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anyone had any experiance of a cephalo hematoma- lump on baby's head after birth

(7 Posts)
TotallyKerplunked Tue 11-Dec-12 11:00:39

People dont notice DS head is different unless they look hard and then they only notice an asymmetry to his skull rather than a lump, we see it more purely because we know its there. Even though the lump still feels large to me with his head getting bigger it had less of a visual impact (with the recent addition of hair it looks even better). I think its unlikely to lead to bullying as its not as obvious as other things (poor DS has my stupid ears!).

mayhew Tue 11-Dec-12 10:02:04

These are common, They occur over the parietal bone on the left or right side of the head. I have seen them in fast births and slow and gentle ones.

This is how i explain it. The scalp is mobile over the bone (as is yours, you can move it with your hand with no discomfort), it also has a very rich blood supply. During birth, a prolonged tug on the scalp as the head is moving against the pelvis causes one of the little blood vessels to break. There is some bleeding between the scalp and the skull. It is too small to be dangerous and is not painful.

At birth, there is nothing to see. Under the scalp is a clot of blood because the bleeding has stopped itself (another reason to have vitamin k). The way the scalp is attached to the bone creates a little pocket in which the clot sits. Now for the GSCE science bit. The clot attracts fluid to itself by osmosis. This causes the pocket to swell as its contents increase. It is still not painful but by 3-4 days of age may be quite prominent. I have seen babies with one on each side giving them a profile like mickey mouse.

Anyway. It requires no treatment and the fluid is gradually reabsorbed over the next 2-3 weeks. The clot can cause some a little thickening over the parietal bone as it disappears. It is rare for this to be noticeable.

mrswee Tue 11-Dec-12 09:50:52

Thanks for your reply. I gave birth very quickly too. I was needing to push not long after I was told I was only 3cm. They didn't try and control it at all as they wanted him out quickly to avoid a EMCS. His heart rate was dropping with every contraction as the cord was wrapped and they just wanted him out.
This hasn't been noted anywhere in his papers so far.
I do hope it goes. I can't stand the thought of him being bullied cause he has a misshapen head. It would probably be easier to disguise with long hair... If he is anything like my DD then he's going to be a wee baldy for at least the next two years! Her hair only really just started growing and she's 3!

TotallyKerplunked Tue 11-Dec-12 00:08:05


I had a thread on exactally the same thing a year ago and got some useful replies (can't link as on phone).

DS had a cephalo haematoma, the likely cause I was given was it happened because he engaged very early and that part of his head was pressed on my pelvis for a long time, (HV said it was my fault for giving birth so quickly which upset me a lot). I was shocked and worried it meant there was something else wrong, I would ask questions about it to any HCPs I came across and most just dismissed my concerns and told me it would go soon, which is why I came on here.

For DS it has never gone, some of the swelling did go down over the first few weeks but he was still left with a large lump on his head which went hard (it calcified), it left his head looking distorted and caused problems once as someone thought I had hurt him.

DS is 16 months now and his head has grown and he now has hair so it is nowhere near as noticeable and he is happy, healthy and thriving and insists on his bump being rubbed to get him to sleep. It has had no lasting problems.

I know this sounds patronising but please don't worry about it, in a few months it will either have gone away or be camouflaged by hair, I would just make sure it is documented in his red book for other HCPs in the future.

mrswee Mon 10-Dec-12 22:06:54

Thanks for your reply, yes it does help to hear all was well.
Once they realised what it was did they do any further checks or give you any new information about it? Also did they tell you how it might have happened?


rubytutu Mon 10-Dec-12 22:02:03

Hi yes my first child had this, like you at first they thought it was the caput thing but by about 5-6 days old and the general head swelling had gone down a bit they said it was a cephal haematoma and they knew that because it was one sided. It took many many months for it to subside, eventually her hair grew and that helped a bit and probably as the head grows it looks less distorted too. I know how upset I was that this had happened but over time I realised it was just one of those things and there was nothing that I could do. I still notice it alot in her baby pics though. she is 8 and fine now. hope this helps you feel less concerned.

mrswee Mon 10-Dec-12 18:50:53

has anyone had any experiance of a cephalo hematoma? we were told the lump on our baby's head was a 'Caput Succedaneum' when he was born, due to pressure while being born. told it would be between daus and 2 weeks to go away an nothing to worry about.
however today he had his day 5 check and the midwife who came the house said it was a cephalo hematoma not a Caput Succedaneum. :That it will take months to go away and this is a different thing and seems potentially a slightly more serious birth injury with more risk of complication or so google says. I'm now pretty upset and freaked out as this isdifferent from what we were told in the hospital.
anyone else had this and was it ok? Do I need to contact the hospital to get them to confirm which it is as they are two different injuries, thanks

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