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Learning About Craniosynostosis in Newborns

Bony plates in the skull of a newborn

What is craniosynostosis?

Craniosynostosis is a problem with the skull. It happens when the soft areas between the plates of the baby's skull (sutures) fuse together too soon. This can keep the skull from expanding as the baby grows. In severe cases, it can cause pressure on the brain.

What can you expect?

  • You may see tubes and wires attached to your baby. This can be scary to see. But these things help the doctor treat your baby. The tubes supply air, fluid, and medicines to your baby. The wires are attached to machines that help the doctor keep track of your baby's vital signs. These include temperature, blood pressure, breathing rate, and pulse rate.
  • If your baby has trouble breathing, the doctor may use a ventilator. This machine helps your baby breathe. To do this, the doctor puts a soft tube through your baby's mouth into the windpipe.
  • The hospital staff will give your baby the nutrition needed. The doctor may feed your baby through a soft tube that goes through the nose and into the stomach. Or the doctor may use an IV that goes through the belly button to do this.
  • Your baby will be kept comfortable and warm.
  • It may seem that your baby is getting lots of tests. All of these tests help your doctor keep track of your baby's condition and give the best treatment possible.
  • It's hard to be apart from your baby, especially when you worry about your baby's condition. Know that the hospital staff is well prepared to care for babies with this condition. They will do everything they can to help. If you need it, get support from friends and family. Ask the hospital staff about counselling and support.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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