The umbilical cord is an essential link between the mother and baby during pregnancy. The cord and placenta supply nutrients and oxygen to the baby. Unfortunately, some issues can arise before or during birth and present a real danger to the baby.
Some common signs of umbilical cord problems include decreased fetal movement and an irregular heartbeat. Because these problems can be serious, the child’s health must be carefully monitored and treated. Let’s look at some umbilical cord problems that can cause birth injuries.
When the umbilical cord moves alongside the baby or down the birth canal before delivery, it is called a prolapse. Typically, the cord should follow the baby through the birth canal. A cord prolapse may be caused by the baby being premature, delivering twins, the cord being longer than usual or excess amniotic fluid.
Prolapse can cause a dangerous situation whereby the child doesn’t get oxygen. This can lead to hypoxia, cerebral palsy and permanent brain damage. Fortunately, a medical professional can identify this issue and take steps to monitor and intervene, especially when the prolapse occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy. The doctor can also help prevent potentially serious injuries by delivering the baby by C-section.
A nuchal cord is when the umbilical cord wraps around a baby’s neck. This may happen as the baby moves around the womb. While some babies with nuchal cords are born healthy and normal, sometimes the nuchal cord can be dangerous, especially because it can strangle the baby or reduce blood flow to the brain. However, delivering the baby through a cesarean section can help prevent serious injuries.
The last thing a pregnant mother would expect is for their unborn baby to sustain injuries before or during delivery. However, complications revolving around the umbilical cord can occur. While umbilical cord problems occur naturally, your doctor should spot issues with a baby’s cord and monitor it properly. However, if they didn’t or were negligent during the delivery of your baby, you can hold them responsible for causing harm to you and your baby.