Caput Succedaneum (Swelling of the Scalp During Labor)

Caput Succedaneum (Swelling of the Scalp During Labor)

Symptoms | Causes | Treatment | Complications


What is Caput Succedaneum?

“Caput succedaneum” alludes to swelling or Oedema, of a newborn child’s scalp that shows up as a lump on their head soon after delivery of the child.

This condition is innocuous and is because of weight put on the baby’s head during delivery.

It doesn’t demonstrate harm to the mind or the bones of the skull.

Caput Succedaneum can lead to various other issues in the body, for example, jaundice.

Cephalohematoma and Caput succedaneum is mistakenly considered to be the same as the same factors or variables that cause them.

But Cephalohematoma alludes to bleeding under the scalp, and Caput Succedaneum refers to swelling, or Oedema, of an infant’s scalp.

It is the most commonly developed pressure from the uterus or vaginal wall during a head-first (vertex) delivery.

Caput succedaneum is a condition that will heal on its own easily and quickly but can also lead to various other issues in the body like jaundice. In that case, it is preferable to consult your doctor to prevent this swelling cause any other disease in the body.

Now born babies have an extremely weak immune system, and therefore, people have to be extra cautious in their case. Even a small swelling shouldn’t be ignored, and there should be no delay in consulting your doctor about the same.


What is Cephalohematoma?

When Blood collects between the scalp and the skull of a newborn baby, then that is called Cephalohematoma (CH).

Blood vessels are sometimes damaged during delivery or Labor pains in a pregnant woman due to which Blood collects on the surface of the scalp.

The Reason behind Blood vessel getting damaged is Labor pains, or sometimes delivery of the baby can also result in blood vessels getting disrupted or damaged.

Cephalohematoma (CH) is not a rare condition. Studies indicate towards every 1 in 7 babies will have Blood collected between the scalp and skull.

This condition is not at all harmful as the Blood is collected on the skull, not under the skull, and this condition is nowhere harmful to the brain.

You can notice a soft lump on the baby’s scalp. Cut and bruises are not present; it is just the lump which is formed due to the collection of Blood on the scalp.

Caput Succedaneum and Cephalohematoma (CH) are two different conditions that are mistaken to be considered the same due to the same vital factors or identical conditions.


What are the symptoms of Caput Succedaneum?

The primary side effect of caput succedaneum is puffiness under the skin of the scalp.

Usually, the skin is swollen and delicate.

Rubbing or scratching the skin, might bring about a dimple in the tissue.

Expanding might be on one side or may reach out over the midline of the scalp.

Impacts of Caput Succedaneum are visible on the scalp concerning the skull that was the first to descend the birth canal.

There might be some staining or wounding, yet this isn’t as broad as in cephalohematoma.

When the growing goes down, you may see that your infant’s head is marginally pointed because of the weight on the bones of the head. This is called shaping.

Shaping ought to disappear after some time. The bones of your child’s head aren’t combined and can move significantly without harm.

One should be aware of the symptoms of Caput Succedaneum so that you can easily differentiate Caput Succedaneum with other severe health conditions that have the same physical symptoms.

For a more precise approach, you should visit your doctor and seek their guidance on what should be done to prevent any further illness in the body.


What are the causes of Caput Succedaneum?

Immense pressure from the enlarged cervix or vaginal walls on the infant’s head causes growing, puffiness, and wounding.

These are trademark side effects of caput succedaneum.

Long, troublesome Labor with a great deal of pushing can cause this condition. 

Utilization of vacuum attractions or forceps additionally can expand the danger of this sort of growing.

Scalp growing might be almost certain if the amniotic sac membranes break from in an early stage during Labor.

Now and again, if the layers burst early or if there’s excessively minimal liquid in the amniotic sac, the mother’s pelvic bones will squeeze the baby’s head.

Accordingly, this sort of scalp growing may happen before Labor and can be visible in utero on ultrasound.

In short, the more there’s a liquid pad around the baby, the lower the odds of scalp growing.

A standard Vaginal Delivery, the baby, is simply pushed through the birth canal headfirst.

When a child is born through head first delivery, then the head is made the focal point, and immense pressure is poured on it as the fetus needs pressure to pave its way through the narrow birth canal.

Swelling or Caput Succedaneum is the result of a fetus paving its way with immense pressure through the Birth canal.


Treatment of Caput Succedaneum

The condition quite often settles itself within a couple of days. No treatment is generally essential. Let the skin heal on its own is usually considered the best way to deal with Caput Succedaneum.

Truth is the more you scratch or rub the area infected by swelling; scalp territory may prompt infections that will intensify the condition. Bruising or scratching the area affected by Caput Succedaneum may separate into the bilirubin; there is an uplifted danger of the child creating jaundice.

If you reach your doctor on time and get proper treatment for jaundice, then there will be no severe complications in the body. However, whenever left undiscovered and untreated, it may prompt critical clinical issues, incorporating mind harm, and in extreme cases, it can cause the death of the child. 

Newborn babies have a very weak immune system, and hence they need to be taken special care of.  If your child is infected with Caput Succedaneum, make sure that they do not scratch or rub the infected area much if they could not resist due to the irritation, visit your doctor and ask them for suitable ointment for the same.


Complications of Caput Succedaneum

Most often, caput succedaneum resolves on its own without complication. At times, however, complications can occur, such as:

Alopecia: Due to the weight put on the scalp, a portion of the encompassing tissues may die, and as a result, hair loss can take place. Much of the time, the hair regrows regularly; however, at times, this hair loss can be lasting and temporary.

Jaundice: Bruising might be available sometimes. This can prompt the development of bilirubin in the Blood from the breakdown of red blood cells. This makes newborn children have a yellow appearance in their skin and the whites of their eyes. Avoid scratching and rubbing as much as possible otherwise, and it can have a severe complication of your newborn like jaundice.


Complications of untreated Jaundice are

  1. Damage of Brain
  2. Problem in hearing
  3. Permeant upward eye gaze
  4. Death
  5. Anemia


Usually, it is believed that Caput Succedaneum is treated on its own. As such, no treatment is required to heal the swelling. But in case your newborn babies cannot resist itching, then visiting your doctor is very important to prevent infections lie jaundice.


Diagnosis of Caput Succedaneum

When you visit your doctor to get your swelling or Caput Succedaneum tested, doctors only suggest one physical test. In most of the cases, additional testing is not required. But in rare situations when doctors feel that Caput Succedaneum can result in a severe complication, they suggest some other tests to prevent any further complications.

In some cases, Caput Succedaneum can lead to a skull fracture. Hence your doctor can suggest x-ray. This can be used to monitor the condition of the bones to continue with the necessary treatment or medications, whatever is best suitable in that scenario.


How long can Caput succedaneum last?

Caput Succedaneum or swelling on an infant’s head can be observed after the delivery due to immense pressure during delivery or labor pain. It isn’t rare; almost all the newborn babies have it. It can be rare if it leads to severe complications like jaundice. Caput succedaneum should usually last for 2-6 weeks after the delivery. If it remains for a more extended period, one should visit their doctor and consult them for required medications or treatment whatever is best suitable.



Caput succedaneum” alludes to swelling or edema, of a newborn child’s scalp that shows up as a lump on their head soon after delivery of the child.

Caput succedaneum is a result of immense pressure on the head of the newborn baby during delivery or labor pains.


What is Cephalohematoma (CH)

When Blood collects between the scalp and the skull of a newborn baby, then that is called Cephalohematoma (CH).


Symptoms of Caput Succedaneum

  1. Swelling on the head
  2. The infected area can become red
  3. Due to rubbing or scratching a dimple can arise in the tissue


Treatment of Caput succedaneum

Usually, there is no treatment required as such for Caput Succedaneum. It disappears a few days afterward. Remember, avoid scratching and rubbing the infected area; otherwise, it can lead to severe complications like jaundice. In case your baby cannot stop scratching, visit your doctor and consult them for some kind of ointment.









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