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Cephalohematoma

Last post 09-01-2013 5:27 PM by tranquil_life. 3 replies.
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  • 10-07-2009 12:56 PM

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Cephalohematoma

    Question for you all.  I've heard that cephalohematomas are not that common.  However, two of my 3 babies have had them.  Each took a month to resolve, and my firstborn (who is 8) still has a bony bump on his head where the soft bruisy bump was after his birth. My third baby's (born at home...pushed him out on hands and knees) bump resolved within a month, but I used arnica to help it along and he has little to no remaining bump almost 2 years later.

    Does anyone know if there are particular factors that contribute to this happening?  Is there something I could do preventatively in my next birth?  Interestingly, with my second (the one inbetween the boys with the bumps), he broke his collarbone on the way out (he was big and I was pushing on my back in the hospital...go figure).  I don't know whether the OB contributed to this, or if I just pushed so hard that it broke...I suppose I will never know.

    Every one of them is fine now, but as I anticipate my next birth, I do wonder why ALL of my children had birth related injuries like this.  Could someone explain to me what processes contribute to the cephalohematomas and if there is anything I should consider to prepare so I could possibly prevent this from happening again (if that is even possible).  For example, does it happen during pushing or is it something related to pressure in the womb the days and weeks BEFORE baby is born.  Could it be a positioning problem?  I'm a bit confused.  I've asked, but still don't understand what happens to cause this???  Thanks in advance.

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


  • 10-07-2009 2:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Cephalohematoma

    I don't have answers to all your questions but your post reminds me of a birth about 3 yrs ago.  Baby #4 was born with a double cephalohematoma and I very gently explained to the parents what it was and that though their beloved baby looked like an alien, he would be just fine eventually.  They confidently waved me off, mentioning that one of their other babies also had a double cephalohematoma and the other 2 had single ones!  This woman had very straightforward labours and births and there is nothing obvious to explain how or what happens to cause this.  They don't just 'happen' though, as you know I am sure.  There must be some sort of friction to cause bleeding under the periosteum (though the woman I mentioned above and all the others I have seen have had a short and gentle 2nd stage).  

    My sense is that there is probably not much you can do to prevent this but it could not hurt to encourage great position of your next baby and some chiro / osteo / massage / yoga etc while pregnant to keep everything in your bony pelvis and pelvic floor as aligned and loose as possible.  My understanding is that is it most likely caused by bone on bone friction rather than cervix or lower uterus pressure, but I may be wrong here.  Clearly your pelvis is most capable of babies fitting through it, but I would be very interested in the space of the midpelvis which seems the most likely place for the cause of the friction?  Does that make sense?  (Not to insinuate that there is anything wrong, just being a curious geek here;) )

  • 10-08-2009 10:48 AM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: Cephalohematoma

    Hi rojaza,

    Thanks for the thoughts on this.  Yeah, my labors have been very straightforward as well.  With my first, I was seeing an OB, and I was dilating steadily over the last month.  When I was 40 weeks I was 5 cm.  Nothing unsual with pushing except that he had the cord around his neck once.  I did notice that in the first months, we had to kind of prop his head with blankets because he always wanted to tip it to one side, so I wonder if maybe his head was a little cockeyed in those last weeks and while he was being born.

    With my third, he came out with a hand next to his litte face/head, so I suppose his head could have been at an odd angle while he was descending.  I have to tell you, I've never had so much pain with pushing.  I was having searing pubic bone pain as I pushed him out.  So I wonder if he did scrape my bones.  That would kind of explain his bump. 

    In general, my uterus is pretty strong.  I get loads of BH throughout pregnancy, so by the time I'm near term, they're really strong, and quite frequent, and I wonder what kind of pressure that exerts on my babies.

    Oh, don't worry, I didn't think you're insinuating anything is wrong.  And I don't believe anything is wrong at all either.  I think my body does what it needs to do and I don't need to tinker.

    I think I'm going to seek out some chiropractic care, and in the last weeks focus on the optimal fetal positioning principles.  I need some TLC right now anyway.  I'm starting to get hip pains at night which are waking me up.  Good old relaxin is going to work already.  :-)

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


  • 09-01-2013 5:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Cephalohematoma

    My last three babies have had cephalos. They came quickly, whereas my other babies came slowly with longer labors and niether of them had cephalos. I think there is something to that one for me, at least. They were all rop before birth, in labor turned quickly(within a couple minutes) and were born in 1 or 2 pushes. All three developed with 24 hours after birth and continued to grow for 4-5 days. Two of them did have purplish discoloration after about a week and they grew quite large. We did a lot of explaining to people those next few weeks! Hats didn’t fit, so we learned to *embrace the bump*. My son's lasted 4.5months, dissapeared overnight and had quite a calcification for months afterwards. My daughter's left overnight, as well, at about 1 month of age. Now, I have a two week old daughter who developed one, too! We watch that it does not cross suture lines and we watch for jaundice. Nursing is made difficult as the baby will not lay on the bump side of the head and so I need to use the football hold on one side, cradle on the other. It must be a positioning problem. I birthed these last three on my hands and knees, too, which was different from my other births. ~ Jenn

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