When Darcey was born earlier this month like all babies she had her first full physical at 72 hours old. As she wasn’t very well at the time we were admitted to hospital and she was checked over by 3 senior doctors who were all fantastic and picked up on two issues. One of these was ‘clicky’ or ‘clunky’ hips.
I hadn’t heard of this before and she is baby number 3 for me. With the boys the first newborn check seemed like a formality and the doctors ticked the boxes in the red book and off we went. Poor Darcey wasn’t feeling well at the time anyway and they all had to manipulate her hips, she was not happy about this in the slightest. The good thing was that her hips weren’t dislocating so there was no major problems but the doctors said they would send her for a hip scan as a matter of course.
I wasn’t too worried about this as I’ve heard it is very common in newborns and the scans are just done as a precaution. I was expecting us to get an appointment for when she was 6 weeks old however the letter arrived from the hospital asking us to go this week. She was only 18 days old and it was slightly ironic the scan was booked the day before her actual due date, when she shouldn’t really even be here.
The other thing was they booked the scan for 8:50am at the hospital about 7 miles from our house. Firstly getting there was a nightmare, I tried my best to be on time but just before we left she needed feeding and I couldn’t ignore that. Then being that time on a Tuesday morning it was school and rush hour traffic. I had to call the hospital on my way there and apologise as there was no way I was going to be there a 8:50. In the end I was about 30 minutes late to the appointment but the hospital staff were fantastic and very understanding and still did her scan. Getting anywhere on time with a 2 week old baby is impossible at the moment!
I was expecting the technicians to get her into all funny positions for the ultrasound, manipulating the hip joints and for there to be lots of crying. This is not the case at all;
- Firstly her all in one was undone and pulled up to her nappy
- Then she was laid on her left side with my hands gently holding her shoulders so she felt safe and secure.
- The technician undid the right side of her nappy so they could scan her hip as she lay in that position.
- Then we did the same on the other side.
It really was as simple as that and took approximately 5 minutes in total. She didn’t even make a fuss when they were doing it. There was I thinking that they’d be pulling and manipulating her hip joints to scan her, I wish I’d know how simple it was beforehand!
I was going to ask to take a photo when they were doing it to show others how simple the scan is and that it’s nothing to worry about. But I thought they might think I was slightly crazy and I was already so late for the appointment.
I asked the technician what they look for on the scan and he showed me they want to see an angle of greater than 60 degrees along the hip joint. For Darcey the right hip was 64 but the left was borderline at 60. This means we need to go back and have another scan in 4 weeks time. I’m not worried about this though as she was scanned very early, most hospitals wait until baby is 6 weeks old to do this.
I did also ask if there was anything we should be doing to help her hips, thinking that they would say keep them together, I was completely wrong again and they advised the opposite;
- Move her legs into the frog legged position, when I feed her or am cuddling her.
- If using a baby carrier try and put her legs in the frog legged position if it allows and is safe.
- When we change her nappy don’t use her feet to raise her bottom but put our hand under her back. Also hold her legs in the frog legged position for about 10 seconds.
- Change the way we swaddle her so her hips and legs aren’t bound together. There is a video of how to do this here.
There is a lot more information online at hipdysplasia.org If you have any worries or concerns then take a look at the website as it’s full of tips and information.
Today we went back to the hospital for the second hip scan and Darcey is now 6 weeks old, which is when I thought she was meant to be having the scan anyway. I’m pleased to say that everything is looking fine, the scan was quick and easy, she didn’t even make a sound.