Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), scientists have captured 3-D images that show how infants' brains and skulls change shape as they move through the birth canal just before delivery.
The analysis revealed fetal head molding during the second stage of labor in all seven infants, with different parts of the skull overlapping to varying degrees among the infants. After birth, five of the newborns' skull and brain shapes returned to their pre-birth state, but the changes persisted in two of the infants. Two of the three infants with the greatest degree of fetal head molding were delivered by emergency C-section, but the third was delivered vaginally with minimal expulsive efforts.
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