Cord wrapped around neck...

13 posts / 0 new
Last post
Marite13's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368
Cord wrapped around neck...

Can someone explain to me what the true risk/issue is with having the cord wrapped around the baby's neck? I've often heard that it's very common... but, my BFF just had her baby last night, and I am hearing "super scary- baby had the cord around the neck 3 times!" kind of stuff... and other's saying that it made the end of labor harder... (I haven't heard anything directly from her yet...)

I can get that it's not a good thing for the cord to be around baby's neck... but, who can explain what the true risk is? I have a feeling plenty of people think of it as the baby hanging itself or choking itself... which I'm guessing is not really the issue...

I appreciate you informing me! Smile

Mara

AnnaRO's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

I have no personal experience with a nuchal cord, but I've heard the same things you have. I've generally been under the impression that most of the time it's not a big deal. I could imagine it would be more dangerous in a breech birth where the cord might me compressed causing loss of oxygen. There are occasions of stillbirths or instances of in utero deaths in late pregnancy where the only thing medical professionals and parents have to blame is the cord being wrapped around the neck. See: http://vbacfacts.com/2009/09/16/umbilical-cord-around-babys-neck-rarely-causes-complications/

Unfortunately, there really is no way to truly determine whether or not the cord was to blame. There are also instances of stillbirth and in utero deaths with no cord wrapped around a baby.

I would personally consider it a concern, especially if I knew about it in advance, but I'm also aware that it happen in about a third of all cases and that the vast majority of the time things turn out fine. There are so many things that can go wrong during pregnancy and birth it would be easy to be completely panicked about every potential scenario. I hope you hear from your friend soon and can determine first-hand how scary it really was or wasn't.

TyrantOfTheWeek's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/26/05
Posts: 1147
gardenbug's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

I have seen photos of a home water birth with a nuchal cord wrapped 4 times around the baby's neck...The photos are a "good news" story to show that it was not a danger, just as midwifethinking (above) indicates. Baby does not breathe except through the cord until after birth. I must say though, that the bruising of baby's neck was dramatic!

Marite13's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Thanks for that link, Mindie. A good read. So that is interesting though... I still haven't heard anything from my friend. I'm guessing the place she birthed doesn't have any internet, and that they will keep her a couple of days. I will be interested to see what the whole story is once she does get around to telling it.

cactuswren's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

"Marite13" wrote:

Thanks for that link, Mindie. A good read. So that is interesting though... I still haven't heard anything from my friend. I'm guessing the place she birthed doesn't have any internet, and that they will keep her a couple of days. I will be interested to see what the whole story is once she does get around to telling it.

I didn't have time to read the link, but it's a good point that babies don't breathe except through the cord yet anyway... I think most of the time the birth assistant is able to just slip it off once the neck is out so it's no complication at all--if it was wound many times or the wrapping was causing the cord to get too short to come out, I guess that's where it gets a little trickier.

girlisrad's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 04/24/07
Posts: 1587

:lurk:

I am not a NB'er.. but I thought I would share my story!!

After 28 hours of labor I was not progressing past a 5 and Everit never engaged into my pelvis. He was so high, in fact, that they refused to break my water. It ended with a c-section, where they discovered a nuchal cord and worse. He was completely entangled! His arm was pinned up by his face/wrapped around his leg/ and was essentially "hung up" in the cord. They literally had to unravel him when they took him out. Hence not being able to engage. Had we pushed labor further I am not sure what the outcome would have been Fool Anyhoo, just another perspective there... I suppose it is not terribly common, but it happens!

Offline
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

Most of the time nuchal cords are no problem and are quite common.

Sometimes they do cause trouble though. If the cord isn't very long OR if the baby is wrapped in it a couple times, it can prevent the baby from descending (like the above post says). The other concern is cord compression. If it tight around the neck or an arm is also up it can get pinched, preventing baby from getting enough oxygen leading to heart decelerations. I have seen babies have trouble because of a cord issue.

Like I said though, the majority of the time it is fine! After the head is out the cord is slipped over the head and usually that's that.

Offline
Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 01/20/12
Posts: 189

When DS was born he had his cord around his neck and the docs handled it very calmly. He was a bit gray from the cord compression and it took a while and a bit of oxygen for him to pink up. The docs also had to cut the cord so hubby wasn't able to because they were in a hurry to untangle DS. All in all it wasn't too big of a deal and the doc said it is common and does not usually lead to a bad situation.

Starryblue702's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I too have never experienced it, only read about it and seen in on A Baby Story lots of times... but as the other girls said it can cause the oxygen levels to go way down, as well as cut off circulation if it gets tight enough.

TyrantOfTheWeek's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/26/05
Posts: 1147

Delaying cutting the cord can help a lot. As long as it has a nice pulse, baby is going to get plenty of oxygen rich blood just like when they were inside. If need be, an O2 mask can be used right on your chest.

Marite13's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

So I finally heard from her... and it sounds like everyone REALLY made a big deal out of it... like they even told her that if she had been birthing at any other place in country where she was (she was at, what I guess is the most progressive birthing place in the country) that the outcome probably would have been very different, and very bad.

She did say though that her own body didn't seem to giving her the urge to push...and in the end she thinks it's because of the cord situation- BUT, baby did get delivered vaginally without any special maneuvers as far as I can tell (and doc even said later that it was good that baby had a long cord...) so I don't really get it.

In any case, they are all happy and healthy now... maybe someday I'll sit and talk with her about it... it's one of those things... I think she's experienced some trauma over it (based on some of the other comments she's made)... but I also know it's not my place to help her process it unless she asks for my help.

Sigh... I just want everyone to have a positive birthing experience!!! And I hate for her to walk around thinking, "I couldn't trust my body, thank God the midwife/doctor saved me/my baby!" But it is what it is... and I'm letting her enjoy her babymoon for now! So thanks for letting me talk about it here! Smile

Lots-o-Tots's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 01/29/06
Posts: 574

I think it is fairly common and usually the outcome is fine, but I do have a good friend who lost her first baby full term because the cord was wrapped so tightly around the baby's neck.