New parents are alarmed the first time they see their baby startle. The baby is calm and suddenly spreads his arms and opens his palms. It is an involuntary and totally normal movement that receives the name of Moorish reflection . This startle in the newborn baby is indicative of good health, in fa
New parents are alarmed the first time they see their baby startle. The baby is calm and suddenly spreads his arms and opens his palms.
It is an involuntary and totally normal movement that receives the name of Moorish reflection. This startle in the newborn baby is indicative of good health, in fact if it did not before a given stimulus, we would be facing a possible case of brain damage or spinal cord.
What is the reflex of the Moor in the newborn baby
It is an involuntary response to stimulation, is one of the primary reflexes of the newborn baby and usually disappears after 3 or 4 months of life.
It is known as a startle reflex, a hug reflex in the baby or a reflection of a Moor. This last definition is the most common and is due to its discoverer, the Austrian Ernst Moro, a well-known pediatrician who, between the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX, made important advances in pediatrics.
Checking the Moor reflex is one of the first tests performed on the newborn baby, it is about putting the baby on a soft surface, for example a cushion, his head is carefully raised and he is allowed to fall backwards holding him fast again (without hitting the cushion). If the child extends his arms with his palms up and even cries, that is, if he starts for a few seconds, and then the arms return to his position and relaxes, his response is normal and will be a sign of good health.
The baby can also be observed performing this movement while he sleeps, if he hears a loud sound that scares him or if we change his position abruptly.
When there is no jolt in the newborn baby
If the baby's reflex is not seen in both the tests performed immediately after birth and in subsequent tests or even if it is performed asymmetrically, ie only with One side of the body could be a sign of:
- Brain damage.
- Damage to the spinal cord.
- Broken clavicle.
- Damage to the brachial plexus (nerves that go from the lower part of the neck to the upper shoulder area)
In the absence of startle in the newborn baby, the pediatrician will perform a physical examination and perform a family history to rule out possible congenital defects.
If the reflection of the Moor persists beyond the fourth or fifth month of the baby's life may indicate neurological damage.
Video of the reflection of the Moor in babies
This video shows what the startle reflex in the newborn baby consists of.