Our DDH Experience
Our first born Matilda was diagnosed at birth with hip dysplasia, likely caused by her extended breech position. Whilst prepared for the possibility of DDH during pregnancy, within 24 hours of welcoming Matilda into the world she was diagnosed and fitted with the Pavlik Harness; our journey had begun.
Matilda was to wear the harness 24 hours, 7 days a week. This was not how I imagined motherhood to be. We were given time to bath her, just before the harness was fitted - her only bath for 3 months. We now had to find a way to comfortably feed; wrap her; find clothes to fit over the harness.
As a mother, I knew she was perfect and healthy in every way, yet I felt Matilda was different and so too would be our experiences. I was constantly assured she was not in any pain, and would have no memory of wearing the harness. I knew this to be true, and deep down knew that Matilda would come through this just fine. She was, after all, perfectly healthy... her hips could be fixed. But, this did not stop me longing for a 'normal' experience with my newborn, one where she was free from DDH.
At 3 months, Matilda's hip progression was satisfactory but not complete. The Pavlik Harness could come off, and hopefully time would complete the rest. Finally, Matilda was free and so were we. Free to bath her, give her tummy time, dress her without questioning if clothes would fit. We put it behind us and moved on.
Until Christmas Eve - Matilda's first Christmas. At her 9 month checkup, her progression was not satisfactory and she was fitted with a Rhino Brace. This was not how I imagined our little girl's first Christmas. During the time Matilda wore the Rhino Brace, it became a dirty visual reminder of DDH; worn over her clothes for 23 hours a day.
We faced different challenges this time; keeping her warm at night without a sleeping bag; finding a highchair and a pram she could fit into; how to keep her sitting upright (Matilda was developmentally late in some physical milestones, and didn't walk until she was nearly 2).
Matilda's time in the Rhino brace was the true inspiration behind HipTilly. Our search for clothing to fit over the brace was unsuccessful. The idea was born to create clothing options for parents they could buy with confidence, knowing they would fit their hip baby. HipTilly launches with 5 key pieces of day and night wear.
During the 4 years it has taken to create HipTilly, many support sites and online communities have been established for parents with hip babies, and we have seen the emergence of other hip mums creating custom order clothing and other specialty accessories for hip babies. Each idea has been born from a parent's need in coping with and getting through their babies hip journey; and then shared with other families to help make their experience a little easier. From our own experience we bring our range of specially designed clothing for hip babies aged 3-18 months.
After much research on the various harness' and braces used to treat hip babies in Australia, the clothing has been successfully tested when worn over those most commonly used in Australia: Pavlik Harness, Dennis Browne Bar, Rhino Brace, and the Hip Abduction Orthosis. Although not tested on, the clothing is suitable to be worn over other braces not specified but which keep the legs in a frog like position and do not have protruding bars. All fabrics used to make our clothing are sourced in Australia, and, where possible, 100% organic cottons are used.
Our aim is to provide easy to fit, comfortable and tailored clothing that covers the brace/harness. We have incorporated unique design features such as the side zip, to ensure ease of fit over the brace/harness.
4 years later, HipTilly has arrived and we are proud to share our Melbourne made clothing with your beautiful babies and toddlers.
Founder and creator of HipTilly