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What is an umbilical cord prolapse?

 An umbilical cord prolapse is where the cord enters the vagina before the baby through the open cervix.  Then, as the baby is delivered, it can put pressure on the cord, cutting off blood flow and oxygen to the fetus.

Risk factors include:

  • Long cord length

  • Premature birth

  • Breech (foot-first) position

  • Excess amniotic fluid

Umbilical cord prolapse can create an emergency situation if it is not corrected quickly.  Emergency delivery is usually performed in the form of cesarean delivery.  A delay in emergency delivery can result in lack of oxygen, brain injury, or even stillbirth.

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