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Anyone tell me about Cephalhematoma?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Baby was born sat am at 4:30. 10 hours after birth I noticed a swollen spot on the back of his head. We called our mw, drs, everyone said to go to the ER (the swelling was right below the rear fontanel). By the time we get to the ER the swelling has about doubled in size. The drs dxed as a Cephalhematoma. They said to follow up with our family dr today (dr won't see us, full up and they said there was nothing to do for him anyway : ). The hematoma has gotten really big. We have been measuring it. It was 2x4 cm when we left the hospital. At its biggest it was 7 x7 cm. You can imagine on a 13 in head thats huge. Thing is when I hold him up the swelling goes down some. When he lies down it swells back up. Is this normal? Its also crossing suture lines but not over the fontanel and the forward fontanel is not bulging. He is eating fine about once an hour (milk already in), alert and responds to voices, wetting and pooping ok. What should we do? We have the option of the ER again or an apt with the ped at the hospital we took him to but for tomorrow am. I understand he could have fractured his skull and or there could be pressure on his brain but really with the way hes acting does that even sound like a possibility? I also know with that amount of blood it has to go somewhere adn Jaundice is a very real possibility. Like I said I am nursing alot but he is a little yellow already. Any advice? TIA!
post #2 of 12
cephalahematomas, while they seem really scary, are pretty benign. Jaundice is also ok, and nearly always benign.

Most cephalahematomas start to go down around 2 weeks, some last as long as 6-8 weeks after birth. Some women report success with the swelling by putting topical arnica cream/oil on it.

I don't refer any clients to the hospital for cephalahematomas. Hope this helps.
post #3 of 12
You could sun the baby by a window to help with the jaundice. Just strip him down to a dipe in a warm room and let him lay for 15 min. a couple of times a day.
Congratulations on your new little guy!
post #4 of 12
it is a bruise on the head--- a caput is under the skin and usually is fluid not blood--- a cephalhematoma - is a layer lower between the skull and the periosteum- ruptured blood vessels-- it stays within the boundaries of the bones -- so you don't see it crossing suture lines---- this would be a reason to use vitamin K- as the baby is using it's vitamin K in forming and maintaining a healthy clot--- they can resolve and dissolve or they can become firm lumps- every baby I have ever seen who has had a cephalhematoma had jaundice not pathologic but it was prolonged because the baby is dealing with more than usual broken red blood cells and the repair. all the babies were fine as well-- the things to watch for is non-nursing,the swelling crossing suture lines...
I think that a break is more common with instrumental deliveries and would be a very unusual finding in a normal birth..

take care
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
The swelling def crossed the suture lines. It went up the side of his head last night. Its worse laying down and the swelling goes down when upright. The labor was 4 hours, pushing about 3 min. typical fetal ejection reflex, No conscious pushing by me, he just flew out. But my pubic bone for whatever reason, this has never happened to me before, was tilted inward. So ds smacked his head on the way out. I am just concerned with a break. Which would I know without imaging? Is there a way to tell, if so that would be the best. The swelling has not crossed over the fontenal no matter how big it gets so thats good. He was out in the sun today and nursing alot but still jaundiced. I would have taken him somewhere today but I couldn't get in anywhere. No wonder everyone goes to the ER and Urgent Care. And we did do the vit k around 12 hours old and the swelling still continued afterward.
post #6 of 12
Jaundice is not a big deal unless your baby is acting sick: lethargic and not nursing. It's natural.
post #7 of 12
you know i would use arnica homeopathic and do the post partum herb baths with the baby-- just like it helps to resolve mom's swelling and brusing it will help baby's head---
post #8 of 12
Crossing sutures = not a cephalohematoma. Sounds like a helluva caput.

I'd be much less worried about caput (even bruised, and taking awhile to resolve) than a cephalohematoma.
post #9 of 12
My dd had a really bad cephalohematoma after she was born. The worst point for us was when she was about 1-2 weeks old and then it sort of stabilized. I did topical and homeopathic arnica along with some craniosacral treatments that really seemed to help. She is almost 5 months old now and you can still feel it but it is much smaller. We were told that they can take up to a year to resolve and that she may have a lump there forever.
post #10 of 12
My Ds had a cephalohematoma after a HB with 4 hours of pushing but he was not in the best position. It sounds like you're doing all the right things...vit K shot, nursing on demand etc. Sometime processing all the "extra" blood from the hematoma can cause the jaundice. Again, nursing is best for that. We even fed ds with pumped milk from a curved sypinge for supplemental feeding b/c he kept falling asleep at the breast. You could try that if he gets too sleepy to nurse productively. The cephalohematoma was almost gone after two weeks although our ped said it could take up to eight weeks. I can still palpate the slightest bump where it used to be (but I'm a chiropractor and palpation is my business!) Nobody else could feel it and you can't see it now that ds has hair.
ETA: Sorry, just read more thoroughly and it sounds like caput (which can cross suture lines). Not sure if the above info I shared is still pertinent to your situation.
post #11 of 12
The only cephlohematoma that I ever encountered was a 10 1/2 # boy delived via forceps (ugh) this thing was quite large, on one side of his head, and didn't resolve until he was about a year old. It never affected him in any way. I think you really have done all the "right" things, although I too would recommend using arnica both by mouth and topically, and sunbathing him as much as possible. I once saw a baby with a depressed skull fracture (difficult breech birth with a Dr. in a hurry) and they just watched it and were really careful with her head..all fine. Skull fracture is EXTREAMLY rare, even with a fast arrival..Hope all goes well!!
post #12 of 12
My boy does have a cephalhematoma and a neurosurgeon recommended surgery at 3 months old. I am very scared about the procedure and don't know what to do. There is no information on the internet and I don't want to rely on just his words.

I am going for a second opinion this Friday and hope for the best. Did your baby's got resolved?
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