A doula Seven Gates Birth shared this amazing image explaining what happens with a nuchal cord.

Sharing the image on Facebook the doula explained how a baby she had just helped deliver was born with a nuchal cord wrapped around his foot.

What Is A Nuchal Cord?

“The birth I just attended, the baby had 3 and a 4th umbilical around his foot! Baby was born perfectly happy and healthy. So what is it? A nuchal cord is when the baby’s umbilical cord has become wrapped around the baby’s neck once or even multiple times. I will admit, that along with many, that sounds alarming and abnormal, when in fact reports show that about a third of babies born will have a nuchal cord.

“As the baby moves and repositions during labor, the umbilical cord has the opportunity to do so as well, sometimes resulting in a nuchal cord. There is often fear around this topic as stories are shared how a baby becomes distressed under these circumstances, yet it’s also important to share that umbilical cords are designed to be stretched and wrapped and have natural properties such as a component called Wharton’s jelly that supports it’s ability to move in tight circumstances and resist compression of its vessels to still allow for adequate blood flow and oxygen to travel to the baby.

What You Didn’t Know

“Many associate and picture a cord being wrapped around a baby’s neck to mean that the baby cannot breathe, as that would typically be the case for a baby outside the womb, when in reality, a baby is not yet breathing through its lungs when still in utero. Umbilical cords can stretch up to 12x their size, which makes it rare and unlikely that the cord would become too tightly wrapped, resulting in restricted oxygen.

If a baby has a nuchal cord at birth, your provider will gently unwrap the cord as baby emerges and you may not even know unless your provider shares.”

amazing birth photo


The post has attracted over 1,000 shares and many comments of pure amazement.

“Love this. The umbilical cord is such a beautiful thing in itself. My second son was born with two true knots in his cord, and was completely fine and healthy.”

One wrote, “Thank you so much for sharing. This is one of my biggest pregnancy fears!! Reading this has def. helped easy my worry. I will def share with the many anxious prego moms I know in hopes to ease so of the pregnancy anxiety.”

Another shared, “Thanks for that – all my five babies were nuchaled! It always a bit much when people try to make it sound as if it’s some sort of super birth trauma.”

It’s Beautiful

Another doula MommaArts also shares her views:

“Parents ask me ‘What if the cord is wrapped around their neck?’ Well, honestly, I am surprised when it’s not. Babies twist and turn in the womb, and one thought is the cord wraps around baby to protect from, the rare but catastrophic, cord prolapse. The Wharton’s jelly, which covers and protects the vital vessels, is slippery and made to slip right over the the baby or gives to allow baby to slip through. It’s a beautiful system, she says”

What an amazing thing to witness!  Was your child born with a nuchal cord? Share your comments below.

Read more:

  • Wow I had no idea either as this did not happen with my 2 births at all and I always thougt it was dangerous for the umbilical cord to be wrapped around the neck at birth too.


  • Had never heard of this before. As far as I know my four babies never had a problem like this, so I was completely unaware. Glad that your post clears up some of the fears for mums to be though.


  • My son had the cord wrapped around his neck. He has grown into a very clever young man.


  • None of my babies were born with the cord wrapped round them, I had feared that they would be strangled at birth if that was the case. My brother was born with the cord wrapped round his neck and his face was blue.


  • Unfortunately this was not the case for my baby girl, in 2015 at 34 wks i presented at hospital and my worse fears confirmed that she had passed.
    Darcy Evelyn was delivered stillborn via c/section with the cord wrapped very tightly around her poor little neck.
    Women’s bodies are incredible how the create little humans.


  • An interesting photos of real life.


  • Wow, I had no idea it was so common! I would have thought that a nuchal chord was a big, dangerous problem!


  • Also frightening to witness. Good to know things turned out okay, but appreciate that for some bubs it doesn’t when this occurs.


  • This would be scary as, but in the hands of your team I’m sure it’s an everyday thing for them and they are sound at releasing this.


  • Every day I learn something new – I have photos of the placenta and cord from after my daughter was born, the cord looked so short and fiberous, really wish I had taken the chance to touch it just to see what it was like. Hubby told me it felt strange cutting through the kids cords that is all I remember about them!


  • This would be so scary for many Mothers to Be but I’m sure you’ve definitely set their minds at ease with this in depth information. I’m glad to say this never happened with my boys. Think I would have completely freaked out if I’d known before their births


  • It was a problem for one of mine as it seemed to be preventing him from coming out – while I acknowledge it’s not always problematic, it can be sometimes and does sound scary.


  • I’m not aware that my first two did, my third definitely did not (got photos of my third coming out).
    I however feel very informed now, I didn’t know that it was common and definitely “safe” that it can cause less harm than known.
    I did birth my third in the water so I definitely know they don’t take their first breath until they’re out. Interesting and I love these photos.


  • My daughter was born 4 weeks pre-term and had the cord around her neck twice, but she was screaming when only her head was born. They carefully removed the cord from around her neck and the rest of the birth continued. She was such a little trooper. She didn’t even need the humi-crib or anything.


  • These photos are always beautiful


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