Amy’s hip dysplasia story

My daughter, Bridget, went into a Correctio Harness at 4.5 months of age, for 23 hours a day. After six weeks her X-ray showed great improvement so the wearing time was reduced to nights and naps from that point. Bridget moved into a Rhino brace for nights and naps as she was escaping the Correctio. At 9.5 months, she was given the all clear and we began the dreaded weaning process.

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Our journey started at our 6-week check-up (more like 8 weeks). I was chatting to my GP, about how the nurses at the hospital thought that Bridget looked like a breech baby (because of the shape of her head), he checked her notes and my notes and also questioned whether she was breech. I explained that she wasn’t, that she turned at about 36weeks + 3days, but then I added she was born at 37weeks + 6days so only 10 days after she turned. This rang some alarm bells for my GP and he then said he would like me to take her for an ultrasound just to be on the safe side; he thought she should have been checked at birth. It was Christmas time so I didn’t book her in straight away (I wasn’t worried to be honest). When I finally rang, I couldn’t get an appointment for an ultrasound until 6 weeks later. It was an hour’s drive to the appointment.

I remember saying to my Mum, as I left the house (she was looking after our toddler), that it was only a precaution and that everything will be fine. When the Ultrasound technician told me that there was a problem, I was shocked, I really didn’t expect it. Next stop was back to our GP for a referral to PMH. I was a little worried about going through PMH, in case that there would be a wait and it would get worse, but to my surprise I had a phone call a week later offering an appointment the following week. Again, I was worried, as I thought that it must be more serious than we expected; I assumed we’d been prioritised because it was serious. (The joys of how a mother’s brain works; second-guessing everything).

On day one, when we met with the specialist at PMH, I began to become very overwhelmed; I don’t think I’d thought enough about what wearing a brace might mean. When the specialist told us that Bridget would be wearing a brace 23/7 my mind raced; I started thinking of all the things that would be difficult. The biggest thing for me was how I would breastfed Bridget; we had worked so hard to get to the point where we were. I felt cheated that we were being hit with yet another challenge. We met with the hospital OT but, to be honest, I still felt overwhelmed. Luckily my husband delayed his return to work (he works fly in / fly out) to help me through it. We had to adjust the car seat, the pram, and get her settled in her brace so she’d actually sleep. The first couple of nights were like having a newborn again. Once we got into the swing of things though it became pretty normal.

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I’d say the biggest challenging was breastfeeding, but we overcame that. I am thankful it wasn’t earlier on before we had established breastfeeding; at least we didn’t have to worry about the latch. I was amazed every time Bridget was out of her brace; she rolled and kicked about as much as she could. Within a matter of hours of, being out of the brace during the day, she was rolling; another proud moment.
My number one tip would be, don’t put the brace straight on your babies skin, use leg warmers or brace covers. My poor baby ended up with a bad rash after 24hours in the Correctio. Another tip is to join a support group; it’s amazing how comforting it is to know there are others experiencing the same stuff as you.

It really is a harder adjustment for us than them. Try and relax into it because they will pick up on your anxiety & the settling period will last longer than necessary.

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