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The Umbilical Cord

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

Almost a third of babies are born with the cord looped around their neck one or more times. In fact when Jorja was born the cord was around her neck. I was so amazed to have her in my arms that I didn’t even notice until the second midwife who entered the room just as Jorja was born mentioned it I was a bit like OMG but there was no panic and no sense of urgency from the midwife as she gently lifted the cord from around her neck. Everything was fine, this happens and the midwives knew what to do. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Mostly it is not very tight and will not prevent the baby being born. It is strongly recommended by Judith Mercer and colleagues (2010, 2001) that wherever possible to leave the cord unclamped and intact, loosen the cord and loop it over the baby’s head or use the ‘somersault manoeuvre’ to release the baby’s cord from around the neck. This is particularly beneficial if the baby’s cord is wound tightly around its neck, as the baby may have experienced some reduction in oxygen and may be even more in need of its full quota of blood from the placenta. Even if the cord looks empty of blood initially, it will usually refill as the placental circulation will continue.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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