During your pregnancy, the umbilical cord is a literal lifeline between you and your unborn baby, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the baby. When the cord is compromised for longer than a few moments, your baby’s health and safety may be at risk. However, mild umbilical cord compression can be a normal part of most pregnancies. You and other Oregon mothers-to-be may want to educate yourselves on when cord compression is not a cause for concern, and when it can become a complication.
The American Pregnancy Association states that mild umbilical cord compression occurs in about one in 10 deliveries in the United States, and it may happen at some points during pregnancy, as well. While your baby moves around in utero, especially in the last trimester, the cord might be temporarily compressed in the tight space. This can also happen during labor contractions, and is a reason monitors are used to keep track of the baby’s heart rate. Usually, cord compression lasts no more than a few seconds and doesn’t cause harm to the unborn child.
The umbilical cord and fetal heart rate will also be checked numerous times during your pregnancy at your prenatal checkups. Often, your obstetrician is given time to detect and correct a potential problem involving the placement of the umbilical cord – including scheduling a cesarean section if the cord is in a position that would endanger the baby during delivery.
As you may know, it’s important for your doctor to detect potential problems during your pregnancy, so both you and your baby can be healthy and safe. If a mistake is made, competent legal counsel may be necessary. Therefore, this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.