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Thread: Newborn Reflexes

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    Default Newborn Reflexes

    Newborn Reflexes



    Moro reflex

    - This is sometimes referred to as the startle reaction, startle response, startle reflex or embrace reflex. It is more commonly known as the Moro response or Moro reflex after its discoverer, pediatrician Ernst Moro.
    The Moro reflex is present at birth, peaks in the first month of life and begins to disappear around 2 months of age. It is likely to occur if the infant's head suddenly shifts position, the temperature changes abruptly, or they are startled by a sudden noise. The legs and head extend while the arms jerk up and out with the palms up and thumbs flexed. Shortly afterward the arms are brought together and the hands clench into fists, and the infant cries loudly. The reflex normally disappears by three to four months of age, though it may last up to six months. Bilateral absence of the reflex may mean damage to the infant's central nervous system while a unilateral absence could mean an injury due to birth trauma such as a fractured clavicle or injury to the brachial plexus. Erb's palsy or some other form of paralysis is also sometimes present in such cases.
    The Moro reflex is elicited by taking the baby in both hands, the head being supported by one hand and the buttocks by the other. With the baby’s head in a midline position, the hand supporting it is quickly dropped to a position approximately 10 cm below its original supporting position, and the head is caught by the hand in its new position. In response, the baby will throw out both arms and legs symmetrically.
    When you fail to support or hold the neck and head, the arms of your baby will thrust outward and then seem to embrace them selves as their fingers curl. This reflex disappears at about 2 months of age. It is also known as the startle reflex.

    Walking/stepping reflex

    - The walking or stepping reflex is present at birth; though infants this young can not support their own weight, when the soles of their feet touch a flat surface they will attempt to 'walk' by placing one foot in front of the other. This reflex disappears as an automatic response and reappears as a voluntary behavior at around eight months to a year old.
    The stepping reflex can be elicited by holding the baby under the shoulders with both hands. The baby’s shin is placed in contact with the side of the cot and the baby will perform a stepping/ climbing manoeuvre. This is repeated for the other leg.
    If you take your baby and place his feet on a flat surface he will "walk" by placing one foot in front of the other. This isn't really walking and will disappear by about 4 months of age.

    Rooting reflex

    - The rooting reflex is present at birth and assists in breastfeeding, disappearing at around four months of age as it gradually comes under voluntary control. A newborn infant will turn their head toward anything that strokes their cheek or mouth, searching for the object by moving their heads in steadily decreasing arcs until the object is found. After becoming used to responding in this way (if breastfed, approximately three weeks after birth), the infant will move directly to the object without a "search".
    The rooting reflex is elicited by gently stroking the skin of the baby’s cheek. He will turn the head towards the side that is being stimulated.
    When you stroke your baby's cheek she will turn towards you, usually looking for food. This is very useful when learning to breastfeed your baby. This reflex is gone by about 4 months. You may also notice this occurs when the baby accidentally brushes her own face with her hands. It can sometimes be a source of frustration if your baby flails her arms during feedings. Simply using a blanket to pin her arms closer to her body during feeding may help.
    Rooting is also called the "search reflex". If you brush your baby's cheek lightly with your finger or any soft object, the baby's reflex will be to turn toward the object, open it's mouth and attempt to suck. This reflex ensures the baby can find and get food.

    Sucking reflex

    - The sucking reflex is common to all mammals and is present at birth. It is linked with the rooting reflex and breastfeeding, and causes the child to instinctively suck at anything that touches the roof of their mouth. There are two stages to the action:
    Expression: activated when the nipple is placed between a child's lips and touches their palate. They will instinctively press it between their tongue and palate to draw out the milk.
    Milking: The tongue moves from areola to nipple, coaxing milk from the mother to be swallowed by the child. Coordination on of these movements with breathing and swallowing is instinctual, but not perfect.
    As a child gets older he deceses the need for breast milk. They become more interested in baby food.
    The suck reflex is elicited by placing the practitioner’s clean little finger in the baby’s mouth. The baby will suck on the finger as it would on a nipple or teat. Failure of the baby to suck may indicate underlying neurological damage, but before jumping to any such conclusion, it is worth noting whether the baby has recently been fed and whether the baby is sleepy.
    While you may not believe this to be reflexive, it is. This ensures that the baby will nurse on a breast or bottle to be fed and occurs when something is placed in the baby's mouth. It is slowly replaced by voluntary sucking around 2 months of age.

    Asymmetrical tonic neck reflex

    - The asymmetrical tonic neck reflex (ATNR) is a primitive reflex found in newborn humans, but normally vanishes by the child's first birthday.
    It is also known as the "fencing reflex" because of the characteristic position of the infant's arms and head, which resembles that of a classically trained fencer. When the face is turned to one side, the arm and leg on the side to which the face is turned extend and the arm and leg on the opposite side bend.
    The presence of the ATNR, as well as other primitive reflexes, such as the tonic labyrinthine reflex (TLR), beyond the first months of life may indicate that the child has developmental delays, at which point the reflex is atypical or abnormal. For example, in children with cerebral palsy, the reflexes may persist and even be more pronounced. As abnormal reflexes, both the ATNR and the TLR can cause problems for the growing child. The ATNR and TLR both hinder functional activities such as rolling, bringing the hands together, or even bringing the hands to the mouth. Over time, both the ATNR and TLR can cause serious damage to the growing child's joints and bones. The ATNR can cause the spine to curve (scoliosis). Both the ATNR and TLR can cause the head of the thighbone to partially slip out (subluxation) or completely move out of the hip socket (dislocation). When abnormal reflexes persist in a child, early intervention involving extensive physical therapy can be beneficial.
    This is also called the fencing reflex, because of the position the baby assumes. When you lay your baby on her back and her head turns to one side she will extend her arm and leg on that side while the opposite arm and leg bend, assuming a "fencing" position. This reflex is present only until about the 4th month.

    Tonic labyrinthine reflex

    - The tonic labyrinthine reflex (TLR) is a primitive reflex found in newborn humans. With this reflex, tilting the head back while lying on the back causes the back to stiffen and even arch backwards, causes the legs to straighten, stiffen, and push together, causes the toes to point, causes the arms to bend at the elbows and wrists, and causes the hands to become fisted or the fingers to curl. The presence of this reflex beyond the newborn stage is also referred to as abnormal extension pattern or extensor tone.
    The presence of the TLR as well as other primitive reflexes such as the asymmetrical tonic neck reflex (ATNR) beyond the first months of life may indicate that the child has developmental delays and/or neurological abnormalities. For example, in people with cerebral palsy, the reflexes may persist and even be more pronounced. As abnornal reflexes, both the tonic labyrinthine reflex and the asymmetrical tonic neck reflex can cause problems for the growing child. The TLR and ATNR both hinder functional activities such as rolling, bringing the hands togheter, or even bringing the hands to the mouth. Over time, both the TLR and ATNR can cause serious damage to the growing child's joints and bones, causing the head of the thighbone to partially slip out of the hip socket (subluxation) or completely move out of the hip socket (dislocation).

    Palmar grasp reflex

    - The palmar grasp reflex appears at birth and persists until five or six months of age. When an object is placed in the infant's hand and strokes their palm, the fingers will close and they will grasp it. The grip is strong but unpredictable; though it may be able to support the child's weight, they may also release their grip suddenly and without warning. The reverse motion can be induced by stroking the back or side of the hand.
    Palmar grasp reflex is elicited by placing the practitioner’s little finger into the palm of the baby. The baby’s hand will grasp the practitioner’s finger. Care should be taken not to touch the back of the hand at the same time as the finger is placed in contact with the palm as this can result in conflicting sensory information being presented to the neurones and an uninterpretable result being obtained.
    When you touch the palm of your baby's hand, the fingers will curl around and cling to your finger or an object. This is a good reflex to take advantage of with other children, to allow the baby to "hold" their hand. This reflex also makes it difficult to obtain handprints until it disappears at about 6 months.

    Plantar reflex

    - The plantar reflex or plantar grasp is present at birth and fades around the infant's first birthday. The plantar reflex causes the infant's toes to curl up tightly when something rubs the ball of their foot.
    In medicine and neurology, the Babinski reflex or Babinski sign is a reflex, named after Joseph Babinski (1857-1932) (a French neurologist of Polish descent), that can identify disease of the spinal cord and brain and also exists as a primitive reflex in infants. When non-pathological it is called the plantar reflex while the term Babinski's sign refers to its pathological form.
    Plantar grasp reflex is elicited by touching the sole of the baby’s foot with the practitioner’s little finger. The baby’s toes will flex towards the practitioner’s finger. Care should be taken not to touch the dorsum of the foot at the same time as the finger makes contact with the sole as this can result in conflicting information being relayed to the neurones and an uninterpretable result being obtained.
    This reflex occurs when you stroke the sole of your baby's foot, his toes will spread open and the foot will turn slightly inward. It is also known as the Babinski reflex. This reflex is fun to watch. By the end of the first year this reflex is usually gone.

    Babinski reflex

    - Often confused with the plantar reflex, the Babinski reflex is also present at birth and fades around the first year. The Babinski reflex appears when the side of the foot is stroked, causing the toes to fan out and the hallux to extend. The reflex is caused by a lack of myelination in the corticospinal tract in young children. The Babinski reflex is a sign of neurological abnormality in adults.
    The lateral side of the sole of the foot is rubbed with a blunt implement so as not to cause pain, discomfort or injury to the skin; the instrument is run from the heel along a curve to the metatarsal pads. There are three responses possible:
    1. Flexor: the toes curve inward and the foot everts; this is the response seen in healthy adults.
    2. Indifferent: there is no response.
    3. Extensor: the hallux dorsiflexes, and the other toes fan out - the Babinski's sign indicating damage to the central nervous system.
    As the lesion responsible for the sign expands so does the area from which the afferent Babinski response may be elicited. The Babinski response is also normal while asleep and after a long period of walking.

    Galant reflex

    - The galant reflex, also known as Galant’s infantile reflex, is present at birth and fades between the ages of four to six months. When the skin along the side of an infant's back is stroked, the infant will swing towards the side that was stroked. If the reflex persists past six months of age, it is a sign of pathology. The reflex is named after the Russian neurologist Johann Susman Galant.
    Galant reflex is a newborn reflex. It is elicited by holding the newborn in ventral suspension (face down) and stroking along the one side of the spine. The normal reaction is for the newborn to laterally flex toward the stimulated side.
    This is one of the reflexes tested in newborns to help rule out brain damage at birth.

    Swimming

    - If you were to put a baby under six months of age in water, they would move their arms and legs while holding their breath. This is why some families believe in swim training for very little babies. It is not recommended for you to test this reflex at home for obvious safety reasons.

    Withdrawal Reflex

    - This reflex is in an attempt to avoid pain. Babies receive a whole slew of tests as newborns and, if you will notice when the heel of the foot is pricked for a blood test, the leg and foot will jerk backwards and the opposite leg and foot push forward.
    Babies are incredibly resilient and smart. So, remember, when you are noticing that yawn, or your baby is grasping your finger it is all in the name of survival.

    Positive Support Reflex

    - Like the stepping reflex, if you hold your baby under his arms, support his head, and allow his feet to bounce on a flat surface, he will extend (straighten) his legs for about 20-30 seconds to support himself, before he flexes his legs again and goes to a sitting position. This reflex usually disappears by 2-4 months, until it becomes a more mature reflex in which there is a sustained extension of the legs and support of his body by about 6 months.


    Derotational Righting

    - This reaction usually appears by 4-5 months, and involves your infant's body turning to follow the direction of his head when it turns, helping him learn to roll over.

    Parachute Response

    - This is a protective response that protects your infant if he falls. Beginning at about 5-6 months, if an infant falls, he will extend his arms to try and 'catch' himself.

    Propping

    - Beginning at different ages, the propping responses help your child learn to sit. The first is the anterior propping response, which begins at 4-5 months, and involves your infant extending his arms when he is held in a sitting position, allowing him to assume a tripod position. Next, lateral propping, appearing at 6-7 months, causes him to extend his arm to the side if he is tilted. Lastly, posterior propping, causing him to extend his arms backwards if he is titled backward.

    Traction response

    - When a newborn is pulled by the arms from a lying to a sitting position, the head lags at first. The baby then flexes, lifting the head to the midline of the rest of the body before it falls forward.

    Placing

    - A newborn flexes the knee and brings the foot up when the sole of his or her foot is rubbed.

    The crossed extensor reflex

    - The crossed extensor reflex is a withdrawal reflex.
    When the reflex occurs the flexors in the withdrawing limb contract and the extensors relax, while in the other limb the opposite occurs.
    An example of this is when a person steps on a nail, the leg that is stepping on the nail pulls away, while the other leg takes the weight of the whole body.
    Another example of a crossed extensor reflex is when someone violently grabs your arm, the arm that is grabbed retracts towards the body while the other arm moves towards the attacker for protection.

    Neck Righting Reflex

    - The tendency for a newborn to lie with one arm crooked and raised behind the head while the other is extended away from the body. This reflex will disappear shortly after birth.


    If you find more decriptions of some another reflexes, please post!

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    nice post with good presentation.


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    Default The Let-Down Reflex

    The Let-Down Reflex

    This is stimulated by the hormone oxytocin and causes muscles to contract, squeezing milk out of the milk-producing cells into the ducts leading to the nipple. In fact the process will have been working before the milk came in, but you probably won't have felt it. Once the milk comes in it is very important because although the baby can get what is called "foremilk," which is present in the ducts of the breast, by sucking, two-thirds of the feed is contained in what is called "hindmilk," which is only released by the let-down. The hindmilk has more fat in it and is therefore much richer in calories, which your baby needs for growing. The sensation of the let-down reflex varies, but is usually described as a brief tingling or slight ache and is always accompanied by a rush of milk. Often, milk begins to leak out of the nonfeeding breast, and you can see the rhythm of the baby's jaw action change as she begins to take deep swallows and does not have to suck so hard.

    Problems with the let-down reflex are a common cause of babies not gaining weight, and mothers of premature babies with a poor suck may be especially prone to difficulties. Anxiety, tension, and stress can all inhibit the reflex, so the cycle gets worse. Try to relax and don't limit the baby's time at the breast, but continue to nurse frequently. Bathing with hot water and expressing milk by hand can sometimes stimulate the let-down. You can also ask your physician for a nasal spray of oxytocin (Syntocinon), which can be used effectively to prompt let-down. Once you've experienced the reflex a few times, the let-down will become easier.

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    Default Eliciting the primitive reflexes - TABLE

    Eliciting the primitive reflexes - TABLE



    More about this... soon...

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    from which book this table is?


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    This table is from Elsevier Journal PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGY, Vol. 31 No. 1, (July 2004).
    Name of article:
    "Primitive reflexes and postural reactions in the neurodevelopmental examination"

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    Default Tonic reflexes of brain stem

    Tonic reflexes of brain stem



    This table is my own work... all rights reserved, !

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    I'm printing it out..Will write "copyright@torjadav"
    Nice share.

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    Default Development of early activity and postural reflex reactions (during the months)

    Thanks vitrag24...
    Here is another table, (my work, also). Hope this will be helpfull to someone!



    Well, this is all from me to this thread... if someone needs me, Ill be back...
    Anyway, I have started this topic cause I was the one who needed informations about newborn reflexes, and there was no good presentation on the internet, so I hope that this topic will save some time and troubles that I had.
    See ya around.
    Last edited by tordajav; 09-24-2010 at 06:41 AM.

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