Rare images of childbirth reveal incredible things that happen to a baby’s head during childbirth
Maternity, birth and newborn photographer Kayla Reeder has seen her fair share of births. But there are some stories that still move her to share them with the public. This year, on Valentine’s Day, the Florida-based photographer was called to one of those stories. Kayla was asked to document the…
Maternity, birth and newborn photographer Kayla Reeder has seen her fair share of births.
But there are some stories that still move her to share them with the public.
This year, on Valentine’s Day, the Florida-based photographer was called to one of those stories.
Kayla was asked to document the birth of Chris and Nikki’s son, their second child.
The rare images captured the moment their baby boy, Graham, entered the world with a misshapen head.
When a baby is born they have soft spots, known as fontanelle, on their head.
Their skull is not fully formed at birth and instead consists of several plates that are joined together by soft tissue.
It is these patches of tissue that form the soft spots.
This allows the skull bones to pass over each other and mould to the shape of the birth canal when mum is giving birth.
It also makes it more comfortable for mum!
Once the baby is born the skull bones move back to their normal position and remain held in place by the soft tissue between them.
Newborns have two soft spots – the anterior fontanelle and the posterior fontanelle.
The posterior fontanelle is located at the back and the anterior at the top.
Because of the position little Graham was in when he was born his head was misshapen
Eventually the baby’s head bones begin to fuse together, closing over the soft spots to become a fully formed skull.
The posterior fontanelle closes first, usually at around six weeks.
But the anterior fontanelle does not close until the baby is more than a year old.
When Kayla captured little Graham’s birth, her photos reveal how his head was able to change shape to allow him to pass down the birth canal.
Nikki was in labour with her first child for 36 hours, so the family thought Graham’s birth might take a little longer than it did.
The mum went about her morning as usual but called Kayla to let her know she was in labour.
A little later she decided to go to hospital and was kept in to prepare for the birth.
Kayla recalled: “I decided to make my way to her since it was a 45 minute drive.
“Along the way her mum kept me up to date as her husband and I both raced to the hospital.
“I pull in the parking lot 45 minutes later and her mom calls me, she’s 9cm [dilated].
“She’s had an epidural so the room is calm.
“Her husband made it right after me.
“The room lightened as it was time to meet her son.
“Her daughter came in for a kiss before it was time to push, it encouraged mama, you could tell.”
The actually pushing took about an hour – far less time than expected.
Graham was positioned slightly sideways, recalled Kayla, but it didn’t cause any complications during his birth – just a “little cone head”.
She recalled: “Finally Graham made his way into the world.
“Mama had immediate skin to skin with him and dad showered them in love.
“Graham was perfect in every way. Right down to his little cone head.
“The moulding on Graham’s head was extra dramatic because of his position.
“His head was tilted a bit to the side so the moulding isn’t centred and it caused his mama to push for a bit longer than if he would have been in a better position.
“Soon after birth the moulding went down and by few days old he had a perfectly shaped head.
“It’s no cause for alarm or concern in this case and his birth was in no way traumatic because of it.”
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