US doula Seven Gates Birth shared this amazing image explaining what happens with a nuchal cord.

Sharing the image on Facebook the doula explained how a baby she had just helped deliver was born with a nuchal cord wrapped around his foot.

“The birth I just attended, the baby had 3 and a 4th umbilical around his foot! Baby was born perfectly happy and healthy. So what is it? A nuchal cord is when the baby’s umbilical cord has become wrapped around the baby’s neck once or even multiple times. I will admit, that along with many, that sounds alarming and abnormal, when in fact reports show that about a third of babies born will have a nuchal cord.

As the baby moves and repositions during labor, the umbilical cord has the opportunity to do so as well, sometimes resulting in a nuchal cord. There is often fear around this topic as stories are shared how a baby becomes distressed under these circumstances, yet it’s also important to share that umbilical cords are designed to be stretched and wrapped and have natural properties such as a component called Wharton’s jelly that supports it’s ability to move in tight circumstances and resist compression of its vessels to still allow for adequate blood flow and oxygen to travel to the baby.

Many associate and picture a cord being wrapped around a baby’s neck to mean that the baby cannot breathe, as that would typically be the case for a baby outside the womb, when in reality, a baby is not yet breathing through its lungs when still in utero. Umbilical cords can stretch up to 12x their size, which makes it rare and unlikely that the cord would become too tightly wrapped, resulting in restricted oxygen.

If a baby has a nuchal cord at birth, your provider will gently unwrap the cord as baby emerges and you may not even know unless your provider shares.”

The post has attracted over 1000 shares and many comments of pure amazement.

“Love this. The umbilical cord is such a beautiful thing in itself. My second son was born with two true knots in his cord, and was completely fine and healthy.”

One wrote, “Thank you so much for sharing. This is one of my biggest pregnancy fears!! Reading this has def. helped easy my worry. I will def share with the many anxious prego moms I know in hopes to ease so of the pregnancy anxiety.”

Another shared, “Thanks for that – all my five babies were nuchaled! It always a bit much when people try to make it sound as if it’s some sort of super birth trauma.”

What an amazing thing to witness!  Was your child born with a nuchal cord? Share your comments below

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  • Number two came out in a hurry with the cord around his neck twice. I was told they like them to come out slowly , so they can take the cord off. Reading this I now see that it stretches so not as bad as I thought.

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  • That is truly amazing !

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  • wow!! What an awesome photo, I understand why they don’t show you at your own child’s birth but would be cool to see

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  • Wow, so cool

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  • Truly incredible!

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  • Amazing photo.
    My last baby had his cord wrapped around his neck once and around his body twice. As he was coming out to take him first breathe he was turning blue as he couldnt breathe. The midwife had to cut the cord as soon as she could. And now he is a healthy 11month.

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  • The photo is quite amazing and the cord is incredible.

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  • Thanks for the explanation, with a 3rd of the babies born with a cord around the neck it isn’t that abnormal indeed. Although it may end well in many cases, it can end up bad as well.

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  • Grest information, I haven’t experienced it myself though

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  • This makes me feel more at ease with my second due soon. Thanks for educating me

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  • My second daughter was born with her cord around the neck and we are very lucky that shes here today.

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  • One of mine had his cord around his neck and it nearly killed him.

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  • looks a bit scary too

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  • I’m glad that this was a healthy birth as cords wrapped around necks often turn out sadly.

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  • Unfortunately I know a Mum whose baby was stillborn due to the cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck not just once. Had the baby not been born in a very small town with no aenethitist available there was no option for an emergency c-section. Reasonably early in labour they knew the baby wouldn’t not be alive when born

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