Complications with a baby’s umbilical cord are more likely to occur in women who have an excessive amount of amniotic fluid, are expecting twins, have an overly large baby, or have a baby in a breech position. However, in any birth, complications with the umbilical cord create the potential for long-term brain damage, heart rate issues, and even death.
If the Cord Is Compromised, So Is the Baby
A baby’s umbilical cord has one vein that carries blood, oxygen, and nutrients from the mother to the baby. It also has two arteries that expel the baby’s waste—such as deoxygenated blood and carbon dioxide. During birth, doctors often check the heart rates of both mother and child by either periodically listening with a stethoscope or by electronic monitoring. Electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) uses a device that records the baby’s heart rate throughout delivery to detect potential problems, such as:
- Nuchal Cord. This complication—reported for 37 percent of full-term births—occurs when the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the neck of the fetus. Brain damage and death can result.
- Cord Prolapse. This occurs when a baby’s umbilical cord exits the birth canal through the cervix before the baby, leading to cord compression or the cord becoming wrapped around the baby’s body.
- Cord Knots. Because the umbilical cord is the baby’s life source, any kinks, knots, or constrictions can jeopardize the baby’s brain and heart health. It’s common that a doctor doesn’t know about a knot until labor sets in and monitoring reveals poor cord function.
Speak With a Trusted Attorney Today
If your baby experienced an injury during labor because of a complication with the umbilical cord, you should speak with an attorney who can answer your many questions. At the Holton Law Firm, we put our clients first and advocate for a fair recovery. Call us today at 888-443-4387 to get started on your case.