Puffy Head: Caput succedaneum and cephalohematoma

 puffy head in newborn

Your new-born baby may not look as cute as what you have expected, especially his or her head. Babies that are delivered through vagina will have puffy area or soft spot on the head. This is called caput succedaneum literally or it is sometimes refer to as a secondary head or bump. Some babies may even experience cephalohematom which refers to collection of blood in the area of the head under a structure called the periosteum and it is often referred to as a bulge in the scalp. These conditions usually are normal conditions that usually associate with vaginal delivery process and do not require special treatment. Caput succedaneum will disappear within one week after birth and cephalohematom will require a longer period of recovery of 3 to 4 months.

When a baby is being born during a vaginal delivery process, pressure will be exerted on the baby's head by the muscular contraction of the cervix and the vaginal canal. The primary symptom of this is the puffy area or soft spot on the head. Usually, this symptom will disappear naturally within 1 week after birth.

Cephalohematoma occurs during delivery process. When the baby's head passes through the pelvic bones of the mother, pressure exerts on the baby's head may cause the tearing of the periosteum. The tearing of the tiny blood vessels in this membrane results in bleeding which causes blood to be collected under the structure. Cephalohematom will heal without medical intervention. But before it is fully recover, parent should exercise precaution when washing baby's head and do not rub the affected area. If further expansion is seen, parent should send the baby to doctor for treatment.

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