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Umbilical cord around baby’s neck rarely causes complications

Updated 2/21/10:  Initially, this article was entitled, “Umbilical cord around baby’s neck cannot strangle,” but I recently changed it to “Umbilical cord around baby’s neck rarely causes compilations.”

My intention with this article was to address the visceral and fearful response parents often have when they see a cord wrapped around their baby’s neck which is called a nuchal cord.  I wanted to clarify that babies receive oxygen through the umbilical cord, not through their mouth, so they cannot be “strangled” in the conventional sense of pressure to the throat.

Yet despite my good intentions, it quickly became clear that the title was confusing to not only parents and health professionals, but insulting to those who did lose a baby from cord compression.  As a result, the title was changed to something more accurate.

Even though nuchal cords are common and occur 25% – 35% of the time, rarely a baby’s cord will be wrapped so tightly around their body that the cord is compressed and oxygen delivery to the baby is compromised.  When this occurs, a cesarean is prudent and in its absence, a stillbirth could occur.  Fortunately, stillbirth from cord accidents, which include nuchal cords and nuchal knots, are rare and occur in 1.5 per 1,000 (0.15%) deliveries.  If your baby does have a nuchal cord, the risk of infant death is less than 0.4% – 0.6%. Thus, even though nuchal cords occur in about one third of births, they rarely result in the death of a baby.

However, this is no consolation to those who have experienced the horror of their child’s death because when you are the statistic, it doesn’t matter how rarely something occurs.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

How many times have you heard, “I’m so glad I had a cesarean because the baby’s cord was around his neck 3 times!!”  What people do not understand is about one-third of all babies are born with the umbilical cord around their neck/body and it does not mean the baby is in harms way.

As the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) asserts in their 2009 stillbirth management guidelines:

Because umbilical cord problems and abnormalities occur in nearly one third of all normal live births, the practice bulletin recommends excluding other causes before attributing stillbirth to cord complications. When stillbirth is thought to result from a cord problem, there should be evidence of obstruction or circulatory compromise.

“Parents want answers when they have a stillbirth, so clinicians should not be afraid to request an autopsy,” Dr. Fretts said. “Without a thorough evaluation it will be difficult to counsel women on their risk of having another stillbirth.”

Approximately 8% to 13% of stillborn babies have chromosomal and genetic abnormalities, such as Down’s syndrome, Turner’s syndrome, Edward’s syndrome, and Patau’s syndrome. Yet another cause of stillbirth may be infection with parvovirus, cytomegalovirus, syphilis, or Listeria monocytogenes.

The March of Dimes:

About 25 percent of babies are born with a nuchal cord (the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck) (1). A nuchal cord, also called nuchal loops, rarely causes any problems. Babies with a nuchal cord are generally healthy.

Sometimes fetal monitoring shows heart rate abnormalities during labor and delivery in babies with a nuchal cord. This may reflect pressure on the cord. However, the pressure is rarely serious enough to cause death or any lasting problems, although occasionally a cesarean delivery may be needed.

Suite101: Fetal Umbilical Cord Problems: Potential Causes Umbilical Cord Accidents in Pregnancy:

According to Dr. Jason H. Collins at The Pregnancy Institute, umbilical cord accidents [knots & nuchal cords] leading to stillbirth occur in 1.5 of every 1000 births.

Schäffer L, Burkhardt T, Zimmermann R, Kurmanavicius J. Nuchal cords in term and postterm deliveries—do we need to know? Obstet Gynecol. 2005;106(1):23-8.

Nuchal cords do not influence clinical management at delivery, and neonatal primary adaption is not impaired. Our data show that ultrasonographic nuchal cord assessment is not necessary at the time of admission for delivery.

Mastrobattista JM et al. Effects of nuchal cord on birthweight and immediate neonatal outcomes. Am J Perinatol. 2005;22(2):83-5.

The cesarean delivery rate was significantly different among the three groups [infants with 0, 1, and 2 or more loops of cord encircling the neck] and was the highest among the group of women whose fetus had no nuchal cord (p < 0.01). A nuchal cord at term is not associated with untoward pregnancy outcomes.

Sheiner E, Abramowicz JS, Levy A, Silberstein T, Mazor M, Hershkovitz R. Nuchal cord is not associated with adverse perinatal outcome. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2006 May;274(2):81-3. Epub 2005 Dec 23.

Nuchal cord is not associated with adverse perinatal outcome. Thus, labor induction in such cases is probably unnecessary.

Outcome of infants born with nuchal cords. Journal of Family Practice, April, 1992 by William F. Miser

Several studies in the past have implicated nuchal cords as a cause of fetal death.[1,17-20] Harrar and Buchman[17] reported 14 unanticipated death occurring in the second stage of labor due to nuchal cords. in contrast, several authors agree with the present study that nuchal cords do not increase fetal mortality.[7,10-12] Shui and Eastman[8] found a higher fetal death rate in those deliveries not involving nuchal cords, and concluded that coiling of the umbilical cord around the infant’s neck was a rare cause of perinatal death. Horwitz et al[9] found the neonatal death rate to be 1%, regardless of the presence of nuchal cord.

eMedicine:

The cord may become coiled around various parts of the body of the fetus, usually around the neck. Nuchal cord is caused by movement of the fetus through a loop of cord.

One loop around the neck occurs in approximately 20% of cases,27 and multiple loops occur in up to 5% of pregnancies.28

Nuchal cord has been associated with labor induction and augmentation, prolonged second stage of labor, and fetal heart rate abnormalities. One report has described a decrease in umbilical cord pH at delivery with nuchal cord, but the difference found (7.32 vs 7.30) does not appear to be clinically significant.29

Nuchal cord can be detected using color Doppler ultrasound, with a sensitivity of over 90%.30

Nuchal cords rarely cause fetal demise and are not intrinsic reasons for intervention.28,31 Given the minor decrease in pH, fetal monitoring in labor would appear to be prudent, but no data are available to address this issue.

Note that they discuss pressure on the cord, not on the baby’s neck, because the concern is the cord being compressed to a point that the blood cannot make it to the baby.

K left this comment below:

My first homebirth baby had his cord wrapped around his chest and arm, then twice around his neck. While we had to untangle him, he was fine.

It is so tragic when a baby is lost, and I think that it is easy to point to something like a wrapped cord as a probable cause. Largely, though, they really don’t know. They may know that there were decelerations in heart rate. Without a crystal ball, though, they really can’t know why they happen. It can be sensitivity to the epidural medication (it does get to the baby), it can be tetanic contractions caused by induction agents, it can be cord compression, or it could be about 100 other things.

Wrapped cords are amazingly common. So common that cords come covered with a kind of lubricating jelly so that they don’t “catch” on themselves and get compressed. There are some very cool photos of cords that were knotted at birth (babies were fine in the photos that I’ve seen).

Tragic things sometimes happen, we really can’t always identify why.

Updated January 16, 2012

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174 comments to Umbilical cord around baby’s neck rarely causes complications

  • Joanie

    I lost my daughter August 2011 to what they believe was a cord accident. I felt less movement but still some movement. The confusing part to me is that some people say you will naturally feel less movement in the final weeks, as the baby becomes engaged. But then others say you will still feel the same amount of movement. And yet even others say that if you feel erratic, more constant movements then you should be concerned. There is so much conflicting information! My husband and I went to my weekly appointment at 38 weeks, there was no heartbeat. They said there was nothing they could have done about it, even if I had been in labor at the hospital. If they had saved her by emergency c section, she most likely would have been born with severe brain damage, as too much time would have passed with not enough oxygen/blood flow.
    They induced my labor, she came out 24 hours later. Perfectly healthy, gorgeous baby. Cord around her neck several times…nothing else wrong. They believe that had to be it, there was just nothing else wrong. I had a perfectly blissful, uneventful pregnancy. (morning sickness excluded :)
    It is frustrating that those of us in this minority are swept under the rug so that other expectant mothers don’t have to worry that they will be one of us. I bet none of us thought it would happen to us…but guess what? It did. However, has anyone else considered that God chooses these babies? People claim to be religious, yet when something extraordinary happens many chalk it up to bad luck. Each soul has to enter this earth for a certain amount of time, some very brief some very long. Has anyone considered that the reason this is a rare occurrence may be because these babies are needed for something, or perhaps too pure for this earth? They fulfilled their mission on this earth that God had intended for them, and now they are back in the arms of God where we should all be so lucky to be one day. (and not all of us will get there). Let’s not put all our faith in doctors and science. Doctors are not God and cannot control everything.

  • December 31st 2011
    My babies incident happens on two days before delivery date.announced date for delivery was 2nd jan 2012.we used to consult regularly to doctor in ernakulam medical centre hospital in cochin with experienced gynec.from the begining there was no problems for fetus inside till a day before 31st when she take ecg in hospital, everything was normal…when my wife wake up in the morning of 31st when she checked for movements inside it was silent,no moments..once she felt she suddenly move to hospital with her mom and took scan.dr.found there was no cardiac activity inside baby.then she admitted to hospital and dr.gynec has checked she said something goes wrong inside it my be cord has wounded on baby.then they given trip-medicine for normal birth and the nxt day she dlvrd,the baby has dead cause two cords were wounded on babies neck and her fingers were fold on her neck with cords.as per doctors explanation it was normal it may happen it is no ones mistake……..doctor has always said like this there is no problems everything is normal so u have to admit only on 2nd jan,but instantly all this things happened….
    someone can advise whatzzzz really happened????for lose of our baby.
    is it some one mistake or natural phenemenon of a utrus one in hundred/????
    degas antony
    h/of linda
    cochin,india.
    degascochin@gmail.com

    • Jen Kamel

      Hi Degas,

      I am so sorry for your loss. I am not a medical professional but to my knowledge, I’m not aware of any fail proof way to determine in utero that a cord wrapped around a baby will injure that baby. I wish there was.

      Warmly,

      Jen

  • how we can tackle this cord winding incident from baby?????
    is there any solutions in this medical world ??????

  • Mum of 3

    My baby was born on the 2nd January . She had the cord wrapped around her neck 2 times . It was a horrible labour because the baby with every contraction I had her heart rate was dropping dramatically . After a few hours of monitoring her they decided it was best to prepare me for an emergency c-section . Just before transferring me to the operating theatre they checked and I was 10cm so they decided it would be quicker to deliver naturally . My baby was born 4 mins later and didn’t start breathing . They had to resuscitate her and it took 4 mins to get her to take her 1st breath . The silence was the worst time of my life. I didn’t think she would make it. After 8 hours inthe nicu she was with me in my arms for the 1st time ( obviously I didn’t get a cuddle at birth ) I am very lucky to say she is now a healthy 4 week old baby . I still feel traumatised though from what we went through and I wish there was a way we could have known that she was in trouble beforehand. I did however in the last week of my pregnancy feel a dramatic difference in the amount of movement that she was making so I just want to say follow your instinct . If your worried go see your doctor and get them to do a full check because I’m sure if they do a 3d or 4d scan they could have seen the cord there . My prayers are with all of those babies lost .

    • Jen Kamel

      Mum of 3,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I can’t imagine how long that 4 minutes felt. Excruciating probably doesn’t begin to cover it.

      I’m glad she’s doing ok now.

      You might find it help to google “birth trauma resources” as I suspect there must be an on-line or in-person support group for moms who have experienced similarly scary events around the time of birth. I have always found it healing to talk to people who “get it” and maybe you will find the same.

      Thanks again for your comment and take care,

      Warmly,

      Jen

      • Mum of 3

        I Just thought I would come and let everyone know about my babies progress as I posted 4 weeks after she was born. She is now 8.5 months old . She was born with her cord around the neck twice . Needed full resuscitation at birth . Well we have had to see developmental peads , neurologists and everyone inbetween because my baby has developmental delays . I still question whether her birth has had anything to do with this . The drs can’t give me an answer but its a question I will always wish I knew the answer too . this labour was different to my first 2 and I wished I had insisted on help sooner as I felt something was not right . Follow that instinct people … And if you feel you want a 2nd opinion then go get it … :-(

        • Jen Kamel

          Mum of 3,

          Thank you so much for the update. I am so sorry to hear of your baby’s developmental delays. Please keep us posted!!

          Thinking of you,

          Warmly,

          Jen

  • Mum of 3

    My Babys apgar at birth was 1then at 5 mins it was 4 then the next was 9 .

  • Alice Arney

    My daughter just give birth to a baby girl three weeks before her due date with the cord around her neck 5 times. Even though she was only 3 weeks early her baby barely weighed 4 pounds. At birth she didn’t breathe on her own for several minutes and spent 5 days in the NICU. This was my daughter’s first pregancy at the age of 37, therefore she was treated as a high-risk pregancy. She spent the last two months of her pregancy on bed rest, because the baby was not passing all of her “baby stress tests”, plus the fact that my daughter wss showing signs of protein in her urine. During her last two months of her pregancy she was seeing her doctors twice a week with ultrasounds once a week and baby stress tests every visit. She was admitted to the hospital 4 times before delivery because the baby could not pass her “stress test”, each time only to the sent home. Ten days before her baby was delivered by an emergency C-Section, I went to one of her many ultrasounds, right away I could see something rapped around her neck. I asked the ultrasound tech if that was the cord around the baby’s neck, and she just “brushed” it off. My God, if I could see the cord around her neck, why couldn’t the tech? In total my daughter must have had 15 ultrasounds including several 3-D ultrsounds. I hate to think what would have happened if the doctors had waited longer to deliver her. On the day of delivery, my daughter was admitted for induction and a planned vaginal delivery. As soon as she arrived at the hospital the doctors knew the baby was not doing well, no induction measures were done as my daughter was already having very mild contracts (which she could not feel), however the baby could not tolerate, within 15 minutes she was in surgery and the baby was born within 10 minutes. The doctors told us that the low birth weight was probably due to the cord being rapped around her neck 5 times. Again thank God everything is turning out alright. There is a saying “When babies are born they are in the process of leaving Heaven to parchute to Earth. It is uncomfortable sometimes, but everything happens for a reason”. This little angel was certainly blessed.

  • shiva

    Dear friends,

    My wife is in 38th week of pregancy and yesterday doctors told that there is a cord around the neck of the baby. Dr is leaving the suitation to us. We still have another 20 days as per the EDD. As per dr, if you want, you can opt for Cesarean else wait for another week or so for normal labour. They are not giving us any moral support but they are suggesting that there is risk in waiting for normal labour. My wife doesn’t want to go for cesarean as our 1st baby was born 5 years back in Normal labour.
    After reading the above messages, i am worried. is it safe to wait for normal labour till EDD. Can some dr/expert suggest us on the same. Also what are the symptoms of danger to baby because of card on the neck. is there any chances of card getting released in 38th week? is cesarean manditory for such cases?

    • Jen Kamel

      Shiva,

      I am not a medical professional, so I cannot provide medical advice. That said, no one can predict if your baby will have a cord accident. The chances are very good that s/he won’t, but no one can give you a definitive answer.

      While many deaths are blamed on cord accidents, it’s hard to determine, short of an autopsy, the actual cause of death. Sometimes babies die in utero, for reasons that we don’t understand, but rather than saying that, sometimes doctors/parents blame the cord as a way of giving a “reason.”

      I’ll post your question on my Facebook profile, the http://www.vbacfacts.com FB page and the Midwifery Today FB page. Check out those links to see the responses.

      Warmly,

      Jen

    • Jen Kamel

      Shiva,

      There have been over 20 comments left via the three links I provided above. Hope this helps!

      Warmly,

      Jen

    • jane

      all i can tell you is to make a decision you can live with in the event something happens. have the baby delivered now,i made the same mistake and lost my son at 41 weeks!

  • Katie

    I am a medical professional, and can’t give you medical advice over the Internet, but can tell you what I know about cord accidents. Cord accidents that cause harm to the baby in pregnancy are knots in the cord, or when the umbilical cord prolapses and gets compressed by the baby’s head (neither of which seem to be the case for your baby!). Cord around the neck is VERY common and is NOT life threatening. Approximately 1:3 babies will have a nuchal cord, and the vast majority of those babies are not affected at all by it. A few who have a tight nuchal cord will experience minor stress towards the end of labour but will still come out just fine. A small number will be stressed in earlier labour by their nuchal cord, and will give clear signs through the heart rate that they are stressed, and may be born by caesarean. It is important for you to know that a nuchal cord seen on ultrasound does not always mean that the nuchal cord will still be there at birth. It is certainly not an indication for a caesarean section, and you will not find any evidence or research or obstetric guidelines to suggest that it is. If your obstetrician is suggesting or recommending something that doesn’t seem right to you, ask him or her for the guidelines and research that support that recommendation. If there aren’t any presented to you, consider that it is not a good medical recommendation, and may in fact be one driven by personal opinion or financial reasons, which is never a good reason to submit to major abdominal surgery!

  • Thats right, about 1/3 of normal vaginal births have the cord around the neck. There is no greater risk of cord compression in this mode than any other. Babies are built for labor. If for any reason the cord does get compressed the baby will tell you via it’s heartbeat. Again, babies are built to tolerate transient cord compression. Under no circumstances is a nuchal cord a reason for elective c/section. Finally, babies cannot strangle on a cord. In order to strangle they have to be breathing air through their trachea. Which, of course, they are not! Stories about stillbirths blamed on nuchal cord are just man searching for a reason for a tragedy. This fear mongering boils my blood, too.

  • PB Mico

    i gave birth last june 5 to a healthy baby girl..i was already in the delivery room for all i know i would be giving birth normally..but circumstances happen when u least expect it..i was already 5cm that time.a resident OB was monitoring my baby’s heart beat.when she notices that her heart beat was decelerating,she called up my OB telling the situation.my OB decided at once to have a STAT CS.then things went so fast..i was transferred in OR and the operation begin at once..my OB told me that my baby’s umbilical cord was wrapped in her neck 3x..i was so thankful to all the staff in that hospital for their immediate action and quick thinking..now my baby is 3 weeks old and im enjoying her alot..thank god for the safety of my baby and me.

  • Keri

    It seems every case is different and you can’t really prepare for it until the moment comes. I had a relatively boring labor. It was long and they did break my water and give me piton in order to get things to progress but other than that everything was normal in the LONG 34 hours it took for my daughter to be born. Looking back at it now, the reason it took so long was because of her cord being wrapped around twice. There were never any signs of fetal distress on the monitor. I pushed for two and a half hours and while they said I was an excellent pusher she just didn’t want to come down. The cord was extremely tight on her neck and was cut while her body was still inside. I was instructed that she had to come out as soon as the cord was cut. When she came out she was grey in color and floppy with no signs of life. As soon as they got an oxygen bag on her she began to pink up but it took 13 minutes before she coughed and opened her eyes. I don’t believe I said a word the entire time. They took her to the NICU where she was given pressurized oxygen and was there for around 7 hours before they released her. There were never any indicators that she was in distress or that a c section was necessary. This being my first child I really wanted that moment afterwards where they place your newborn on your chest seconds after they’re born and you get that skin on skin bonding time. I thank my lucky stars that everyone moved as fast as they did to help Addy and I but it still makes me sad to wonder what it would’ve been like if everything went as it seemed it was going to. Scary stuff!

  • megan

    Hello,

    I had 24 hrs long induced labor. I was admitted to the hospital right after I told the doctor that the baby did not move as much as before. The induction started right away, but they waited until 24 hrs later to have C-section. When the baby was out, she has x2 nuchal cord and her cord was thin. She had bruises on her head. I was wonder about the affect of nuchal cord in later development. Shed has speech delay.

  • اناولدت والحمدللة كان الحبل لافف حول رقبة ابني وولدت طبيعي بس بصعوبة جدا بس المشكلة ان لون ابني كان ازرق خالص وبعدها باسبوع اتحول لونة الي اسمر ودخل الحضانة عشا نسبة الصفرا كانت عالية بس مازال لونة اسمر هل لونة دا اثر الحبل حول عنقة ولا ايةمع العلم ان العائلتين لونهم ابيض من الدرجة الاولي وكمان عايزة اعرف حصل نقص اكسجين ولا لا خايفة تحصل مضاعفات علي المخ

  • Angie

    On May 24, 2012, I went in for a regular OB appt. It was determined that there was no heartbeat. I was induced the next day. On May 25, 2012 I gave birth to a stillborn son at 37 weeks+2days. The cord was around him 5 times. 2 times around his neck, once around his shoulder, and around his neck two more times. With all these articles on how rare it is, I never dreamed it would happen to me. Don’t let articles like this give you false assurance that everything will be okay.

    • Jen Kamel

      Angie,

      I am so sorry for your loss! Unfortunately, our risk is never “zero.” Yes, the risk is low, but that is very different that non-existent.

      Warmly,

      Jen

  • KarenM

    I have 3 children. When I went into labour with my last baby I told my husband that the labour felt different. It didn’t feel like it was progressively getting stronger. I laboured at home and he was born at home in the pool with no changes in his heartrate. Once he was born we noticed the cord wrapped round his neck twice. I feel that my ‘odd’ labour did have something to do with it. I think he needed to unravel/work his way down a bit to be able to be born. I am so glad he was born at home, no induction in spite of pressure because he was 12 days overdue. I feel that an induction would have caused a much faster and unnatural labour which would have most likely ended in a crash caesarean as i think this would have Instead I was sitting on my sofa with my bouncing baby boy.

  • Anita

    Hi, I am 29 weeks at the moment.My Ist and 2nd trimesters were uneventful. I had lower abdomen pain and I was admitted in a hospital . The ultrasound showed a loop of umbilical cord around the baby’s neck.All bio chemical tests and the FHR were normal. Will it be a cause of concern? I was given dose of Betamethasone 24 hrs apart and I was discharged after 3 days with no abdomen pain. Are the doctors expecting a pre term delivery as they had given this steroid for rapid development of the baby’s lungs.Can someone me whether there is any advese effct of betamethasone if my baby is born after full term?

  • isaac

    We are expecting our first child soon my wife is 38 weeks pregnant and doctors have advised to do a C section because the cord is around the neck twice and one doctor says it is fine the baby can be delivered through vaginal delivery we are now confused what should we do remember he is our first child

    • Jen Kamel

      Isaac,

      I am not a medical professional, but I can share a few things with you.

      One third of all babies are born with the cord around their neck. Very few have a bad outcome. Cord compression is often accompanied by abnormal fetal heart rates so if this is an issue during your wife’s labor, it will likely be diagnosed and a cesarean performed if deemed necessary. You have to weigh the small risk of a cord compression in this current pregnancy against the future implications of having a cesarean.

      If a woman has a cesarean, she is very likely to only have cesareans for future births. 45% of American women are interested in the option of VBAC (Declercq, 2006), yet 92% have a repeat cesarean (Martin, 2009). Of the women interested in VBAC, 57% are unable to find a supportive care provider or hospital (Declercq, 2006).

      What’s the big deal, right? But the problem is, the more cesareans a woman has, the more risky subsequent pregnancies/labors are regardless if the mom plans a VBAC or a repeat cesarean.

      Silver (2006) looked at up to six cesareans in 30,000 women over four years. They found,

      The risks of placenta accreta, cystotomy [surgical incision of the urinary bladder], bowel injury, ureteral [ureters are muscular ducts that propel urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder] injury, and ileus [disruption of the normal propulsive gastrointestinal motor activity], the need for postoperative ventilation, intensive care unit admission, hysterectomy, and blood transfusion requiring 4 or more units, and the duration of operative time and hospital stay significantly increased with increasing number of cesarean deliveries.

      Because the growing likelihood of serious complications that comes with each subsequent cesarean surgery, Silver (2006) recommended, “Because serious maternal morbidity increases progressively with increasing number of cesarean deliveries, the number of intended pregnancies should be considered during counseling regarding elective repeat cesarean operation versus a trial of labor and when debating the merits of elective primary cesarean delivery.”

      Zwart (2009) echos Silver’s sentiment: “Ultimately, the best prevention [of uterine rupture] is primary prevention, i.e. reducing the primary caesarean delivery rate. The obstetrician who decides to perform a caesarean has a joint responsibility for the late consequences of that decision, including uterine rupture.”

      Unfortunately, many women don’t think about these future risks until they are pregnant again. And we all know the great difference between intended and actual family size.

      According to the CDC, 49% of pregnancies are unintentional, so women really need to consider the fact that how they birth their current baby has implications for their future pregnancies, children, and health.

      In light of these increasing risks, VBAC bans do not make moms safer.

      More detail on the rates of placenta accreta and previa after multiple cesareans.

      Counter the increasing risks that come with cesareans to the downstream implications for VBAC. After the first successful VBAC, the future risk of uterine rupture, uterine dehiscence, and other labor related complications significantly decrease (Mercer, 2008).

      If you would like to get the opinions of actual medical professionals, there are several obstetricians who you can talk to at the VBAC Facts Community. That might give you some comfort.

      Warmly,

      Jen

  • yoyo

    34 weeks still birth.15 june 2012. no complications during pregnancy .sudden loss of movements.. had ultrasound and it came out unidentified reason.. induced labor , very quick delivery with a chord wrapped around neck two times..
    horrible night indeed.

  • grandmother

    hello at 35 weeks my daughter just lost her baby suddenly to the unbilical cord being tight around his neck. he seemed fine at 34 weeks. is emotional stress prioe a concern and does it have anything to do with this. the daddys brother lost his first born son to the same thing 10 years ago. is their any answers

    • Jen Kamel

      Grandmother,

      I am so sorry for your loss. Your best chance for answers is an autopsy, but that is to painful for many families. Sometimes there are no answers.

      Warm hugs,

      Jen

  • Mena

    This happen to me 24 years ago and the hospitals let it happen .I will never forget .He was my first child.And there is a day that dont go by that I dont think about him and how they treated us after what they did to us .Rember you are big bucks to hospitals.They care about making money off of you .I cant evening go to visit my son at the funeral home he is in Because it bring back to many members.One hospital started the damages and the other one finish it.I dont like hospitals to much to this day because of what they done to me .And the sad thing to all of this is they where trying not to do a c section.But I still end up with one and always have to have one if I have children .When I look at the scard on my stomach I think of my son that I dont have with me .He die at four months .His cord came first .When I tell you these hospital screw me up and down like a peice of toy.What they did to me I dont want no other women to have to go threw that . I still cry like it happen yesterday.The pain ,hurt never go away.And the good thing and bad thing about it he was born on one of my cousin birthday .She is two years older then he was.It is a hurting thing .

  • viva eva

    please waiting for your response urgently
    i am 27yr old woman and i have on child , and now im pregnant in the 7th month and yesterday i new that my baby has nuchal cord 2times on the neck … iam confused and i want an answer about what are the cmplications on his brain … iam thinking about the abortion?????

    • Jen Kamel

      Viva,

      Many babies are born with a cord wrapped around their neck or bodies. A very small minority have any complications. Listening to fetal heart tones is a way that care providers can detect cord compression which can (rarely) be can issue with nuchal cords.

      Warmly,

      Jen

  • viva eva

    please waiting for your response urgently
    i am 27yr old woman and i have on child , and now im pregnant in the 7th month and yesterday i new that my baby has nuchal cord 2times on the neck … iam confused and i want an answer about what are the cmplications on his brain … iam thinking about the abortion?????

    • Jen Kamel

      Viva,

      It’s very rare for a baby to experience any complications from a cord wrapped around their neck.

      Please do not worry. The odds are overwhelmingly in your favor.

      Warmly,

      Jen

  • tripti

    I am 32 weeks preggo and plus one week of gestation with cord around my fetal neck. Also showing two plus in protein in urine. Plz asist as are there any chances to untangle cord as the baby is in breech position.

    • Jen Kamel

      Many babies are born with cords around their neck and very, very few actually experience any complications from it. The comment left right after yours on this page goes into more detail.

      Warmly,

      Jen

  • Lacy

    All three of my children, who were all born at home, had the cord around their neck. It often happens as the baby is exiting the womb that the cord becomes wrapped around their neck or body. One of my children had two true knots in his cord. None of my children have had ANY issues.

    Cords have an amazing design which can withstand incredible compression.

    Often times babies who die in utero who have a cord around their neck actually have other unknown genetic or placental issues that caused the fetal demise, and the cord is just the red herring, so to speak. Just because two things happen at the same time (cord around neck, stillbirth) does not mean that the one caused the other. Unfortunately, for many families, there is no way to determine what the true problem was.

    The thing about life is, there are never any guarantees. Having a child opens your heart up to heartbreak. Whenever you love, there is risk of loss. Should we never love or have children because we are afraid of losing? Of course not!

    My first three children died before ever taking a breath, but that has not stopped my husband and I from having more children. Life is messy, life has loss.

    The illusion of control that our medical culture tries to push on parents, using scare tactics and bullying, is just that, an ILLUSION. Having a c-section because of xyz, in this case, the remote possibility of a cord accident, does not take into account the myriad of risks surgical birth poses. Can ACOG, or even an individual OB really guarantee that doing things their way protects our babies from all risk? The answer is NO.

    We as individuals need to start taking responsibility for our choices and dealing with the outcomes (good or bad), instead of looking to organizations (ACOG, AMA) or individual OB’s to make the choices and take the responsibility for us.

    • cm

      Lacy, thanks so much for your post (way back in OCtober!). Everything you say rings true to me, but nothing more than this:

      The thing about life is, there are never any guarantees. Having a child opens your heart up to heartbreak. Whenever you love, there is risk of loss. Should we never love or have children because we are afraid of losing? Of course not!

      I really appreciate your wisdom!

  • kanwal

    Hi! I have 20 weeks pregnancy an during ultrasound dr. said that there is umbilical cord around the fetal neck i am worried for this can any one tell me about this that at this time of my pregnancy is any danger or not??? plzzzzz

    • Jen Kamel

      Kanwal,

      Please don’t worry. With one third of babies born with the cord around their bodies and a small fraction of them having any issues, the odds are on your side.

      Warmly,

      Jen

  • Margo

    A baby may “look” good and no problems may be apparent at birth, but years later there can be problems with learning or ADHD. There is a clear association, anecdotally, when examining health histories of students in special ed. How can you say that very brief periods of decreased oxygenation DON’T affect the very intricate neurological system in ways that can’t always be measured? A “small fraction” of a risk is too much for my baby.

    • Jen Kamel

      Margo,

      I would be interested in the evidence showing the impact of varying levels of oxygen deprivation as measured by cord blood pH. This is where each mother together with her qualified health care provider makes a decision based on her individual risks and benefits. The risks of vaginal birth with a nuchal cord are not zero and neither is a cesarean delivery. Read more on the immediate risks of cesarean: http://vbacfacts.com/2010/09/19/cesarean-section-consent-form/.

      One must also consider the downstream complications of a cesarean delivery and counter that with the (documented?) risks as I outlined above. If a woman has a cesarean, she is very likely to only have cesareans for future births. “45% of American women are interested in the option of VBAC (Declercq, 2006), yet 92% have a repeat cesarean (Martin, 2009). Of the women interested in VBAC, 57% are unable to find a supportive care provider or hospital (Declercq, 2006).” From http://vbacfacts.com/quick-facts/

      What’s the big deal, right? But the problem is, the more cesareans a woman has, the more risky subsequent pregnancies/labors are regardless if the mom plans a VBAC or a repeat cesarean. You can read more here: http://vbacfacts.com/2009/08/03/risk-of-serious-complications-increase-with-each-cesarean-surgery/.

      Silver (2006) looked at up to six cesareans in 30,000 women over four years. They found “The risks of placenta accreta, cystotomy [surgical incision of the urinary bladder], bowel injury, ureteral [ureters are muscular ducts that propel urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder] injury, and ileus [disruption of the normal propulsive gastrointestinal motor activity], the need for postoperative ventilation, intensive care unit admission, hysterectomy, and blood transfusion requiring 4 or more units, and the duration of operative time and hospital stay significantly increased with increasing number of cesarean deliveries.”

      Because the growing likelihood of serious complications that comes with each subsequent cesarean surgery, Silver (2006) recommended, “Because serious maternal morbidity increases progressively with increasing number of cesarean deliveries, the number of intended pregnancies should be considered during counseling regarding elective repeat cesarean operation versus a trial of labor and when debating the merits of elective primary cesarean delivery.”

      Zwart (2009) echos Silver’s sentiment: “Ultimately, the best prevention [of uterine rupture] is primary prevention, i.e. reducing the primary caesarean delivery rate. The obstetrician who decides to perform a caesarean has a joint responsibility for the late consequences of that decision, including uterine rupture.”

      Unfortunately, many women don’t think about these future risks until they are pregnant again. And we all know the great difference between intended and actual family size.

      According to the CDC, 49% of pregnancies are unintentional, so women really need to consider the fact that how they birth their current baby has implications for their future pregnancies, children, and health. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/unintendedpregnancy/.

      Warmly,

      Jen

  • lekh nath neupane

    dear sir.madam
    my wife is pregnant now 8 month baby is growing but Umbilical cord around baby’s neck so i want to know does it affect to child or not.

    regards

    lekh nath neupane

    • Jen Kamel

      Lekh,

      About one-third of babies have cords wrapped around them at birth and a very, very small percentage experience complications. Even though the cord is wrapped around your baby now, it is quite possible it can unwrap before birth.

      The odds are overwhelmingly in your favor.

      Warmly,

      Jen

  • [...] Jen Kamel from VBACFacts eloquently described the risks associated with nuchal cord, which despite studies showing this risk is low will be devastating to the unfortunate 0.4% – 0.6% : “Even though nuchal cords are common and occur 25% – 35% of the time, rarely a baby’s cord will be wrapped so tightly around their body that the cord is compressed and oxygen delivery to the baby is compromised.  When this occurs, a cesarean is prudent and in its absence, a stillbirth could occur.  Fortunately, stillbirth from cord accidents, which include nuchal cords and nuchal knots, are rare and occur in 1.5 per 1,000 (0.15%) deliveries.  If your baby does have a nuchal cord, the risk of infant death is less than 0.4% – 0.6%. Thus, even though nuchal cords occur in about one third of births, they rarely result in the death of a baby. However, this is no consolation to those who have experienced the horror of their child’s death because when you are the statistic, it doesn’t matter how rarely something occurs.” [...]

  • Dear Jen

    Thank you for researching and publishing this article. I understand that sharing the evidence about nuchal cord, risk, benign outcomes vs adverse outcomes can be a difficult task.

    I have been exclusively researching umbilical cord clamping and nuchal cords for several years now, and have read many case studies, and believe you summed up perfectly when you wrote: “…even though nuchal cords occur in about one third of births, they rarely result in the death of a baby. However, this is no consolation to those who have experienced the horror of their child’s death because when you are the statistic, it doesn’t matter how rarely something occurs.”

    I wish to add to this discussion that there are other, more complex circumstances surrounding nuchal cord that can also impact on neonatal outcomes and long term wellbeing as well.

    Some of the comments here describe a nuchal cord being cut prior, or immediately after vaginal birth. A tight nuchal cord and/or the normal cord compression with the second stage of labour can result in an imbalance of blood between baby and placenta. This is because unlike the thick-walled arteries receiving blood under pressure from the fetal heart, the umbilical vein returning oxygenated blood from the placenta is thin-walled and more vulnerable to compression. If the umbilical cord is clamped and cut during birth without this imbalance being corrected (tension relieved by birth, blood flow restored with cord left intact), then the baby may be born pale, without tone, hypoxic, hypovolemic (insufficient blood volume), requiring resuscitation and intensive support. (I have read quite a few birth stories or comments about cut nuchal cords and poor condition at birth that also describe learning or developmental delays during childhood.)

    I would suggest where babies have experienced no issues from cord around the neck until birth, parents also consider the potential impact ‘nuchal cord management’ may have had on the birth and their baby.

    Nuchal cord management in vaginal birth is routine and not evidence based, and can include:
    - pulling the cord to unloop before birth;
    - electing to cut the cord before allowing time/position change/ attempt at somersault to facilitate the birth with cord left intact;
    - or immediately clamping the umbilical cord prior to any ‘placental transfusion’ (often to relocate baby for stimulation/resuscitation).

    I have written a discussion of nuchal cord management here: http://cord-clamping.com/2011/11/04/cord-around-the-neck-what-parents-practitioners-should-know/

    I have also updated this article quoting you Jen and linking to this article.

    Kind regards,
    Kate

  • Jason

    I was one of those babys who had their umbilical wrapped around their neck when they where being borned. I am 33 now but when I was growing up as a kid, I had ticks, hard to understand, and also a learning problem. From what my mom told me was that my face was blue when I came out. When I was growing up people thought I had Tourette Syndrome but as I got to 13, all the ticks and everything went away. The one thing I had problems with was my learning problem. I did have a hard time through school but I did not allow this to run my life. Today, I am in college and also working for a Serivce Desk at a College which I enjoy.

    One thing I think which cause those ticks and my speach was my brain reworking it self and the nerves in my body from what happen to me when I was born. Today People understand me and I will tell you one thing. I thank God each and every day that I am here and have come such a long way through my life.

    I know having the umbilical wrapped around my neck did cause some problem me when I was a kid but today I am leaving a full life.

  • Ron

    This happened to me 52 years ago.
    Complications resulting from this:
    • Learning difficulties scratch that, learning complications.
    • The ability to think in a ways others could not understand.
    • Difficulty with understanding the basics but heightened ability to understand the complex.
    • Thought to be an intellectual by peers, and having disabilities by educators.
    • A unique understanding of things.
    • Analytical, can’t stop thinking.
    • A grandiose view of his or her ability to think outside the box. Only to be stifled by conventional academic achievers.

    The best time to lose oxygen to one’s brain is at birth. The brain grows like a plant that has been pruned.
    It has been modified from its original genetically pre disposed design. Never to be understood by the family or friends. It’s amazingly aggravating to the recipient. And a great lose to society when not understood.

  • Mumma

    (both of my 2 births were natural vaginal waterbirths)
    My second labour went much the same as my first (apart from the first being 39hrs and the 2nd was 14hrs). I had my waters / membrane broken twice at 7-8cm dilated at my request because of lengths of the labours, and this finally actioned both to the pushing stage.
    With my second, I struggled to push him out. It felt very different and even with the experience behind me (of pushing without gas) and knowing to push hard and very long to get somewhere…he was slipping back and took a lot longer of pushing! I did do it — but immediately they saw he was born with the cord wrapped around his next 3 times. This was unknown until the moment his head arrived out. And immediately it was acknowledge that this surely added to the tension and reason why I was adament during pushing that he was so hard to get out.
    He was born quiet and had delayed breathing, they took him over to the oxygen and then when he was showing his vital signs he became VERY distressed. The paed confirmed he had passed meconium during labour and this showed he was distressed in the final moment of labour. For over 1hr I tried in the birth suite to feed him to the breast, but he just screamed. He went to neonatal special care. I went back to the ward to sleep. When I woke, and went around to check on him, they had pumped 25 mls of air from his stomach cavity and 9mls of old blood. (by a tube down his throat).
    Unknown to us, this tube damaged his throat and caused gastro reflux disorder. We had 3 weeks of screaming and puking baby (not even knowing what reflux was – I thought, gee this colic is bad!) We took back to paed and diagnosed reflux. He was on meds for 5.5 months and then he was fine. The damage was cleared and we were thankful, to have a healthy baby.

    His physical development is healthy (oh, apart from the undescended testicle at birth and extra fluid sac which is being corrected soon).
    He is only 17months old, so whether this effects him in behavioural ways, I am unsure.
    But seeing as though his father/my husband is Asperger and INTP personality type – I’m sure this boy will be unique.

  • Alicia

    My HBAC baby had her cord around her neck 2x AND had a true knot. It was a non issue. It was a pretty fast labor – 2 hrs, and an hour of that was pushing.

  • Brumby

    Hey ladies, hopefully this makes a few people feel better…

    I delivered by the down-there method. Had an abnormal or worrying fetal heartbeat.

    When the cord came out, it was wrapped around her neck four times.

    But she was fine. Today I have a healthy toddler, thank the Lord!

  • Curt

    We just delivered our baby stillborn and we’re crushed. Had no issues throught the pregnancy and then this happened. The cord was tightly wrapped around our son’s neck, which resulted in him passing. We’re devistated, bur know that he’s with Jesus now. I’ve spent numerous hours trying to figure out what happened and if there was anything I could’ve done, but toiling and prayer, I knew that it was his time to be with Jesus.

    • Jen Kamel

      Curt,

      I am so very sorry for your loss.

      Hugs,

      Jen

    • Mom to 3

      I’m a proud mommy of 3…I consider my children and ALL babies miracles. My heart is broken into a million pieces for friends who recently lost their sweet, baby girl. This was their 2nd pregnancy…the first pregnancy didn’t have any complications and resulted in a wonderful little girl. At 37 weeks, things suddenly went wrong and their Dr was unable to find the baby’s heartbeat at a routine check-up. I can only imagine how devastating it must be to go from the excitement of preparing for meeting baby # 2 in mere weeks to being told you’ll have to deliver your baby stillborn. Their sleeping angel was delivered with many tears…tiny and perfect. Her death was documented as a cord accident…wrapped 3 times around neck and twice around shoulders. Her parents are beyond heartbroken, but find some peace in having an answer. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t answer why this had to happen…why their 4 year-old had to grasp the reality of her baby sister going straight to Heaven when other families get to keep their babies etc. The percentage of cord accidents may be low, but we all need to remember those who unwillingly fall into that statistic. Luckily, most babies are just fine even though they may get wrapped up in their cord. It just breaks my heart for the families who have to wait to reunite with their little angels. I look at my children and feel grateful. I send love to all the families who’ve lost a child…

  • Mum of 3

    Hi ,
    I’m back to let every body know how my daughter is going . I explained her birth trauma (caused by a TIGHT double nuchal cord) in this blog last year so I like to come back from time to time and update everybody with her developments. She is still delayed in all of her gross milestones. She is almost 16 months old . Still not walking but crawling very well ;-) she has speech delays all though not too bad and is being monitored for it . She has just recently been diagnosed with a Vestibular disorder (which I am convinced was caused by her birth trauma) im hoping she can over come this with age . she has quite a few sensory issues but she is becoming a happier toddler . She still screams a lot and I am still questioning if there may be some type of an anxiety disorder too . I will never know if the birth caused all of this but even her specialists agree it most likely did .
    I will never know for sure .
    Take care.

  • Kisha

    When I had my youngest daughter in 2004 it was via emergency c-section and she was 6 wks early. My water broke (after dealing with 3 hurricanes in 5 wks and loss of electricity in the hottest part of the year in central florida! I definitely think stress had a lot to do with the early labor). And she was transverse. So emergency c-section it was! During the surgery I heard the doctor begin to count. 1-2-3-4. I heard others in the room gasp or say wow. So I asked what was happening. The cord was around her neck 4 times! It’s funny because I used to call her my little ballerina. She was so active inside me! She came into this world at 34 wks. She weighed 5 lbs 4oz. And she never had to visit the NICU. And, I’m sad to admit, I had very little prenatal care because we had no insurance. I wanted to share this here to encourage everyone not to worry. Sometimes things happen and it’s so, so tragic and sad when it does. But most of the time these nuchal cords are harmless to the baby. I’m 40 now and 32wks along with my 3rd child. I’m most worried about having another c-section at my age as well as some other things. But the cord thing is really not one of the things I worry about. I hope this helps ease the worry of some of you. :)

  • OMNSN

    Reading these stories is causing me to tear up. I’m thankful that the odds of this occurring are low. Sadly, it is still a possibility. Today I read a pregnant woman’s post on another website. Her ultrasound showed cord around baby’s neck. I scolded the woman for being online instead of at her doctor’s office. People were upset that I had told the woman her baby could die. They all told her it was “normal” and that their babies turned out fine. My words were harsh but I stand firm by my advice, ASK YOUR DOCTOR!!

  • Tula

    My baby was born with the cord around her neck twice. She was as purple as a beetroot and her nose bled twice with a gush like I never would have expected before they could even get the cord off. The birth was filmed and I can’t bear to watch it over. During the whole episode I was completely calm as I heard this can happen (the cord being wrapped around anyway). Hannah started breathing and crying the second it was released and returned to normal colour. My stomach is in knots now thinking about it. I don’t know if I could go through a second labour as a result of the trauma post birth. She is a happy healthy 8 month old and probably advanced in development. I would say the blood to her brain was restricted but it hasn’t appeared to cause any damage. Each person should consider carefully their birthing plan, however some things can not be planned for. I think it’s important to know all the things that might go wrong. It definitely help bring me calm knowing it wasn’t uncommon and Hannah would more than likely be fine. Actually during birth I half expected it may happen.

  • Father of two

    Hi, I have a son born with cord around the neck, till the 9 month he has moved crowl etc. but after 9 month he is not crawling. Now he is 8 year old and he is not able to sit and walk.

  • This is my sister first pregnancy and da dr said da cord is wrapped around bby neck,bby droPped weight and ders no water ,dr has put her off from work ,we are worried about whether da cord will come off pls advise on wat to do

  • Kallie

    Jen: I’ve read the sad stories of the women who said that their babies died in utero from cord complications. I guess I don’t understand how that is physiologically possible (I understand if there is a knot). Is there a way to explain how a wrapped cord, in utero, could cause the death of a fetus? It seems like that would make no difference at all because the fetus is still oxygenated and receiving nutrients through the cord regardless of its position.

    • Jen Kamel

      Kallie,

      The risk of nuchal cord is cord compression. This is where the cord is squeezed between the baby and the mother’s body and thus less blood and oxygen are able to get to the baby. With one-third of babies born with nuchal cord, cord compression that leads to an infant death is very uncommon, but it does happen.

      I also think that there are situations where the baby is born still with a nuchal cord and blaming the nuchal cord is a way to give the parents an answer as to why the stillbirth happened. But the fact is, unless there is an autopsy with a stillbirth, the cause of death can remain unclear.

      It is always a travesty whenever a baby dies and my heart cries for these parents who have endured the most painful loss.

      Best,

      Jen

  • Robyn

    I am 30 years old and a mother of 4. My parents tell a story of my birth about my cord being wrapped around my neck. My father and mother were the only people there at my birth and my father had studied to be a midwife to deliver me. My mother woke up that morning turned to the page in the birthing book about nuchal cord handed it to my father and said “read this” sure enough when I was born he slid his finger inside the cord and unlooped it 3 times. My second child when he was born the midwife literally unrolled him like a giant spool of thread. There were no other birth complications. My son and I have recently both been diagnosed with ADHD. I was reading an article about causes it said birth complications and it kind of made sense. Whatever the cause God blessed me with an amazing human being and maybe he was just equipping me to better understand him.

  • Assata

    Almost 43 years ago I was pushed out with the cord wrapped around my neck because the doctor/nurses only saw my mother a young 23 year old and not thinking properly that there may be something wrong! As I was being placed in the black bag to be disposed of I coughed. My mother did not get to hold me for several weeks because I was having seizures. Before they third week was over my mom seeing that I was about to have another seizure took me out of the incubator and held me until I stopped. Every time a doctor talked to my mom she was told that I would not live to see six month, one year, two years and three years! After the third year my mom figured that they didn’t know what was wrong or going on. After the last visit I never had another seizure again! That was almost 40 years ago!

  • harmony

    I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy. My doctor told me I was at low risk and could go through with my birth plan which was to have a all natural labor/delivery. I wanted no medication, no surgery, no intervention of any kind. When my water broke and we got to the hospital, the nurses said I wasnt having strong enough contractions to go into labor and since my water broke they needed them to start. They told me they had to put me on oxytocin, which is a natural hormone the body creates to have contractions. I said yes because I only felt very weak contractions. They also gave me antibiotics with it. I slowly dialated without meds for 21 hours while on the oxytocin. The nurse came in and said I wasnt dialating fast enough, that I was fighting the process. I thought she was crazy. She recommended pain killers to help smooth out the transition. I was 6 1/2 cm dialated when I agreed to an epidural. I contracted on the epidural for another 4 hours till it was time to push. They propped my legs up the entire 6 hours I pushed even though I had said I wanted mobility. I wasnt allowed mobility because they had decided to stick an internal fetal monitor inside some time ago. The doctor was turning the head easing it down the canal when he finally said the head was stuck. I have nice wide hips so this came as a shock to me. He started saying he wasnt fond of using the foceps or the vaccum and would feel more comfortable doing a c-section. I was too drugged, tired, and hungry to make a decision on my own and all I heard was my baby was stuck and needed to come out. I signed the paperwork and went in for the c-section. They pulled and tugged trying to get her out of the canal through my stomach. Once she was out it seemed like forever till I heard her first wails. Afterwards they did not let me hold her for 5 hours even though she came out healthy. And a day later the nurse came in to check on us, to tell me her cord was wrapped twice around her neck and that I was lucky to have a c-section. Now that my baby is 3 months old and Ive had time to think about the experience and how I was handled, i feel like i was lied to and am very upset with the outcome. I have no idea if what I experienced was ‘normal’ procedure and am pretty peeved that this experience was ruined for me and traumatic both mentally and physically. I was also told that in the state of wyoming, once a c-section always a c-section. does anyone know if that is true?

    • Jen Kamel

      Harmony,

      I’m sorry about how your birth played out. <3

      I don't know about the VBAC climate in Wyoming, however, I posted your question on Facebook here. I’m hoping that there will be some Wyomingians on my friends list who can answer your question better.

      Best,

      Jen

  • stormy

    I was 39 weeks and five days on my last on apt and was in active labor but not dialed enough so he sent me home about 7 the next morning I was having severe contractions and went in to hospital and was ready they hooked me up to the monitors and we were both okay until I had my first contraction there at the hospital his heart beat completely disappeared off the monitor my other half went out call some family and they started moving me to another room found his heart best again then I had another contraction his heart beat was lost again by this time the doctor saw and heard this and told me it was time I was not dialed far enough so the verdict was a urgent c section at39 weeks and six days my son was born at 1042 on July, 20 2013 healthy but also had a very long cord of 83cm not to mention he was a twin but we lost her at 16 weeks they said the cord kept cutting off his oxygen and if I would have went into vaginal birth with him I may have lost him to. I now have a healthy happy content baby boy that I get to thank the lord for each and every day

  • amit

    amit, india, kolhapur
    i admitted my wife on 21st aug 2013 doctors checked the patient and said everything is ok and gave her two injections as preparation for normal delivery. in the morning they checked her and said normanl delivery is not possible and should go for cesarian delivey,i immediately gave them consent for cesarian. but after half an hour i shocked by the news of death of my baby. doctors explained me the cause of death as after cutting the placenta cord the baby not cried.due to non functioning of lungs of baby. they said that lungs was not developed properly.
    since we both dont have genetic history of such incident.but we have same blood group of A(+) positive.
    so guide us about the reason of death and future guidance.

  • Kara

    Hi folks,
    Thought I’d share my experiences with you. My oldest son (5 now) was born at 41 weeks and 1 day. His cord was wrapped around his neck once, his trunk once and each ankle individually. My midwife unwound the cord while he was under water (he had a water birth) and then lifted him to my chest where he immediately started crying and turned pink. My second son was born early at 36 weeks and 3 days. My husband caught him and my midwife helped him unwrap the cord that was around his neck before pulling him out of the water. (Another water birth.) He also started crying right away and pinked up nicely. Neither boy has any complications attributed to the nuchal cord. (Or anything else for that matter. Not sure why our second son arrived a bit early, but he was totally healthy.)

  • Kara

    Oh and my youngest son is 4 months old, already rolling over and very good at schooching around on his belly for someone who isn’t supposed to be mobile yet! My 5 year old took his first steps at 8 months and was running by 9. He just started Kindergarten and has been reading chapter books on his own for quite a while now. Not trying to be braggy, just want to point out that a nuchal cord does not necessarily cause developmental delays, much less death. Sometimes what you find on the Internet can scare the daylights out of parents. I’d like to share the other side of the story. A nuchal cord is not something you can prevent, is often something you will not be aware of until birth and is more likely than not a nonissue.

  • joseph

    Our son had cords wrapped around his neck twice and was traversed. He was born 6yrs ago.
    I’ll give the short version. Ever since he was 6 months old till he now, I could tell something was wrong (delay in learning or something wrong neurologically). Although I was the only one who could see this. Till now, others relatives and mom doesn’t think there is anything wrong.

    At 4yrs, his doctor said he may have speech delay. I felt there was something more. I had him seen by a doctor who specializes in autism. He passed however the doctor said he was too young and would be better to retest around 6yrs. During that time, I wanted to take him to a neurologist. Finally, he is 6. I took him to a learning disability specialist. She found that he has dyslexia, audio processing issues and visual processing issues. She also thinks there maybe some neurological issues (a neurologist would need to see him). I am happy and sad. Finally, someone can see what I’ve observed all these years. I can now do something about it.

    I always wondered if the cord wrapped around his neck had something to do with his learning disabilities?

    Had I known what I observed from my son, we would have opted to go C-section to eliminate any risk to our son.

    Hope this helps others.
    Joseph

    • Jen Kamel

      Joseph,

      I am so sorry about your son’s struggles. I am not a medical professional, so I posted your question on Facebook in the hopes that one of my medpro friends could give their perspective.

      Best,

      Jen

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