Caput succedaneum is sometimes referred to as edema. It is a condition where the scalp of a newborn swells. It is usually caused by pressure on the baby’s head as he or she passes through the birth canal during a difficult vaginal delivery.
The fluid accumulates behind the skull in the caput succedaneum, thus resulting in edema. The baby’s head may seem cone-shaped or neonatal conehead. It is commonly referred to as caput by healthcare practitioners.
What Is Caput Succedaneum?
According to Wikipedia, Caput succedaneum, often known as “newborn conehead,” is a common ailment that causes temporary enlargement of a newborn’s head. This condition usually disappears between a few days and weeks of birth.
If the swelling does not appear to be subsiding or if new symptoms emerge, such as jaundice, contact your doctor immediately. Some newborns might experience hair loss occurring at the location of swelling, but the hair usually grows back after some time.
What Are the Causes of Caput Succedaneum?
Caput succedaneum is caused by a buildup of bodily fluid between the baby’s scalp and the protective membrane that surrounds their skull bones.
Here are 3 major causes of caput succedaneum:
1. Difficult labor.
Newborns are vulnerable. Thus, it doesn’t take much for them to bruise. Caput succedaneum happens when the head of your newborn is crushed or pulled.
Infants are under a lot of stress during the birth process. The cervix and vaginal canal can crush newborns even when dilated for birth. This might result in swelling once they are born. Prolonged labor and delivery or the use of forceps or a vacuum suction instrument might raise the risk of edema.
3. Insufficient amniotic fluid
If the amniotic sac ruptures early in the birth, the newborn’s scalp may enlarge more. Similarly, if the kid is in an amniotic sac with insufficient fluid, their mother’s pelvic bones might injure them while still in the womb. This can result in caput succedaneum before the birth of the child.
What are the Signs and Symptoms Of Caput Succedaneum?
Caput succedaneum is easily identifiable in newborns. However, new mothers might have difficulties identifying these symptoms easily.
4 major symptoms of caput succedaneum include:
- Puffiness under the baby’s scalp, with the majority of the puffiness on the side of their head that emerged first from the birth canal or confined to one side
- Their skull is so delicate to the touch that you could leave a slight dent.
- Mild bruising around the swollen region but mainly normal skin
- The baby’s head has a little pointed form
It is worth noting that these symptoms are transient and should be gone in a week. While the baby’s skull is fragile, it is also strong. The bones are only now beginning to unite. This is why, in most cases, their skull will naturally return to a rounded form without any negative repercussions.
What is the Risk Factor of Caput Succedaneum
Jaundice is the major risk factor associated with caput succedaneum. Infant jaundice may be more common in neonates with caput succedaneum. This is a disorder in which your baby’s skin turns yellow. It is caused by an excess of the orange-yellow pigment bilirubin in their blood.
In most situations, this ailment will resolve itself without further therapy in 2 to 3 weeks. If you have any concerns, always consult with the baby’s doctor. Some episodes of newborn jaundice necessitate therapy to avoid complications.
How Is Caput Succedaneum Diagonised?
Caput succedaneum is frequently detected on physical examination without the need for further testing. If there is a more significant condition, doctors may request more testing to rule it out.
A skull fracture may be observed in some instances of cephalohematoma. As a result, an X-ray may be taken to assess the skull bones.
The prognosis for caput succedaneum outlines the expected result according to physicians. In most cases of caput succedaneum, the infant will recover completely even without therapy.
However, as previously stated, caput succedaneum has certain risk factors, such as jaundice, scarring, hair loss, and alopecia. Some of these health conditions resolve on their own. However, if you are concerned about your child’s health, it is recommended to seek medical assistance.
For instance, severe cases of untreated jaundice can result in kernicterus and brain damage. Kernicterus occurs when bilirubin accumulates in the brain, resulting in deafness, cerebral palsy, and/or other long-term problems.
How Is Caput Succedaneum Treated And Managed?
In the great majority of instances, caput succedaneum resolves on its own without any difficulties or long-term consequences. However, in some rare circumstances, some complications can be threatening. This is why you should keep a watch on it. These complications include skin bruising over the enlarged region as well as necrosis.
As stated above, jaundice is one of the risk factors associated with caput succedaneum. However, infant jaundice is not a dangerous ailment when appropriately controlled and cured (typically with sunshine exposure).
However, if not monitored and treated, certain instances can deteriorate and eventually progress to kernicterus. This is an extremely dangerous and sometimes life-threatening illness. Kernicterus occurs when excess bilirubin in the blood invades and damages the brain, causing severe and irreversible brain damage.
Practical Tips and How To Prevent Caput Succedaneum
Here are some helpful hints and preventive steps to help reduce the incidence of caput succedaneum:
1. Effective labor management:
It is critical to provide good labor and delivery management. Seek prenatal care as early as possible in your pregnancy and follow doctor recommendations for prenatal appointments and monitoring.
2. Gentle delivery techniques:
Enroll in childbirth education programs to learn about the labor process and ways to help with a smooth delivery. Also, encourage healthcare personnel to adopt gentle delivery techniques, which minimize undue pressure on the baby’s head. Lastly, unless medically needed, avoid using superfluous instruments such as forceps or vacuum extraction.
3. Frequent position changes during labor:
Changing postures relieves pressure on certain parts of the baby’s head. Thus, pregnant women are advised to try out different postures when sleeping.
4. Adequate prenatal nutrition
Eat a well-balanced and healthy diet while pregnant. A proper diet encourages good fetal growth and can help the baby’s scalp and tissues grow stronger.
5. Adequate prenatal hydration
Stay hydrated throughout pregnancy, as sufficient hydration will help the baby’s scalp’s suppleness and health.
6. Avoiding protracted labor
Seek medical assistance immediately if labor appears to be protracted or halted. Prolonged labor raises the risk of caput succedaneum.
While these methods may help lower the chance of caput succedaneum, the disease cannot be totally avoided due to its relationship with the birthing process. Caput succedaneum is a self-limiting ailment that usually cures on its own with time and good treatment.
Conclusion: Caput Succedaneum: What Are Its Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment?
As you now know, caput succedaneum is a common ailment that causes temporary enlargement of a newborn’s head. However, it usually disappears between a few days to a few weeks of birth.
If the swelling does not appear to be subsiding or if new symptoms emerge, such as jaundice (changes in the baby’s skin or eye color), contact your doctor immediately.
FAQs: Caput Succedaneum: What Are Its Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment?
What is the difference between caput succedaneum and cephalohematoma?
Caput succedaneum is characterized by swelling (edema) on the top of the scalp, which is frequently visible from birth. In contrast, cephalohematoma is a blood clot (hemorrhage) beneath a newborn’s scalp. It manifests shortly after birth.
Can you detect caput succedaneum early?
Yes, caput succedaneum can be detected early by prenatal ultrasound. This condition can sometimes arise when the baby is still in the womb due to certain pregnancy problems.
Should I be concerned about caput succedaneum?
Don’t be alarmed if your kid is born with caput succedaneum. It’s totally common for a newborn to have a large or differently-shaped head as a result of what happens during the vaginal delivery process. In reality, this is rather frequent for vaginal birth kids.