caput succedaneum vs cephalohematoma treatment,cause, symptoms, complications

Caput succedaneum is swelling of the scalp in a newborn.

It is most often caused due to pressure from the uterus or vaginal wall during a (Babie’s) head-first (vertex) delivery.

Now you might ask,

what’s the cause of caput?

  • A caput succedaneum chances are high during long or hard delivery in prolonged labour especially.
  • It is more common after the membranes have broken. This is because the fluid in the amniotic sac which is providing a cushion for the baby’s head is now not available.
  • Vacuum extraction done during a difficult birth can also increase the chances of a caput succedaneum due to vaccume pressure on the scalp.
  • A caput succedaneum may be detected by prenatal ultrasound, even before labor or delivery begins. It has been found as early as 31 weeks of pregnancy. Very often, this is due to an early rupture of the membranes or too little amniotic fluid. It is less likely that a caput will form if the membranes stay intact because if membrane is intact amniotic fluid is there which will protect babies scalp from pressure during delivery.
  • Also, Larger baby head or smaller pelvis can produce longer labours and caput succedaneum chances will be high. Free fire redeem code Today


caput succedaneum

Caput succedaneum Symptoms may include:

  • Main symptom is swelling of the scalp of new born.
  • Soft, puffy swelling on the scalp of a newborn infant.
  • Possible bruising or color change on the scalp swelling area.
  • Swelling that may extend to both sides of the scalp.
  • Swelling that is most often seen on the portion of the head which presented first.

Exams and Tests

The health care provider will look at the swelling to confirm that it is a caput succedaneum. No other testing is needed.


No treatment is needed. The problem most often goes away on its own within a few days.


Complete recovery can be expected in most cases. The scalp will go back to a normal shape after few days itself.


Complications may include a yellow colour to the skin (jaundice) if bruising is involved.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Most of the time, the problem is noticed right after birth. You do not need to call your provider unless you notice any other complaint or complications.

Alternative Names


caput succedaneum vs cephalohematoma

Caput succedaneum is similar to cephalohematoma as both involve unusual swelling on the newborn’s scalp.

However, the main difference between this two is lumps caused by bleeding under the scalp is cephalohematoma, whereas lumps caused by scalp swelling due to pressure is caput succedaneum.

caput succedaneum vs cephalohematoma

Important: cephalohematoma or caput succedaneum is not serious in a vast majority of cases, they can lead to other complications such as jaundice and infections if not properly handled. In cases of brain injury, Brain injury attorney might help.

For instance, attempting to drain excess fluid from a baby’s scalp can lead to infection, which is why the general recommendation is to allow the condition to clear up on its own.

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