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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

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  • I’m glad that this was a healthy birth as cords wrapped around necks often turn out sadly.

    Reply

  • Unfortunately I know a Mum whose baby was stillborn due to the cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck not just once. Had the baby not been born in a very small town with no aenethitist available there was no option for an emergency c-section. Reasonably early in labour they knew the baby wouldn’t not be alive when born

    Reply

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