In addition to the extremely important role it plays in the 9 months of pregnancy, the umbilical cord is crucial at birth. More precisely his position, because no doctor and certainly no mother wants a condition other than the normal one for the umbilical cord. Read below what the umbilical cord is and what are the risks of incorrect positioning when the fetus is still in the mother's womb or when it is born.
The connection between mother and baby
During pregnancy, the umbilical cord is the only direct connection between mother and baby. With this help, the baby in your tummy receives the food and oxygen it needs to grow.
These come through the placenta, which is attached to the inner wall of the uterus. The connection is made through the umbilical cord, which provides the fetus with adequate blood supply as it develops. Thus, it regulates the blood flow required for normal evolution.
The length of the umbilical cord
The umbilical cord develops from the fifth week of pregnancy, when it replaces the vitelline sac as a source of nutrients for the fetus. It has a variable length, generally between 50 and 55 cm, but this may be even smaller in some cases.
When it is too short (under 30 cm), the length being influenced by the quality of the amniotic fluid, the cord can break, there being a situation of severe bleeding for the baby and problems at birth.
One of the problems that can arise at birth is the one related to its position. The most common is called umbilical cord circular and means the cord is wrapped around certain segments of the fetus body, such as the neck (the most common situation), the trunk or the hands and feet.
For greater safety and an accurate determination of the umbilical cord position, the gynecologist doctor monitors the pregnancy with the help of morphological ultrasound. When you want to know even more, you can perform a doppler ultrasound that measures blood flow from the umbilical cord and beyond.
If you find on ultrasound that your baby has the umbilical cord around the neck it is not necessary to despair. Cord circular is not a common cause of fetal death, nor does it necessarily mean you have to give birth through Caesarean section.
Keep the pregnancy under observation and do not miss the last ultrasound, the one at 34 weeks. If necessary, ask the doctor with whom you gave birth to make one more, to see the baby's condition. If and then the cord is around the neck, the doctor will constantly monitor the heartbeat to see to what extent the baby is affected.
During contractions, the cord may tighten due to the baby's descent through the birth canal, and the heart rate decreases.
Maybe it runs out of oxygen
In most cases (95%) the baby comes to the world with his head down, this position being the safest for the natural birth. In other cases (5%), he may have other positions than the normal one.
An incorrect position of the umbilical cord is the one in which it is trapped between the baby and the wall of the uterus or that of the vagina. Thus, the oxygen decreases, and in the absence of an adequate reaction from the doctor and the nurses in the birth room, the child may remain with the sequelae or may die.
If the umbilical cord is positioned around the neck of the child or a member, the birth of it can be quite difficult. The risks are especially high for the baby.
If this cord is pressed (between the baby and the wall of the uterus or vagina), the amount of oxygen supplied to the baby decreases considerably. The lack of oxygen can cause death if no immediate action is taken.
Although this phenomenon is not quite common, here are some situations in which it may occur:
- large amount of amniotic fluid;
- birth of the second child or twins;
- transverse position;
- the child is seated at the bottom;
- the water breaks up spontaneously or there are ruptures of the membrane.
Have you had a birth due to an umbilical cord? Tell us your story in the comments section!
Tags Umbilical cord