Many different injuries can impact newborns. Pregnancy alone is fraught with potential ailments, and the birthing process can be traumatic for both mother and baby. 

One of the birth injuries you should be aware of as an expecting parent or new mother or father is caput succedaneum. This relatively harmless and common condition is caused by the intense pressure on a baby’s head as they make their way through the birth canal.

It is most often recognized by swelling in the scalp. This swelling, however, can take several different forms, including bumps, discoloration, or a pointed look to your baby’s head. It can also affect only one side of the head or both.

The good news about caput succedaneum is that it usually clears up on its own within several days. If it does persist, you may want to reach out to your doctor to see what treatment, if any, is necessary.

Other Causes of Caput Succedaneum

While caput succedaneum is common and often a natural consequence of natural birth, there are certain situations where the attending doctor or medical staff could cause or exacerbate the situation

These include:

  • If the doctor is too slow to perform a cesarean section when he or she should
  • If forceps or vacuums are improperly used while trying to extract the baby from the birth canal
  • If there is otherwise excessive pulling on the baby’s head by the doctor

Any of these instances could increase the likelihood that your baby is born with caput succedaneum. If that is the case, you should note what happened and be prepared to discuss it with your doctor.

What Complications Can Arise From Caput Succedaneum?

While caput succedaneum might not be harmful to your child, it can lead to more serious conditions. The most common of these is jaundice (the yellowing of the skin). If your doctor seems to shrug off your child’s case of caput succedaneum and you later find jaundice or infection, you may need to seek additional medical attention for your baby.

Though both of these other conditions are very treatable, you need to take them seriously to maintain your baby’s health.

What To Do If Your Child Has Caput Succedaneum

The first step is not to panic. Caput succedaneum is very common, and the vast majority of cases resolve themselves within a few days. With that being said, if your child’s case persists and leads to further complications, you may need to consider what your doctor could have done differently to prevent this unfortunate situation.

If it appears your doctor was negligent, you may need to consider taking legal action. The best way to pursue a medical malpractice case is to take plenty of notes about what happened and then contact a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. 

Medical malpractice cases are notoriously challenging and require skill to challenge a doctor’s actions successfully. While most physicians do their best, they are also human and make mistakes. If one of those mistakes caused harm to you or your child, they should be held accountable.

No matter what type of medical condition you or your child are dealing with, a good lawyer will be able to assess your situation and determine whether or not legal action is appropriate. If your lawyer does think you have a case, he or she will do everything in their power to get you the compensation you deserve.