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Infant head molding: Photographer captures amazing photos of 'cone head' baby

This newborn was born with a uniquely-shaped head, but his mom says within an hour of his birth, it returned to a normal shape.
/ Source: TODAY Contributor

When Nikki Rausch gave birth to her son, Graham, earlier this year, she noticed that his head was cone-shaped as a result of his delivery.

But the Florida mom says it wasn't until she saw the photos taken by her birth photographer, Kayla Reeder, that she realized how "unique and 'to one side'" her newborn's head truly appeared.

Graham Rausch was born with a cone-shaped head that corrected itself soon after birth.K Reeder Photography

Rausch says her labor with Graham progressed much more quickly than with her first child. As her husband, Chris, was rushing to the hospital to attend the birth, Rausch elected to have an epidural, which she says slowed her contractions. Her husband arrived soon after and, after an hour of pushing, Graham was born.

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"I think the fact that I was having such strong and steady contractions before the epidural and then things slowed down a bit after probably contributed to why his head was shaped that way," Rausch told TODAY Parents. "Within an hour after he was born, his head looked normal and he was perfect in every way."

Rausch believes that her contractions being slowed by an epidural, in combination with an hour of pushing, caused her son's misshapen head.K Reeder Photography
"He has brought so much love and happiness into our family, Rausch said of her son.K Reeder Photography

In a blog post about the delivery, Reeder shared her unique photos along with her version of Graham's birth story.

"Little man was a bit sideways, so Momma had to work a little harder, but no additional interventions were necessary," said Reeder. "Finally, Graham made his way into the world...Graham was perfect in every way, right down to his little cone head."

Experts say Graham's misshapen head is due to "head molding," caused by the newborn's head conforming to it's fit through the vaginal canal.K Reeder Photography

Dr. Donnica Moore, a New Jersey OBGYN, says Graham's misshapen head is called "head molding," and occurs when an infant's head conforms to its tight fit through a woman's vaginal canal.

"This process can make the head appear misshapen, often oblong or 'cone-headed,'" said Moore. "This happens because the bones of a newborn's skull are soft and flexible, with gaps between them called fontanelle — the soft spots you can feel — and are connected by fibrous bands of tissue called cranial sutures."

Graham with his siblings, Jackson, 12, and Presley, 4.K Reeder Photography

Moore, who says she herself was a "cone-headed baby," says the condition is common, occurring in up to one out of every three babies born vaginally. And, it's completely normal, typically resolving itself completely within six days.

Rausch says Graham's head rounded out within an hour of his birth.

4-month-old Graham, and his perfectly round head, today.Nikki Rausch

Today, Graham is 4 months old and spends his time rolling over, holding his head up and attempting to sit on his own.

"He has brought so much love and happiness into our family," said Rausch.