What are the risks of nuchal cord to my baby?

Alexander Kofinas M.D.

As many as 30% of all fetuses are born with their umbilical cords wrapped around their necks, and in most cases there is no evidence of any harmful effects. On the other hand, most of the fetuses that sustain damage during labor do so because of cord compression. This is often caused by a variety of reasons, the most common of which have their roots in nuchal cord. In addition, there are many factors, which may exacerbate or alleviate such a condition. Examples are cord length, cord tissue quality (Wharton's jelly), quality of the placenta as well as the site on which the cord is inserted (site located somewhere on the placenta). At KOFINAS PERINATAL, we screen all pregnancies for the above-mentioned conditions, and although we recognize that preventing fetal damage in its entirety is impossible, we are proud to report that we have prevented more than 20 fetuses from suffering serious brain damage and even death. In such cases the fetuses were delivered immediately by emergency cesarean section or the patient's obstetrician was warned about the potential problem, thus protecting the fetuses involved.