Do you notice that your baby has a flat back of his head? This is probably plagiocephaly or brachycephaly (scientific term for “flat head”).

But what does this mean ?

This corresponds to cranial deformations which can appear during pregnancy or during the first weeks of your baby’s life.

Plagiocephaly means oblique head. It is therefore characterized by an asymmetrical flattening of the back of the skull in a baby.

There are two types of plagiocephaly:

  • Congenital: due to premature closure of one (or more) cranial sutures. It is also called craniosynostosis or craniosynostosis. In this case, medical/surgical treatment is necessary.
  • Positional: due to external mechanical constraints. The intervention of an osteopath is then indicated.

Unlike plagiocephaly (where there is a flattening of one side of the skull), brachycephaly is a flattening of the entire back of the skull.

Pregnancy and childbirth.

Throughout the pregnancy, baby continued to develop and grow. The position in the stomach and the lack of space at the end of pregnancy could have caused tissue constraints on your baby.

This can cause mom back pain, rib pain, heartburn and other symptoms.


D-Day finally arrives!

Sometimes baby has difficulty getting out, the medical team then uses instruments to help him (suction cups, spatulas/forceps). Once again constraints can be placed on baby.

If he did not need instruments, constraints can still be exercised: the position of his head during each contraction, if he remained stuck in the pelvis during the pushes, etc.


In conclusion, during birth your newborn has already experienced a lot of things and possibly a lot of tissue constraints resulting in tensions. These can lead to discomfort which can result in sleep problems, digestive problems, unexplained crying, difficulty turning the head to one side, etc.


Why babies may have flat heads ?

The skull bones in newborns are soft and malleable (this helps with making a path through the pelvis and brain development). The constraints we talked about just before (during pregnancy and childbirth) are the cause of tension which can lead to functional torticollis or a baby’s preference to turn his head to one side. By staying in this head rotation and after several hours on your back, a flat head appears.


Does plagiocephaly have consequences ?

Beyond the aesthetic aspect, plagiocephaly can have numerous consequences. Indeed, these are a factor of imbalance for the body which must then adapt while growing. This is why the consequences can be seen in the long term.

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Chewing disorder
  • Dyslexia, dysorthography
  • ENT disorders
  • Sucking disorders
  • Scoliosis

But how can osteopathy treat positional plagiocephaly and brachycephaly ?

Through his global approach, the osteopath will identify the reasons why your baby cannot turn his head correctly. These causes can be local (torticollis, thorax, shoulders) or distant (pelvis).

The osteopath’s job will be to remove tension in order to restore tissue mobility, allowing the baby to freely perform head movements.

Osteopathic treatment will not always have visible results at the end of the session and several sessions may be necessary (depending on the type of plagiocephaly/brachycephaly).



Your osteopath Capucine Kerloch is certified “Osteopathy approach to plagiocephaly”.

Find here advice to apply in the case of plagiocephaly in addition to osteopathic treatment.

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07 85 95 33 49.

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