Nuchal cords are rarely found to be the cause of adverse outcomes in studies of pregnancy and birth. Several authors have concluded nuchal cords “ordinarily do no harm” (5,6,7).
Some studies have associated nuchal cord with an increased rate of variable fetal heart rate decelerations during labour, and tight nuchal cords to a higher proportion of fetal distress and low Apgar scores. (3,4,8) However, in these retrospective studies the definition of tight nuchal cord were those ‘clamped and cut before delivery of the shoulders’ – therefore short-term morbidity was more likely caused by the interventions rather than the presence of nuchal cord (3).
(To learn more about nuchal cords, how babies can and are born with loose/tight/multiple nuchal cords, and why they aredisproportionately associated with risk and adverse outcomes, please read Nuchal Cords: the perfect scapegoat.)
Practitioners that respond clinically, not routinely, to a nuchal cord – and with the least intervention possible – are more likely to protect normal physiology and anatomy and avoid iatrogenic injury.”
**Trigger Alert: Hospital Images**