There is much talk about the dangers of the cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck. Everyone in the checkout line has a story about the cord around their baby’s neck. This is one of the most common worries in pregnancy, and adds drama and fear to birth where none needs to exist.
The truth is, many babies are born with the cord around their neck. Maybe even most babies. This happens because when the baby is a tiny ‘little bean’ he jumps all around as if he’s on a trampoline, and can jump right through a loop of his own cord. Then as he grows, there is little chance of getting back through that loop.
I have found that certain kinds of exercise, like diving, and doing intense aerobic exercise, or flip turns when swimming laps in a pool, can cause the baby to be tangled up in his cord, and because of that, can increase the time of labor. This is not a problem if you have a home birth, but taking “too long” is one of those things that’s most likely ‘managed’ in the hospital. So enjoy swimming but don’t do somersaults. Exercise for breathing and feeling alive!
Having the cord around baby’s neck is rarely a problem, and it is usually slipped right over the head after baby’s head is born, just before his body births. And most of the time, the way baby turns, the cord loosens all by itself. If it is very tight, which is rare, the cord is then cut and the baby is quickly pushed out. (I have only had this happen one time.)
In my experience, umbilical cords are often around the baby’s neck. Sometimes they have even been tightly wrapped around the baby’s neck as much as three times, and a baby is still fine.
Here is a picture of a placenta and its normal umbilical cord. The placenta has been prepared as a Lotus birth with Rosemary powder, and that’s why it is green. It sits in a steaming basket on a plate.
Cords typically have blood clots left in them that create dark bumps. Often these bumps are assumed to be knots in the cord because they make it fat in places. Untrue. It’s just the leftover blood, going from baby to mother, that remains in the cord.
So, Be happy. Let go of all worries about the cord being around baby’s neck. Even if it is, it’s OK.
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