Nuchal Cords (Umbilical Cord Around the Neck): The Perfect Scapegoat

The birth of a baby in a hospital room. The baby is being held by a doctor, and there appear to be three other people in the room in gowns and face masks. Vidal Balielo Jr./Pexels

We see it on TV all the time: a baby is being born when someone notices an umbilical cord around the neck and then all hell breaks loose. Or parents are filled with fear because an ultrasound reveals a nuchal cord. But is this an emergency? As it turns out, it is not. Up to one-third of babies are born with a nuchal cord. That means that it is normal. In this resource, UK Midwife Dr. Rachel Reed explains this often misunderstood situation.

“The nuchal cord has become the perfect scapegoat because it lays blame with the mother/baby rather than the care provider/system. This has resulted in fear about nuchal cords becoming embedded within our culture. “