Everything About ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ Around Baby’s Neck
The ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ serves as a connecting link between the mother and the fetus. It is beneficial for the growth of the baby in the womb. This cord performs dual tasks. It provides ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ, nutrients, oxygen, proteins, fats, vitamins, to the fetus and ᴄᴀʀʀɪᴇs ᴅᴇᴏxʏɢᴇɴᴀᴛᴇᴅ ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ, and ᴡᴀsᴛᴇ ᴘʀᴏᴅᴜᴄᴛs ʙᴀᴄᴋ to the mother.
In pregnancy, the baby moves in the womb that causes the cord to get ᴇɴᴠᴇʟᴏᴘᴇᴅ ᴀʀᴏᴜɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴇᴄᴋ. This ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴ is also referred to as a ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ. It is a common occurrence in pregnancy that afflicts nearly 20 percent to 30 percent of expectant mothers.
A ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ happens when the ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ ᴇɴᴄʟᴏsᴇs around the fetal Nᴇᴄᴋ fully or for 360 degrees. This cord is commonly seen in pregnancy from the 24th week of pregnancy. A normal ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ is shielded by a sᴛɪᴄᴋʏ, ᴀɴᴅ sᴏFᴛ ᴛᴇxᴛᴜʀᴇᴅ Fɪʟʟɪɴɢ.
This substance prevents the cord from ɢᴇᴛᴛɪɴɢ ᴛᴀɴɢʟᴇᴅ ɪʀʀᴇsᴘᴇᴄᴛɪᴠᴇ of the number of times the baby takes a turn in the ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs. ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ ᴇɴᴛᴀɴɢʟᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ ᴏᴄᴄᴜʀs when the cord entwines itself around the entire body of the fetus. However, when this cord gets tightly entwined around ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴇᴄᴋ of the fetus, and forms a ᴋɴᴏᴛ, then it gives rise to a ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴ termed as “ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ”.
A ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ may disturb the flow of oxygen, ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ and nutrients to the fetus. Fortunately, a majority of ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅs will solve on its own before delivery. In cases, when the doctor identifies enlargement of the cord, then it can lead to ᴄᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ delivery. It can even result in sᴇᴠᴇʀᴇ ʙɪʀᴛʜ-ʀᴇʟᴀᴛᴇᴅ ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs, ᴀɴᴅ ɪɴᴊᴜʀɪᴇs ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɪɴᴄʟᴜᴅᴇ ᴄᴇʀᴇʙʀᴀʟ ᴘᴀʟsʏ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴀsᴘʜʏxɪᴀ.
The main reasons for the development of a ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ are: Excessive movement of the fetus, An unusually long ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ, A weak structure of the ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ, The presence of excessive ᴀᴍɴɪᴏᴛɪᴄ Fʟᴜɪᴅ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ sᴀᴄ, Having more than one fetus i.e., twin babies or multiples, Inadequate jelly around the ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ
Tʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ of ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ
Presently, there are no means available to ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛ or prevent ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅs. Your doctor will closely monitor the health of the baby. He will check if there is any compression of the ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ at the time of labor. If he feels that the fetus is in ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇss, and there are possibilities of birth-related ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs, then he may advise you a ᴄᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ delivery. As ᴠᴀɢɪɴᴀʟ delivery can adversely impact the mother, it is not advisable.
Diagnosis of a ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ
The presence of this ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴ is detected in the routine obstetric ᴜʟᴛʀᴀsᴏᴜɴᴅ sᴄᴀɴ. This scan provides several images of ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴇᴄᴋ of the fetus. It can tell if there is any abnormal heart rate or oxygen, or ʙʀᴇᴀᴛʜɪɴɢ difficulties in the fetus. Based on these images, a doctor can also tell how many times the cord has got wrapped around the fetus’s Nᴇᴄᴋ. If the ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ is wrapped around three-quarters of ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴇᴄᴋ of the fetus, then it is determined as a ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ.
Several Sʏᴍᴘᴛᴏᴍs can hint the presence of an ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ surrounding ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴇᴄᴋ of the baby. Some of them are as follows: Rᴇᴅᴜᴄᴇᴅ Mᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ Of The Fetus: If you notice that the movement of the baby is reduced after 37 weeks of pregnancy, then it can be a sign of this ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴ
An Uɴᴜsᴜᴀʟ Hᴇᴀʀᴛ Rᴀᴛᴇ: The second important sign of a ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ is when the fetal monitor identifies the presence of this cord. This is ᴘᴇʀFᴏʀᴍᴇᴅ ʙʏ ᴀssᴇssɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇ ᴜɴᴜsᴜᴀʟ ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙᴇᴀᴛ. ᴜʟᴛʀᴀsᴏᴜɴᴅ sᴄᴀɴs can identify whether the baby is suffering from ʀᴇsᴘɪʀᴀᴛᴏʀʏ ɪssᴜᴇs, ᴏʀ ʜʏᴘᴏxɪᴀ caused due to a ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ.
Prevention of ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ Around Nᴇᴄᴋ
Unfortunately, it is not possible to prevent tangling and detangling of the cord around ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴇᴄᴋ of the fetus during pregnancy. As the factors that cause the development of a ɴᴜᴄʜᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ can’t be uncontrolled, birth ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs resulting due to this ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴ can’t be prevented. However, timely detection and effective measures can help in dealing with this condition during childbirth.