During pregnancy, the umbilical cord helps your baby get what they need. Everything that you take in goes to your baby, and their waste is carried away through the same cord.
In most cases, the umbilical cord supports your baby with no problems. Unfortunately, if something goes wrong with the umbilical cord, it can have devastating effects on your baby.
These are some of the most common umbilical cord complications.
Twists and turns
It is no surprise that babies move around a lot while in the womb. As they get bigger, you start to notice every kick and turn as they begin to run out of space.
Unfortunately, all that movement can cause problems with the umbilical cord. In some cases, the cord can get twisted around the baby’s neck, or even become knotted.
Depending on the severity of the situation, your doctor may need to resolve the issue with an emergency c-section or other medical interventions. If the problem becomes severe, there is an increased risk for oxygen deprivation and other related issues.
In a small number of cases, the umbilical cord starts down the birth canal before the fetus. Umbilical cord prolapse tends to happen more often when the baby is in a breech position.
Umbilical cord prolapse is a medical emergency and typically results in a c-section delivery. Even with emergency interventions, umbilical cord prolapse can lead to cerebral palsy and other life-altering complications.
As you progress through your pregnancy, be sure to have open communication with your medical care professionals. Part of having positive support is talking to your provider about your concerns.