was born, but the day after she was born they asked me if I wanted her to have an ultrasound on her hips. I had vague memories of my mum saying that I had had this as a baby so I agreed.
Getting a newborn to lie on their side in the special moulds to hold them is not difficult, it is however an invitation for them to wee and poop whatever they have in them! Be warned. The ultrasound does not hurt them but needs to be done by someone with special training in this area because the analysis of the results is crucial.
We saw by the look on the Dr.’s face that it wasn’t going to be a „great, all clear“ kind of result. We were clueless though to what it all really meant. They sat us down and explained that our baby’s hips were not developed properly and needed some support to grow into the hip joint in the right way. One side was worse than the other and they told us she needed to be fitted for a hip brace right away.
It was all fast and medical so were went along with it, happy that it was being dealt with. I only felt sad when the fitting technician for the brace came to measure her up and said it was ok to cry! I don’t know why I waited for this permission but I admit that I did cry, lots. I think everyone wants their new baby to be perfect, and although I knew that this was a minor factor compared to the so many other things that could be wrong, I was still scared for my poor tiny baby and worried that she would be affected by this forever!
The brace arrived the next day and was fitted really gently by the technician. My poor little lamb had just got the freedom of stretching herself out after being confined to my womb for ten months and here she was being pulled up into the „frog pose“ as we called it. This helps the hip joints to grow properly.
The brace was ugly. It had a horrible, almost ironic smiley on the front (you can see this in the first photo) and it fastened with velcro. This was incredibly loud and woke her up properly if I needed to change her in the night. Not good. It hooked around her legs and pulled them up into the right position. You had to make sure the plastic didn’t dig into her legs or rub her shoulders. It was summer but my little baby had to wear tights and a polo neck! However, it worked.
We had appointments after three weeks where they were happy with the results. After this was the six week appointment with the Orthopedic doctor, more ultra sounds (and poo) and the results that our daughter’s hips were now perfect. We were, and still are, so grateful that this was found out as soon as possible. With our second child we made sure that she was seen within the first three days too, and again, she needed help with her hips but this time it was enough to „double nappy“ by putting a cloth nappy over her normal nappy before putting on a big pair of baby knickers to keep it all in place.
Both are fine now and I hope that if this happens to you, you know that it is something that can be treated. We’re glad that we did and although six weeks with a newborn feel like and eternity, now they are like the snap of a finger.
Your Mama Chic.