US 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.

“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.

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.”

The post has attracted over 1000 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.”

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

Read more:

  • My daughter who was a breech had the cord around her neck and the doctor just calmly unwrapped it. It was no big drama and she was fine. Can be a tad scary but the professionals know what they are doing and are so good at doing it!


  • Not that I’m aware of. However, I think there were a few things the midwives and doctors kept from me when my son was born, this could have been one of them


  • I find birth photos so beautiful. I would have assumed this is always dangerous, I love learning more about different births!


  • Such an intense photo… Not all cords wraped is a safe out come


  • Its actually good to be reminded that a chord around the neck isn’t a huge deal straight away (especially being pregnant with my 2nd) I think people forget its their lifeline and until they are actually out, the chord is still breathing for them.
    Life is amazing in so many ways.


  • What an amazing photo. Umbilical cords are so fascinating. Women’s and babies bodies are just amazing in what they can do.


  • I guess you wouldn’t really know if you did. Definitely a lot of potential for it to go wrong though I know people who have dealt with cord issues


  • One of my daughters was born with a true knot in her cord and personally I found it terrifying, especially having read several articles in the months beforehand about women losing their babies to the same thing around that time, I had said to my husband at the time something like: ‘wow, i’m glad they are rare, I would hate for that to happen with this baby’. It was only that she was so large (over 9 pound at 2 weeks early) that she didn’t pull it tight enough to do any damage.


  • The photos are amazing. The human body and creating life are incredible and it takes your breath away seeing images like these. I had many fears during pregnancy and birth so I wasn’t specifically thinking about the umbilical cord..


  • The human body is amazing


  • i know someone who’s child had it wrapped around the neck there fore starved of oxygen.


  • Thank you for the informative article.


  • Never realised this was such a natural thing to occur. Never had it happen with mine, but it would put a young new mum’s mind at rest knowing it is not that harmful.


  • Whilst the experience of childbirth is absolutely amazing and miraculous, I don’t need to relive it through anyone else’s photography.


  • I never knew this happened so often. I’m sure this will put a lot of pregnant women’s minds at ease.


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