We were excited to hear from Charlotte's mum, Jacinda, over the weekend with some wonderful news.
Back in April, we shared Charlotte's story;
Even though Charlotte was either breech or transverse, for our whole pregnancy, no one mentioned the risk of DDH to us. At her 6-week check up, her GP noticed the very slightest of clicks and sent her for an ultrasound, "just in case".
Her first ultrasound indicated less than 50% coverage of both femoral heads but no dislocation. As she was less than three months old it was suggested that we wait 4-6 weeks to re-scan before undertaking any treatment. Unfortunately her second scan showed no change at all (which in hip terms actually means a lack of growth compared to the rest of the body), so we were referred to a specialist.
I was devastated, as I had hoped that the 4-6 weeks would have been enough for her hips to develop enough to avoid bracing. At 14-weeks old Charlotte went into the Correctio harness 23/7. That first day was truly awful, I cried and cried for what I felt like we had lost. Her cute clothing choices, her emerging mobility and her freedom were all gone. That first day we struggled to breastfeed and sleep was non-existent (she woke 14 times that first night). Charlotte was understandably upset and I couldn't even cuddle her without the Correctio bar being in the way.
Slowly but surely we found our feet, I joined an extremely supportive Facebook support group (with two lovely hip mamas posting me leg warmers to use), we made the most of our 1-hour off each day, and we modified the everyday things we usually take for granted to suit our hip baby (pram, car seat, sleeping bags etc). After 6 weeks in the Correctio charlotte was able to push both legs straight
(negating the brace). She was fitted into the Rhino brace and we had another round of modifying things to fit.
Our one hour free time a day was split into two half hour blocks; 30 minutes in the morning of intensive tummy time, and 30 minutes in the evening for a bath, cuddles and a quick blissful brace free breastfeed.
Despite being in the brace, Charlotte learned to roll both ways during her daily 30 minutes of brace free tummy time. I was so amazed at my daughter’s achievement (she can almost roll with the brace on as well). We did not let the brace stop us enjoying family activities - Charlotte's been sailing, on numerous hikes, and to two overseas countries amongst other things.
After three months of 23/7 bracing Charlotte is now braced for nights and naps. Within a week of going to nights and naps charlotte was able to sit unassisted - the resilience and strength of kids is amazing.
We are anxiously waiting for her next X-ray (6 weeks) to confirm that there is no regression; if the X-ray is positive we will be brace free for good. For new hip families my number one tip is to join a support group, it's invaluable.
Charlotte is completely brace-free and celebrated her 1st birthday over the weekend. She walked at 11.5 months, "proving DDH doesn't hold them back!"
If you like to share your DDH story with other families please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Admin Note: There is a wide range for developmental milestones to be mastered within. Whilst some DDH babies don't miss a beat, others may take longer to master rolling, sitting, crawling and walking. If you have concerns, about your child's development, we recommend you discuss this with your treating physician and child / maternal health nurse.