Molding, Caput Succedaneum and Cephalhematoma

Molding

Is the change in the shape of the head, which is adapting itself with its soft skull bones, which can compress in one direction and expand in the other direction, due to the pressure exerted on the fetal head as it moves through the birth canal.

Significant characteristics

  • No damage is done to the brain.
  • Disappears shortly after birth, but usually last up to 7 days.
  • Generally occurs in persistent occipito-posterior (OP) positions.

Caput Succedaneum

Is the formation of a generalized edematous swelling, due to pressure exerted on the fetal head.

Significant characteristics

  • Cross suture lines & fontanelles.
  • Disappears shortly after birth.

Cephalhematoma

Is bleeding beneath or under the periosteum, due to pressure exerted on the fetal head when delivery is prolonged, rapid compression/decompression or manual/instrumental rotation or forceps.

Significant characteristics

  • Cross suture lines & fontanelles
  • Can increase jaundice & irritability from head pain.
  • May not be visible until a day or two after birth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *