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Moro Reflex

What Is Moro Reflex?

Moro reflex is an infantile reflex it usually present in all infants and can last up to 4 or 5 months of age. The baby feels as if it is falling. The stages involve three distinct components: spreading out the arm  (abduction) un-spreading the arms (adduction) and crying.  

The Moro reflex is one of the many reflexes that is seen at birth.  The reflex is seen in newborns where they make a startling gesture in response to danger.

How Do Babies Display More Reflex?

The doctor will check for this reflex right after birth and during your regular visits. This is one of the many natural reflexes your newborn should exhibit.  The distinct components include these actions:

  • Unexplained crying 
  • Folding back their arms
  • Adduction
  • Startling response to anything unusual

The Moro reflex helps the baby shield themselves from any type of danger.  The baby will respond to any noise such as ringing of the doorbell, loud noises, and even being touched while sleeping.

Moro Reflex Tests In Newborns

The doctor will check your baby Moro reflex through your daily visits. The doctor will place the infant on a soft padded mat. The baby head and shoulders will get raised gently.

The baby’s head is release for an instant and then it's supported again.  This should make the baby startle and react to the sudden change by stretching his arms. 

How Long Does Moro Reflex Last?

The rooting reflex usually disappears by around 3 to 4 months of age. There are some occasions it can last as long as 12 months. 

Moro Reflex Abnormalities

Absent Moro Reflex: is a normal reflex in newborn infants.  Its absence is always abnormal. There are possible causes of absent infant Moro reflex such as cerebral palsy, damage to spine cord and brain, clavicle fracture, Erb’s palsy, and broken shoulder bone.

Exaggerated Moro Reflex: The exaggerated Moro reflex usually appears in infants suffering from complications such as hydranencephaly or hyperekplexia.  The baby will tend to pull his arms back at frequent intervals.

Moro Reflex vs Startle Reflex

Both Moro and Startle reflex are usually confused due to the similarity of their mechanism.  Infant Moro reflex usually identified some weeks after birth. The startle reflex does not go away stays during the individual lifetime. 

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