Having a baby is supposed to be the most cherished of experiences, so imagine being told at a few days old that your child has a dislocated hip and will need treatment for it. It’s a surprisingly common condition, about 1 or 2 in every 1,000 babies has a hip problem that requires treatment.
Treatment consists of the baby wearing a device called a Pavlik harness which has straps around the chest, across the shoulders and down each leg. This keeps baby’s legs in a ‘frog like’ position holding the hip in place whilst nature does the rest. Babies must wear their harness 24 hours a day for several weeks and cannot be bathed in it or swim. Up until now, clothing a baby in a harness meant cutting clothing to fit over the irregular shape or dressing them in oversized babygrows – but thanks to Hip-Pose Ltd, this is no longer the case!
Sam Bowen, mum to Lucy, set up the company from her own experience trying to dress her daughter during treatment. She says: “I felt passionately about helping families to dress their children during this difficult time, not only to keep things normal but also to avoid unwanted attention from others.”
Sam’s daughter sadly went on to need major surgery to correct her dislocated hip (around 10% of cases do, particularly if diagnosed late). “After surgery, Lucy had to wear a hip-spica cast from her chest to her ankles and no clothes were available to cover it.” Sam explains. “At first I made waterproof trousers to cover the cast but then made denim, cord and pretty ones to help disguise it.” Her ideas proved to be a hit with the NHS staff treating Lucy, who encouraged Sam to set up the business.
Set up in 2011 with a start up grant from Unlimited, Sam now sells into customers and hospitals around the world via her website www.hip-pose.co.uk