Caput succedaneum: Signs and symptoms, causes, and outlook

Caput succedaneum pregnancy
Caput succedaneum can often be identified with ultrasound checking.
An infant’s skull is simple and fused as an adult’s. It’s soft and comprised of parts of bone which meet at “suture lines.” These soft bits of the skull will harden and join together because the child ages.

In some instances, however, the newborn could have a buildup of bloody fluid in the scalp overlying negligence the skull that’s born first. This really is known as caput succedaneum or caput for brief.

Additionally to swelling from the scalp, a bruise might be noticeable either around the scalp itself or around the baby’s face based on which part was created first.

Causes and risks

Caput succedaneum is most generally brought on by pressure put on the youngsters mind because it goes through the cervical opening and in to the vaginal area. This pressure is because vaginal wall and uterine pressure and tension.

Another condition known as cephalohematoma also occurs. This differs from caput succedaneum since the fluid that accumulates is frequently much deeper within the scalp and mostly made up of bloodstream from damaged bloodstream vessels.

Cephalohematoma is because pressure in the mother’s pelvic bones around the baby’s skull during delivery and through delivery instruments, for example forceps.

Both conditions don’t always occur because of specific risks but could happen without no reason during birth. Actually, these conditions can, in rare cases, show up while an infant continues to be within the womb.

Both caput succedaneum and cephalohematoma happen to be identified in ultrasound during late pregnancy. Both of these conditions may develop when membranes rupture prematurely, denying the newborn the required cushioning it takes while still within the womb.

Cephalohematomas are also observed when you will find low levels of amniotic fluid present. This problem is known as oligohydramnios.

Certain risks that make developing caput succedaneum include:

  • getting an extended or difficult labor
  • premature rupture of membranes
  • lower levels of amniotic fluid within the uterus
  • delivering an infant the very first time
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions
  • certain fetal positions, for example being mind lower
  • a delivery that needs instruments, for example forceps or perhaps a vacuum

However, once the caput is because vacuum pressure-aided delivery, it is called a chignon and isn’t a real caput succedaneum.

Cephalohematoma is a disorder that is much more generally observed in ladies who are:

  • getting men baby
  • delivering their first baby
  • delivering a sizable baby, which can be too large for that pelvic opening
  • getting a delivery that needs instruments, for example forceps or perhaps a vacuum
  • when the infant were built with a scalp electrode during labor
  • experiencing an extended labor

The problem can also be more prone to come in children whose heads aren’t in a perfect position for delivery.

Signs and symptoms

When a baby comes into the world with caput succedaneum, parents may notice scalp swelling or perhaps an appearance of puffiness immediately after birth. This is probably to look at the very top core mind where the bones meet.

Scalp bruising is yet another possible characteristic of caput. In some instances, facial bruising can also be present.

Infants born having a cephalohematoma may create a scalp bump (not bruise) within times of birth. At occasions the region might be responsive to touch, that is more prevalent if there’s a skull fracture.

Throughout a vaginal delivery, pressure may cause an overlapping within the soft, bony bits of the skull in the suture line. This could provide a cone-like pointed contour around the newborn’s mind. This really is generally known as molding.


Jaundice can cause caput succedaneum.
Caput succedaneum can lead to jaundice.

Most frequently, caput succedaneum resolves by itself without complication. At occasions, however, complications can happen for example:

  • Alopecia: Because of the pressure put on the scalp, a few of the surrounding tissues may die, and hair thinning can happen. Generally, your hair regrows normally, though in some instances this hair thinning could be permanent.
  • Jaundice: Bruising may trouble certain cases. This may lead to an accumulation of bilirubin within the bloodstream in the introduction to red bloodstream cells. This will cause infants to possess a yellow appearance within their skin and also the whites of the eyes.

If severe or untreated, jaundice can result in many further complications. These complications include:

  • brain damage
  • hearing problems
  • athetoid cerebral palsy, a movement disorder
  • abnormal tooth enamel development
  • permanent upward eye gaze
  • dying

In some instances, cephalohematomas may cause complications, for example:

  • skull fracture
  • hardening from the bump
  • infection
  • anemia
  • jaundice (more prevalent compared to caput succedaneum)


Caput succedaneum is frequently identified on physical examination without resorting to additional testing. If there’s a far more concerning issue, doctors may recommend further tests to judge for any more severe problem.

In some instances of cephalohematoma, a skull fracture might be present. Consequently, an X-ray might be transported to assess the bones from the skull.


Caput succedaneum typically resolves without resorting to intervention within a few days following delivery.

When there aren’t any additional injuries or risks factors, a situation of cephalohematoma typically resolves without resorting to intervention within 2 to six days following delivery.

You will find cases where a cephalohematoma causes various other concerning problems, for example infection, which might require medications and surgical treatments. Sometimes, a cephalohematoma may persist and harden, creating a firm bump, which most frequently resolves with time.

Another possible treatment methods are cranial-molding helmet therapy. This process involves a baby putting on a specifically formed helmet for 18 to twenty hrs each day until their mind is molded towards the preferred shape. It’s very rare to want this therapy for any persistent cephalohematoma, however.

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