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What if the cord is around my baby's neck?

This is a common question! Umbilical cords are tangled around babies quite often. I see this about 40% of the time in my own practice. Those active little babies twirl and twist and do sommersaults for 40 weeks and they love to get cozy with their cord! Thankfully, the umbilical cord is sturdy and protects the enclosed vessels very well with a thick layer of whartons jelly.

If your baby presents with his or her cord around her neck (Nuchal Cord) there will likely be no change at all in your birth experience. As I closely monitor your baby's vital signs I also watch for any indication for moving the cord at which time I will simply slip the cord over the babies head freeing him or her to move downward. The baby can be birthed through the cord or if truly needed on the rarest occasion the cord can be clamped and cut to facilitate immediate delivery.

Cords around the neck are just one of the many variations of normal birth and can be effectively managed during a home birth.

The umbilical cord shown above was preserved by Student Midwife, Lisa Russell.

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