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A 44-year-old member asked:

if the umbilical cord was wrapped around my baby's neck does that mean he was suffocating in the womb?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Neeoo Chin
Fertility Medicine 40 years experience
No: Usually umbilical cords wrapped around the baby's neck in the uterus is loose, and only during the delivery is the cord stretched tighter. So the baby wasn't suffocating in the uterus.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Usually benign event: The fetus has relatively more fluid space/size early in pregnancy & may flip & tangle in the cord. I have had a child with 5 wraps about the neck who grew up & graduated HS a couple years ago (cord lengthened to 9 ft before birth). There is no guarantee that any baby doesn't trap the cord under their shoulder or leg and pinch it for a time.That may be the origin of some stress patterns near birth.
Dr. Ecaterina Sartina
Pediatrics 35 years experience
Not necessarily: The cord around the neck is relatively common complication during the late pregnancy. The cord wrap can be very loose and not cause any problems with the baby's circulation. It is different, when the cord is tight and wrapped several times around the baby's neck. Than it can cause a tack of oxygenation and dipping down the fetal heart rate. It's prevented by fetal monitoring and early intervention.

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Last updated Nov 23, 2019

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